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Dwayne B.
Dwayne B., Attorney
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Satisfied Customers: 33385
Experience:  Began practicing law in 1992
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My apartment building just caught fire on 08/06/2016 no

Customer Question

My apartment building just caught fire on 08/06/2016 no major damages in my unit but a few of my neighbors did. The smell of burnt is still a strong present in my apartment and my neighbors. I really feel the apartment building is inhabitable living conditions and unhealthy breathing in the remnants of fire. I have spoke with the leasing agent on property, but yet nothing has been done.
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Expert:  Dwayne B. replied 11 months ago.

Hello and thank you for contacting us. This is Dwayne B. and I’m an expert here and looking forward to assisting you today.

Is there a specific question with which I could assist?

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
what are my rights as a tenant to break a lease after a fire occurred. Yes I can replace my belongings but the smell is still in the apartment and the bottom half is opened and inviting for it to happen again. The smoke detector did not alarm that night. If it had not been for my neighbor things could have been really bad here.
Expert:  Dwayne B. replied 11 months ago.

There is no right to break a lease just because a fire occurred or because something happened in another apartment.

The fact that there is a smell isn't likely to provide a reason to break the lease as well since the fire just happened a couple of days ago. At some point it could become an issue but that would have to be after they completed their repairs.

You certainly want to notify your landlord, by certified mail, return receipt requested, that the smoke detector didn't work the night of the fire and is still not working and also asking that it be replaced. However, that would also take a few days before they would be in any kind of trouble or subject to this being considered a "constructive eviction" or a reason for a lease being broken.

If your question has been answered then I'd offer my best wishes to you and ask that you please not forget to leave a Positive Rating so I receive credit for my work. Of course, please feel free to ask any follow up questions in this thread. I want to be sure that all of your questions are answered.

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