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  1. #1
    stressedalots Guest

    No certificate of occupancy/lease valid?

    What is the name of your state? Maine

    We just found out the apartment we are living in doesn't have a certificate of occupancy because they are not up to fire code. The buildings are brand new, we have only been there for 6 months. I have spoken to the code enforcement officer who has verified that there has been no certificate of occupancy issued and he is still not ready to issue one. I have copies of the notice of violations sent by the CEO that was hand delivered and signed by my landlord. I am worried about the safety of my family and want out of our one year lease. Is our lease valid? Can I break the lease and still get my security deposit back? Will I be liable for the rent the remainder of my lease? 2nd question is- I've heard if a building doesn't have a certificate of occupancy, the landlord cannot collect rent. Is this true?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    The law merely states tht it is illegal to allow occupancy without a final certificate. However, any enforcement must be brought by the municipality. The court can fine LL up to twice the amount of rent LL collected from you, but you don't get the money.

    Ask the municipality to enforce the laws & order the leasehold terminated & the place to be unoccupied. Then you get to sue LL for breach b/c LL's actions resulted in you having to move before the end of the lease.

    §2357. No occupancy without certificate; appeal

    Subject to the provisions of Title 10, chapter 951, a new building may not be occupied until the inspector of buildings has given a certificate that the same has been built in accordance with section 2353, and so as to be safe from fire. If the owner permits it to be so occupied without such certificate, the owner must be penalized in accordance with Title 30-A, section 4452. In case the inspector of buildings for any cause declines to give that certificate and the builder has in the builder's own judgment complied with section 2353, an appeal may be taken to the municipal officers and, if on such appeal it is decided by them that the section has been complied with, the owner of the building is not liable to a fine for want of the certificate of the inspector.

    This post does not constitute legal advice, nor does it create an attorney-client relationship. Postings are based only on the information provided and you should consult an attorney in your area before relying on information contained in this post.
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