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TJ, Esq.
TJ, Esq., Attorney
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 12209
Experience:  JD, MBA
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I am having problems at my complex due to my ceiing has failing

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I am having problems at my complex due to my ceiing has failing in my livingroom due to a water link in between my ceiling and the apt. up above me. wet carpet and my son and I have asthma and sinus problem. water run thru my apt. for three days before the office came out and yes I call when it happen. but I have section 8, and I call them as well. and it was told to me that I can not be transfer to another apt. or out of my least. and yes I took a lot of pictures. and they are still asking me to pay rent. my son and I had to go to the hospital 9-28-13 cause of headaches, upset stomachs, had the runs, light headed. and my question is how do I go by getting out of my least and move since they wont let me do either.
Hello and thank you for allowing me the opportunity to assist you.

If the apartment has become uninhabitable because of the ceiling falling in the living and making you sick, then you can move out and claim that you've been "constructively evicted." A constructive eviction is not a formal eviction and doesn't go on your record as an eviction. It occurs when the landlord does something (other than a formal eviction) that forces you out of the apartment. Refusing to make repairs that render the apartment uninhabitable is an example of constructive eviction since you have no choice but to move. You cannot continue living in an apartment with a leaking ceiling falling in your living room which makes you sick. That is unacceptable and the apartment is uninhabitable.

Ordinarily, if the landlord refuses to remedy the situation after giving him reasonable written notice of the situation, you would simply find a new apartment elsewhere, then pack up and move. If the landlord were to sue you for breaking the lease and failing to pay rent, you would defend yourself in court by arguing that you were constructively evicted. That is why it is important take plenty of pictures, and to have copies of any written notices. In your case, the hospital report would also be helpful because it shows that you had medical issues as a result of the conditions. Since you're Section 8, you will want to warn Section 8 about what you intend to do since they are paying part of your rent, and you want them to continue paying part of your rent at the new apartment. So, before moving you should take your written notices, photos and hospital report to Section 8, explain that you have been constructively evicted because of the leaky ceiling, that you intend to move, and that you do not want Section 8 to pay the landlord any more rent. Section 8 may require you to fill out forms, etc.

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