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Richard - Bizlaw
Richard - Bizlaw, Attorney
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Satisfied Customers: 9712
Experience:  Commercial and residential leases in NY & NJ & US
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I moved in an apartment a month ago. Sign a one year

Customer Question

I moved in an apartment a month ago. Sign a one year contract. Recently, I notice the room next to me is a mechanical room because it has noise 24 hours. I am hard to sleep. The leasing office said the sound cannot be removed. So I am asking to transfer another one because I haven't been told there is a mechanical room next to my apartment. However, the office said no one complains the noise except me. So they ask me to pay deposit if I want to transfer. There is nothing they could do. But it is not my fault, I am wondering whether I need to pay deposit if transfer apartment.
Submitted: 1 month ago.
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Expert:  Richard - Bizlaw replied 1 month ago.

Hello, my name is ***** ***** I will try to help you. Please remember I just report or interpret the law, so the outcome may not be what you hoped for.

Did you pay a deposit when you moved into your apartment? What is the deposit for? Is the cost of the two apartments the same? Did you notice the noise at the time you inspected the apartment?

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
I didn't inspected the apartment. And I didn't notice when I moved in. I pay the deposit for my apartment. And they said I need to pay $200 transfer fee and another $500 deposit if I transfer which is for my new apartment. That means they will take the deposit for the one I am living. However, I think they should tell me about the sound. They explained that no one complained before, so there is not their fault. I need to pay deposit.
Expert:  Richard - Bizlaw replied 1 month ago.

I assume the deposit is one month's rent. You may have to go to court to challenge the charges. Your position would be that the noise level which makes it impossible for you to sleep is a breach of the covenant of quiet enjoyment and habitability of the unit. If you go to court you will seek all your costs of moving to a new place. Since you would be entitled to terminate the lease on that basis with no penalty you will not pay any additional deposit or transfer fee.

The weakness of this position is that you did not inspect the unit. That inspection would probably have alerted you to the problem if it is constant. If the noise is not constant that strengthens your position. If you can try to settle for the $200 transfer fee and no deposit.

If you were to go to court and the court found that the noise did not make the unit did not breach the quiet enjoyment or habitability covenant in every lease, then to move, you could be liable for the extra deposit as damages but I doubt a court would award such damages because the landlord would be in the same position after you moved as he was before you moved, a single apartment to rent.

If I have answered all your questions, please positively rate my answer as that is how I receive credit. If you have more questions, please let me know. If the answer was especially helpful you can provide a bonus.

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
Thank you. Is there any law establishes the number of db that would be a noise in apartment?
Expert:  Richard - Bizlaw replied 1 month ago.

Salt Lake City uses the following as a limit Residential 50 dB(A) 55 dB(A). Here is the link to the statute.

You could also have the local building department check the sound level. If they found it improper that would be all the evidence you need but there is no assurance your town has a noise ordinance or the building department is equipped to deal with this issue.

If I have answered all your questions, please highly rate my answer as that is how I get credit for working on your question.

Expert:  Richard - Bizlaw replied 1 month ago.

I sent you an answer to your question several days ago. If you do not have any more questions, please highly rate my answer as that is how I get credit for working on your question.

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