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Dimitry K., Esq.
Dimitry K., Esq., Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 37630
Experience:  Multiple jurisdictions, specialize in business/contract disputes, estate creation and administration.
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I am currently leasing an efficiency for twelve months. I moved

Customer Question

I am currently leasing an efficiency for twelve months. I moved in on February of 2012 and had no problems until October of 2012 Friday morning. I am a nursing student and I awoke early to study and to complete a homework assignment when the noise began and was pretty loud. It sounded like what I imagine someone scratching a hard surface with an object (like a stick or pipe). I have a tape recorder that I use to record class lectures so I decided to record the noise so the leasing office manager could listen to it. I planned to address my grievances about the disturbing noise, because the noise occurs particularly when I sit down to study and work on my class assignments. (The noise is loud enough that it makes it difficult to concentrate. At the time, I became so stressed out that I began to have muscle aches on my shoulders and neck and could not turn my head. My physician eventually had to put me on muscle relaxants.) When I spoke to the leasing agent about my tape recording of this disturbing noise later that morning he stated that it was the children who live above me. (There is a Philipino family that lives above me, I can tell you that I hear a mans voice, a woman's voice and I rarely hear children unless they cry or run around. I have never seen them but I hear them speaking in their native language.) A maintenance staff member who was present stated to me that nothing could be done about the neighbors who live above me. I was upset that he was responding this way and it did not make any sense to me, why would a child wake up at five am and loudly begin scratching a hard surface? The leasing agent stated that I could come in the following day so that the office manager can listen to the tape. On October 13, 2012 Saturday, 0500 ( I had to get up early to drill with my Reservist Unit), as soon as I opened my eyes I heard the disturbing noise again. Except this time with footsteps, an individuals footsteps. I met with the leasing manager at around 3:30pm and she listened to my tape recording. When I recorded the noise I was typing on my lap top, as the noise is occurring. The office manager stated that next time I should record and stop what I am doing so that the noise is clearer. I then played the recording on my lap top hoping that the noise on tape could be heard clearly. She stated she could not distinguish my typing and the noise. Moving into another apartment was never discussed with the office manager. However, she did state to me that she would have the maintenance staff inspect my apartment and a room that is located beside my apartment because she believed it could be an animal that was trapped in the walls and was causing the noise. The neighbors who live above me possibly being the ones making the noise was never discussed with the leasing manager. When the maintenance staff member inspected my apartment he stated to me again that nothing can be done about the neighbors above me "We cant do anything about that". To make a long story short I have no peace, I have no privacy, ever since the incidence. The noises continue and I went from being on the Deans list to a C average grade point. The noise is ruining my life. I inquired about a one bedroom and the leasing agent states that I have to give a two month notice prior to moving. I dread having to spend two more months in this apartment, I am afraid that I will eventually fail my classes. Can you tell me if there are laws in Maryland that can help me under these circumstances. I feel and believe the two months advance notice does not apply to me because of the circumstances. I have asked the leasing staff for help numerous times and they have not helped me out.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Dimitry K., Esq. replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for your question. I am genuinely sorry to hear that you are in this situation.

You can indeed consider some options here. I would suggest that you send an email or certified letter to the landlord stating that the noise is in the unit, and that the noise is directly interfering with your right of 'quiet enjoyment' to the premises. As a consequence you are now requesting that the premises be changed or repaired, and if neither takes place within a certain period of time (for example 14 days), you will consider yourself 'constructively evicted' due to the noise and will have no choice but to vacate the premises. If they ignore or refuse, then do exactly that--just leave the premises but make sure to take all your items with your. Then immediately go to your local county court and file a petition against the landlord for 'constructive eviction' and for breach of your covenant of quiet enjoyment, request that the judge review the noise and grant the termination of your lease agreement so that it would not appear as if you simply quit out without grounds.

Hope that helps.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

I have another concern. What if the leasing agent is making it seem that I am as you state "quit out with out grounds" after fourteen days of submitting my letter? I can not just move out because I have no family or know someone to move in with so I will have to apply for a lease somewhere else. What can I do?

Expert:  Dimitry K., Esq. replied 1 year ago.

Monica,

The whole point of claiming 'constructive eviction' is to claim and show that due to the landlord's actions (or inaction), your right to the unit was wholly or partially taken away leaving you with no choice but to move out. The leasing agent will absolutely claim you moved without grounds, that is almost assured, but quitting and filing right away for the courts to rule minimized that options. Leaving on the grounds I suggested are somewhat risky because generally only the landlord has the right to cancel the lease. But at the same time, paradoxically, if you remain and continue negotiating the courts treat the unit then as 'fit' because if it wasn't, a reasonable person would have moved out. And of course then the landlord has no real urgency or desire to release you from your obligation. Perhaps you may want to start looking for other place, get one signed, and then pursue the constructive eviction quitting of the premises.

Good luck.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.


On July 5th, 2013 I applied for a one bedroom lease, my plan was to move out of the apartment I am residing in now. I explained to the leasing agent my problems with the noises. She stated that I would have to talk to the manager.


On July 8, 2013 I met with the manager, he was down right nasty (rude) toward me. He stated that I did not write a letter about the noises to the leasing office and stated that if I were to move out of their apartment (breaking the lease) he would make me pay a full months rent. Then he stated that he contacted my leasing office to inquire about my records regarding my payment history. He stated he would contact me as the leasing office had not yet contacted him.


On July 8, 2013 When I got home a letter was taped to my door from my leasing office stating that they had not received my payment for July and a payment should be given immediately. The rent is due on the tenth of every month.


On July 9, 2013 I received an email from the leasing agent stating that the leasing office has not received a two month notice. The agent stated via email because I have not done this the application is not being processed.


 


What I am getting at is its going to be hard to get another lease when they want information on the lease I have now. I feel and believe I am going to get turned down on account of my leasing agent telling them I am breaking the lease.


 


So my question to you is what can I do about that?


 

Expert:  Dimitry K., Esq. replied 1 year ago.

Monica,

Thank you for your follow-up. You do not have to use this agent, you can consider finding a unit on your own, or by retaining a different real estate professional to assist you. This is how you could legitimately bypass this concern.

Good luck.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.


You are not understanding. I did this on my own, I spoke to a landlord about moving into a one bedroom - I applied for a rental lease. I told the landlord about my problems (the noise). He stated that he contacted my landlord(leasing agent) and she told him I was breaking the lease. I am concerned that when I submit my letter claiming "constructive vacating" - I try to find another apartment unit she is going to tell the landlord that I can not move out because I am breaking the lease. Are there laws that help me from the landlord forcing me to live in her property until the lease is expired. I do not think you are understanding what I am asking you .

Expert:  Dimitry K., Esq. replied 1 year ago.

Monica,

Sorry about that. My apologies but this isn't up to the landlord, it is not up to him to make a determination whether or not you are 'breaking the lease' or moving out due to constructive eviction. A 'constructive eviction' claim is when where the tenant (not the landlord) alleges that due to the fact the landlord failed to make repairs, it make the premises uninhabitable and that solely as a result of landlord's actions the tenant must vacate the premises. Then it is not up to the landlord to decide, it is up to the judge because to uphold this move you would have to go to court and petition the judge to cancel the lease that remains in place when you move out. I am patiently trying to explain that with this option the landlord's claim is bypassed and that you get a chance to go to court and explain why you had to leave. I truly am understanding what you are asking, I am likely not making it clear as to how constructive eviction would help.

Please keep in mind that under law you are bound to the unit. The default position is that there is an existing lease and that you are bound to complete it. The landlord has no interest or obligation to do anything but hold you to the letter of the lease agreement. But the claim for constructive eviction allows you, as a tenant, to get out, and then get the courts to agree that your decision was correct based on your reasons (in this case the excessive noise).

Good luck.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Ok sounds like really good legal advice but to actually do it and move, - I have no place to go. I guess I should seek out resources such as military, student advisor etc. Who ever. Can you give me the reference to this law (constructive eviction)?

Expert:  Dimitry K., Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Monica,

I appreciate your kind words but you rated my answer as 'bad'. Was that in error? Please advise.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Bad because I feel like I'm in for a long
Haul meaning, my encounter with the individual I tried to go into a rental lease agreement to move out was anything but helpful,pleasant,friendly,and cooperative. of course this was pair to submitting to my landlord my request for change or repair. I do not know how my landlord is going to respond. I have a feeling that she or he will be upset. I submitted the letter this am. I feel the legal advise is good but unable to find a place to move out is going be hard. So I will seek council from my chain of command, and student advisor. Not much else I can do.
Expert:  Dimitry K., Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Monica,

So just to be clear you found my information to be both 'helpful' but bad, not because of the answer, but because of your situation. My apologies but I personally had nothing to do with your situation, I have courteously and professionally attempted to explain your options to you. Rating me 'bad' because you are in this situation, a situation I did not put you in, and am attempting to assist you with, is neither fair to me nor reasonable. Your rating affects me and my ability to remain on this site, kindly do not blame the messenger for your troubles.

Take care.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I'm not attacking your conduct. The rating is based on how I feel and believe the legal advise is going to help resolve the issue. I have been trying to resolve this issue for right months. I feel and believe my landlord has established her him self as very stubborn. I do not know if the advise is the solution right now. If my landlord does a 360 so to speak and does help me out or eventually move out with no issues then I would say the legal advise I'd very helpful. ICANN tell what's going to happen. I can tell you I'm not feeling confident at this point. If things do work out and there is resolution can I modify my rating?


Expert:  Dimitry K., Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Monica,

You are free to modify your rating at a later point. I wish you well, take care.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
:-)
Expert:  Dimitry K., Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Monica,

Please do not respond further to this thread as each time you do, it locks it and requires me to make a response. Unless you are seeking more information, of course, then I will try to assist.

Take care.

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