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FamilyAttorney
FamilyAttorney, Lawyer
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Satisfied Customers: 686
Experience:  Owner, attorney in private practice, appellate attorney, GAL & former trial lawyer, licensed for 36 years
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I have servere anxiety and have seen physiatrist since 2013.

Customer Question

hi, my name is***** have servere anxiety and have seen physiatrist since 2013. Rented at previous address for 6 month and have a year lease. To make a very long short landlord next door has two big dogs that bark LOUD all the time warned he I was gonna call animal control, didn't stop so I have been calling animal control. I am moving can't take anymore, have a letter from my Phyciatrist stating under his care this is very much affecting me physically emotionally etc. Also have a 14 yr old cat who this has stressed so bad vet but her on meds for stress! She is very dear to me. With this said can u help me get out of the six months left on lease? And punitive damages.
Submitted: 5 months ago.
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Expert:  FamilyAttorney replied 5 months ago.

Hello. I’m a licensed attorney with 36 years’ experience. I specialize in family law and appeals, and I have many years’ experience with landlord-tenant issues, employment and contract law. I also have written hundreds of legal articles. I look forward to helping you today.

Please note:This is general information and is not legal advice. No specific course of action is proposed herein, and no attorney-client relationship or privilege is formed by speaking to an attorney on this site.

At the end of this session, I will ask you to please rate me as that’s the only way I get credit for helping you today. Thanks! Please note: I want to help you but I may need some additional information from you. Are you okay with rating me? I would really appreciate it!

Also – I will be typing my answer for you so I’ll be back asap.

Can you please tell me what state this is in? It's not showing on my side. Thanks!

Expert:  FamilyAttorney replied 5 months ago.

I can give you a general answer to this one and it's generally the same in each state.

You are entitled to what is called "quiet enjoyment" of your apartment. Because of the barking dogs, that can be deemed to violate your quiet enjoyment and use of the apartment.

If your landlord fails to stop excessive and unreasonable noise, you may consider filing a small claims case against the landlord for creating a nuisance, although I don't recommend it if you already have anxiety. You can ask for damages there but they probably won't give you punitive damages.

Look at your lease. Look for a clause that’s called something like “violating laws or causing disturbances.” Your landlord may also spell out specific noise guidelines (such as no loud noise after midnight) in a separate set of rules and, so check these, too. Also look to see what happens if you want to end your lease early.

It’s your landlord’s responsibility to enforce lease clauses.

Depending on the situation, you may be able to break your lease and move out early. You can check your city's noise ordinance. Almost every city has noise laws that prohibit excessive and unreasonable noise (including sustained noise over a certain decibel level) and designate certain “quiet” times (such as between 10 p.m. and 7 a.m. on weekdays).

The next step is to send a letter to the landlord, registered, return receipt and keep a copy for yourself. State that he is violating the lease provision of quiet enjoyment and also state if he is violating the city noise ordinance. If your lease requires you to pay the full term of the lease if you vacate early, you're not going to refer to that in the letter. You will explain that this is a nuisance and it is interfering with the quiet enjoyment of your apartment.

Expert:  FamilyAttorney replied 5 months ago.

A nuisance is: “a continual course of conduct over a period of time performed by the tenant which poses a threat to the comfort, safety, health and peaceful enjoyment of the premises by others.” Since this is a violation of the lease, in the letter to the landlord, you're actually going to be asking him to cure the nuisance -- as in, get rid of the dogs or get them to stop barking completely. You’re required to send him a notice to cure the landlord must have an opportunity to cure.

It depends on what state you're in as to how long he has to cure this nuisance. You're going to be also stating in the letter that he's creating a nuisance, and he has to cure the nuisance or you will be entitled to vacate the premises without further payment of rent. State that you already contacted him personally and state the dates.

So, for example, the keeping of a large number of animals (or loud animals) in the apartment is curable by the simple removal of the animals.

You would have to check your local codes to find out how long the landlord has to cure this nuisance. Another alternative is seeing how long the lease says the quiet enjoyment must be cured.

Your best bet here is to get a local landlord-tenant attorney who can do this letter properly for you. He/she will know how long a time period it is to cure or whether you have the right to vacate the premises and declare it a constructive eviction.

If you need names of lawyers in your area please let me know. I provide this as a free service to all my customers here, with an explanation as to how to pick a landlord-tenant lawyer.

Does this help you and answer your question?

Expert:  FamilyAttorney replied 5 months ago.

I am more than happy to answer additional questions based on this one if you want.

I hope this helps and clarifies. If you could, I'd appreciate it if you can rate me when finished. If you need additional information please let me know. Best of luck to you!

Please accept my answer, rate my answer as one of the top three faces/stars and then submit, as this is how I get credit for my time with you and with your question. I work hard to give you a thorough and honest answer. I thank you in advance for rating me. Please let me know if there is more that I can do to answer your question and if you need more information. If not, I thank you for your rating. I can’t get credit for answering your question without your fair and honest rating. Thank you, ***** ***** you for allowing me to help you today.

Kindly rate positively so I receive credit for assisting you.

(no additional charges are incurred).

We are not employees of this site, so it's important for us to be rated to get credit for the time we spend here and so we can be paid.

I would rather answer additional questions than have you rate me negatively, so I appreciate the chance to do that for you. Thank you! Please let me know if you need additional answers here. I was thorough with my answer but I'm happy to answer additional questions.

Expert:  FamilyAttorney replied 5 months ago.

Hi, just checking in to see if you still need help with your question and if my answer was helpful for you. Thanks!

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