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Dimitry K., Esq.
Dimitry K., Esq., Attorney
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Satisfied Customers: 41221
Experience:  Licensed in multiple jurisdictions. Experienced Landlord-Tenant attorney.
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My landlord failed to obtain the necessary occupancy certificate

Customer Question

My landlord failed to obtain the necessary occupancy certificate until I had lived in the unit for two months. I believe the unit would not have passed inspection when I moved in. Does this invalidate my lease? Am I entitled to a refund for the rent and fees I paid during the time before they were permitted to rent the property?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Expert:  Dimitry K., Esq. replied 2 years ago.
Thank you for your question. Please permit me to assist you with your concerns.
The answer depends on the municipality. If they deem that this is an illegal lease, and it surely appears that way, then you are entitled to demand up to 3 months of rents and fees back from the landlord since the current unit is illegal. An illegal unit voids your lease agreement and you are free to move out without penalty as well. Obtaining a city permit does not inherently make the unit habitable, it makes it habitable on the day the permit was granted but as issues can crop up, that does not give the landlord universal license to claim that it is currently up to spec.
Dimitry, Esq.