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texlawyer, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 4829
Experience:  I have assisted many customers and clients with their real estate questions and experienced in real estate litigation.
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I live in a double house. I live downstairs, while the land

Customer Question

I live in a double house. I live downstairs, while the land lord lives upstairs. This is an older home that has an upper and lower front porch. I have the lower front porch which I enjoy sitting on during the morning and at nights when I am not working. The front porch was one of the 3 reasons I rented this "home". There is light fixture on the lower front porch, which has only been used by the landlord when he has had company, which has been rare and has always been turned off when the visitors left. This fixture is turned on by two different switches, one in my unit and one in his. The landlord has recently installed a new very bright light bulb and timer, which is only controlled using the switch in his unit. This bright light now comes on at dusk and stays on until dawn. There is no reason for the light to be on every night and it is very disruptive. I am no longer able to sit on and enjoy "my" front porch, a space I pay for every month. Additionally the light is so bright it bleeds into the house and illuminates part of my bedroom when I am trying to sleep. I have had to place a bath towel over the window of the front door to dampen the light. I have asked the landlord to turn the light off but he has not responded to my request. The light serves no purpose for him as he is upstairs and does not venture out onto "my" porch. Is there anyway I can legally force this issue?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  texlawyer replied 1 year ago.
Hello. I'll be happy to assist you.Your landlord may not do something to the property that makes it unliveable for you. That is usually construed to mean that he must keep things like the AC in working order, keep the plumbing working, etc. The question here is how badly the light impacts your ability to reasonsably sleep in your unit. The landlord, for his part, will likely say that the light is a security measure, which he is entitled to take. There is plenty of law that says a landlord has an obligation to take certain security measures, and security lighting would fall within that. In my opinion, you would have a difficult time suing him in court to force him to remove the light. My suggestion, which may be more effective and will definately be cheaper, would be to threaten to move out unless he, at a minimum, dims the light or gives you access to it. I just think I legal case will be tough and potentially a waste of your money.