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I live in a duplex with a lease that expires in Jan 2013. I…

Customer Question
I live in a duplex...
I live in a duplex with a lease that expires in Jan 2013. I have just been informed that my landlord is looking into renovating the basement portion of my unit into another unit to make his property a triplex. The basement is part of our living space/storage and as I understand it very much part of our home and what I am renting. The entrance is through our kitchen and there is no other way to get down there than going through our house. I need to know what my rights are as a renter with a lease agreement. I cannot believe that he can do this or kick us out to make these renovations.
Submitted: 6 years ago.Category: Landlord-Tenant
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Answered in 2 minutes by:
2/21/2012
Lawyer: David L, Attorney replied 6 years ago
David L
David L, Attorney
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Satisfied Customers: 3,255
Experience: Attorney licensed in multiple jurisdictions since 1997.
Verified

David L :

Hello. I would agree with you that the landlord can't come through your apt on a daily basis to do the renovations. There may be some question as to whether the lease includes the basement. That issue would depend on the nature of your particular lease.

David L :

You definitely have the right to quiet enjoyment of your apt, which would include not having the landlord using your place as an access point. You probably also have the right to at least some of the basement as a storage area, if that was a part of your lease.

JACUSTOMER-a1yv56u4- :

I have read over the lease agreement and is does not state weather the basement is included. It is where our washer and dryer are and is obviously part of our home.

JACUSTOMER-a1yv56u4- :

How can I find out if he can do this?

David L :

What is he actually trying to do?

JACUSTOMER-a1yv56u4- :

take my basement and turn it into another rental unit as I stated in my original question.

David L :

Understood. You can demand access to your washer and dryer. I'm not sure you have specific rights to the entire basement.

JACUSTOMER-a1yv56u4- :

thank you but you have not been helpful. I am not going to pay the fee. how can I go about getting my deposit $29 back?

David L :

My overall take on this is that he would be required to continue to provide you with access to a washer and dryer and we cannot use your premises as an access point.

David L :

How can I be more helpful to you?

JACUSTOMER-a1yv56u4- :

what does access point mean? I need to know how I can find out if he can take away half my home and turn it into a construction zone. I am 7 months pregnant. As I understand it I am renting this whole unit including the basement and have been for almost 2 years. If he were to need to come into the basement for any reason he would have to unlock the door to my home.

David L :

That was my point. If there was some other way to access the basement without going through your home, he might have the ability to do so if your lease is not clear as to whether the basement is included. However, if he needs to come through your home to access the basement, he can't do that.

JACUSTOMER-a1yv56u4- :

yet he is trying to

David L :

Is the basement shared with the other apt in the duplex?

JACUSTOMER-a1yv56u4- :

no they have their own as part of their unit

David L :

Ok. You have a couple really good arguments:

David L :

First, a tenant is entitled to "quiet enjoyment."

David L :

That means that he can't use your place to get to the basement. That would interfere with your enjoyment of the apt.

David L :

Second, you can argue that the basement is part of your lease.

David L :

The only access to it is through your front door and each of the duplex units has its own basement.

David L :

You can send him written notice that any attempted renovation would be a breach of your lease agreement.

JACUSTOMER-a1yv56u4- :

thanks

David L :

You're welcome. Take a look here, too:

David L :

You can hire an attorney and you may be entitled to damages if he violates these rights.

David L :

Take care - good luck.

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