We are renters and were notified Wednesday, July 11 that half of our home will be unusable for 1 week beginning July 16 and that another significant portion (about 1/3) will be unusable for at least 6 weeks. In addition during this time all windows will be sealed with plastic. We have been offered 2 weeks free rent for this inconvenience and an option to get out of our lease but we have not been provided adequate time to find and relocate to a new home. We are currently staying in hotel as a result. We would like to understand if we have grounds to go to small claims court or take other action.
State/Country relating to question: Washington
Working with the landlord to arrive at acceptable terms prior to construction beginning. This includes them allowing us time to find a new home, providing us with alternate accommodations and/or compensation so that we can arrange and pay for alternate accommodations.
*This chat is not intended as legal advice. It is general information that may or may not apply to your situation and should not be relied upon.*Special Note:If you experience technical problems, please XXXXXXXXXX@XXXXXX.XXXHello,My name is XXXXX XXXXX X'X be happy to provide you with information today. I am a licensed attorney but I am not your attorney. The law does not allow me to provide legal advice or form an attorney-client relationship on this public forum. If at any time the information which I provide is not clear to you or does not fully answer your question, please ask me for clarification by using the reply button. Is there an emergency situation that the landlord is attempting to remedy?
No, the landlord is performing renovations, which include replacing exterior windows, balconies and stucco.
Thank you Every residential lease has an implied warranty of quiet enjoyment. This means that the landlord warrants that during the term of the tenancy no one will disturb the tenant's use and enjoyment of the premises. Quiet enjoyment includes the right to exclude others from the premises, the right to peace and quiet, the right to clean premises, and the right to basic services such as heat and hot water. Therefore you may want to consider not moving and not permitting the landlord to make the renovations during your lease term. I think this is what you wanted to know. Please let me know if I have answered your question or whether you would like further information Please let me know if the rating box is missing or you are unable to rate for any reasonFiveStarLaw41105.9601880787
We asked the landlord not to begin renovations until we can find a new home or come to an acceptable agreement with them. They informed us that by law they must provide 48 hours notice to enter the home, which they have done. This is what they said verbatim (by email):
"After speaking with management I have been advised that we would be able to provide the following in writing.
- Weekly – Bi-weekly updates on construction
- What construction will be done to the apartment
- An estimate of the time frame that construction will take place
I have also been notified that at this time the concessions that are being offered such as the 2 weeks of free rent, installing the 2 a/c units while the plastic sheeting is in the apartment, professional cleaning of the apartment if you are relocated temporarily, or an option to be released from the lease without penalty and a refunding of the deposit minus final utility bill are the concessions being offered to the residents being affected by the construction at this time. When construction begins we will revaluate if any further concessions will be offered. We are also going to be paying for and providing storage for the furniture that is being moved due to the work being done on the apartments. For the notice to enter the apartment on Monday the 16th we are required by law to give residents 2 day notice before entering which we have done. Please contact us with any further questions or concerns on this matter."
It is true that 2 day notice is considered reasonable notice to enter. The two-day notice typically refers to situations such as making repairs, inspection or showing the property to a prospective purchaser or lessor. The landlord does not have the right to constructively evict you from the home. A tenant may refuse the landlord access and the landlord may not enter without a court order
Our home will not be "inhabitable" (e.g. the water, heat still work and the bedroom, bathroom and kitchen are still accessible). Do we still have the right to refuse entry w/o a court order?
If your landlord turns off your water or otherwise makes your home inhabitable without your consent,you will want to make an appointment with an attorney immediately. It would be considered a constructive eviction which would subject the landlord to criminal and civil action.
So I think that you are saying that unless the home is "inhabitable" we do not have any right to refuse that they begin construction or offer any compensation. Is that correct? Finally (my original question), given the situation, do we have grounds to go to small claims court?
No that is not correct. Let me clarify. 1 A tenant has the right to refuse that any construction or work take place during the term of the lease UNLESS there is an emergency situation.2. Tenant has the right to deny entry to the workers. The tenant can call the police to enforce this right3. Tenant has the right to negotiate compensation in exchange for allowing the work to take place4 If the tenant agrees to move out and allow the workers to begin their work, the tenant likely will be viewed to have agreed to the work and will typically not be entitled to damagesI think this is what you wanted to know. Please let me know if I have answered your question or whether you would like further informationPlease let me know if the rating box is missing or you are unable to rate for any reason
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