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  1. #1
    thehesbomb is offline Junior Member
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    Wanting to break lease with a slumlord

    What is the name of your state?What is the name of your state?What is the name of your state?What is the name of your state? : NH

    This letter that I am sending to the Code Inspector pretty much sums it up:

    To whom it may concern,

    I am writing to ask for an inspection of the apartment building in which we rent a unit. The property is located at 71 U. Street, and is owned by Mark W. M. We pay $1200/month for the apartment, as well as all utilities, with the exception of trash removal.

    Our chief concern is that the building is infested with rodents. We first brought this issue up with Mark M in October of 2005. He reasoned that it was normal to have rodents when you live in a building with dirt floors. I explained that we have three children living in the apartment, one of whom is asthmatic, and that rodent infestation was unacceptable. He did not remedy the problem, nor did he attempt to.

    We set out mouse traps and continue to catch mice, both in the basement and in our living space (kitchen and bathroom). I called Mark M again on January 14, 2006, asking him to address this problem. He again said it was "normal" to have rodents in a building with a dirt floor basement, but said that if we wanted to we could get a cat, as long as it was house-trained. We did consider this option, but do not feel that we can afford to adopt and financially support a cat, at this time.

    We also do not believe that the apartment is able to be safely and adequately heated to 65 degrees F, although we have not found a way to independently verify this. We have had to supplement the oil heat with electric "space heaters" to maintain a comfortably heated environment. There is also a propane heater in the kitchen which we are unable to use, as we have young children in the house. We discussed that with Mark M, prior to signing the lease. He said it was not necessary to use the propane heater to maintain adequate heat in the apartment.

    The ceiling in the kitchen is crumbling, and pieces have fallen onto our dining room table on several occasions. This is due to a leak in the bathroom of the apartment upstairs that occurred on 1/17/06 and flooded our kitchen with 1/4" of water.

    There is an outlet in the living room that is not working. We discovered this after the outlet burned the plug of a space heater that was plugged into it. The outlet has ceased functioning entirely.

    We also have concerns about mold growth. Our basement has flooded 5 times since moving into the apartment in August of 2005. The first time we called the landlord said to "wait it out" and that the water would recede within a couple of weeks. He did not provide a pump and we were forced to wait for the water to recede, as we could not afford one. In addition the recent flooding from the upstairs bathroom has not been addressed and we are concerned that mold will develop in the kitchen ceiling as well.

    We no longer feel that this apartment is in "safe, clean, and tenantable condition" as stipulated in the lease. We do not wish to live here anymore, due to these issues and the failure on the part of the landlord to remedy these problems, and wish to rescind ourselves from the lease without fear of legal action by Mark M.



    Do you think this is an okay letter? Do you think we can get out without being sued?
    Last edited by thehesbomb; 01-19-2006 at 11:18 AM. Reason: spelling!
  2. #2
    BL
    BL is offline Senior Member
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    You were doing OK up until the end .

    Your beef about rescinding tenancy is with the landlord , not code inspection .

    All you have to ask of the Code Enforcement , is to do an inspection .

    If the find the place uninhabitable , then you deal with the Landlord .

    You can request the landlord to let you out of your lease . If both of you agree , get it in writing , signed by both parties , and dated .

    Have you actually requested by RRR Certified Mail that the Landlord remedy these issues ? Keeping copies and receipts ?

    If not it's You said / he said , and you have no proof of your request .
  3. #3
    ENASNI is offline Senior Member
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    whoa

    Quote Originally Posted by Blonde Lebinese
    You were doing OK up until the end .

    Your beef about rescinding tenancy is with the landlord , not code inspection .

    All you have to ask of the Code Enforcement , is to do an inspection .

    If the find the place uninhabitable , then you deal with the Landlord .

    You can request the landlord to let you out of your lease . If both of you agree , get it in writing , signed by both parties , and dated .

    Have you actually requested by RRR Certified Mail that the Landlord remedy these issues ? Keeping copies and receipts ?

    If not it's You said / he said , and you have no proof of your request .

    Sir Blonde, get out of my head!
    Almost the same exact response was coming from my fingertips.
    I owe you a cup of joe for saving me key strokes!
  4. #4
    thehesbomb is offline Junior Member
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    I will take out the part about tenancy. I thought it was iffy too, which is why I wanted some opinions. The only "proof" per se, that I have, is phone records, indicating when calls were made to him. We are looking at another apartment this weekend, and I plan to send him a RRR letter on Monday (1/23/06) detailing the issues.

    Guess I am not sure if I should send the letter to the Health Dept. concurrently with the letter to the landlord...any ideas?
  5. #5
    ENASNI is offline Senior Member
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    Oooo

    Quote Originally Posted by thehesbomb
    I will take out the part about tenancy. I thought it was iffy too, which is why I wanted some opinions. The only "proof" per se, that I have, is phone records, indicating when calls were made to him. We are looking at another apartment this weekend, and I plan to send him a RRR letter on Monday (1/23/06) detailing the issues.

    Guess I am not sure if I should send the letter to the Health Dept. concurrently with the letter to the landlord...any ideas?

    You really should have written LL letters addressing these problems. Phone records are iffy. Maybe you were calling them to exchange meatloaf recipes?? Get it?
    Letters sent CRRR are much much bettter and can show a paper trail. You have to give your landlord a chance to fix the problems. if you left messages maybe their child was playing with the machine and erased them. Get it?

    Look I understand the frustration you have, but you have to see the other side as well.
  6. #6
    BL
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    We no longer feel that this apartment is in "safe, clean, and tenantable condition" as stipulated in the lease. We do not wish to live here anymore, due to these issues and the failure on the part of the landlord to remedy these problems, and wish to rescind ourselves from the lease without fear of legal action by Mark M.
    Look up your State's Landlord tenant laws , and READ your lease .

    Read the renters responsibilities and duties.
    Read the Landlord's responsibilities and duties .

    You State you are looking for another place this weekend .

    You have to get the inspection while you're a tenant living their .

    Without clear and convincing proof that there is such an issue , you can't use as constructive eviction , the LL will take you to court if you move before you lease is up , and you will have to prove the place was not livable .

    Look up constructive eviction .
  7. #7
    Gadfly is offline Senior Member
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    The whole bit about how much you pay and what it covers has nothing to do with the issue.
  8. #8
    thehesbomb is offline Junior Member
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    You really should have written LL letters addressing these problems. Phone records are iffy. Maybe you were calling them to exchange meatloaf recipes?? Get it?
    Letters sent CRRR are much much bettter and can show a paper trail. You have to give your landlord a chance to fix the problems. if you left messages maybe their child was playing with the machine and erased them. Get it?
    I do "get it". What I was explaining is that I do NOT have a paper trail. I realize I should, but if wishes were horses than beggars would ride.

    What I DO have is mouse feces all over my apartment, a freezing kitchen and living room, and a ceiling that is crumbling onto my dining room table. The refusal to address rodent infestation is a code violation, as is the crumbling ceiling.

    I did "READ" my lease. It has not helped.

    We are looking at an apartment that will become available on March 1st. We want to make sure that we have a place lined up, and not burn any bridges. ALthough this place is a vermin-infested hellhole it is also not us living in our cars with three kids.

    Thank you for the advice about "constructive eviction". I will look it up.
    Last edited by thehesbomb; 01-19-2006 at 03:43 PM. Reason: clarification
  9. #9
    BL
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    Quote Originally Posted by thehesbomb
    I do "get it". What I was explaining is that I do NOT have a paper trail. I realize I should, but if wishes were horses than beggars would ride.

    What I DO have is mouse feces all over my apartment, a freezing kitchen and living room, and a ceiling that is crumbling onto my dining room table. The refusal to address rodent infestation is a code violation, as is the crumbling ceiling.

    I did "READ" my lease. It has not helped.

    We are looking at an apartment that will become available on March 1st. We want to make sure that we have a place lined up, and not burn any bridges. ALthough this place is a vermin-infested hellhole it is also not us living in our cars with three kids.

    Thank you for the advice about "constructive eviction". I will look it up.
    While you're at it get the code inspector in there before you vacate , then request a copy of the code violation report .

    May I suggest when the code inspector is there , get his/her opinion as what they are citing and if the place is habitable .

    Also , READ your State's landlord tenant Law . You seem to be ignoring that .

    That will direct you on what you can expect a suit against .
    Last edited by BL; 01-19-2006 at 03:55 PM.
  10. #10
    thehesbomb is offline Junior Member
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    Also , READ your State's landlord tenant Law . You seem to be ignoring that .
    I am not ignoring it - I have been unable to find laws pertaining to this despite having scoured the internet for several hours today.
  11. #11
    BL
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    [url]http://www.nhhelpline.org/uthtips.cfm[/url]
  12. #12
    ENASNI is offline Senior Member
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    Lightbulb

    [url]http://gencourt.state.nh.us/rsa/html/NHTOC/NHTOC-LV-540.htm[/url]
  13. #13
    thehesbomb is offline Junior Member
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    Thanks for those links - unfortunately neither of them deal with laws pertaining to renter's rights. I have already reviewed several city codes that he is in violation of and continue not to be able to find LAWS that detail renter's rights and recourses.
  14. #14
    ENASNI is offline Senior Member
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    Question

    Quote Originally Posted by thehesbomb
    Thanks for those links - unfortunately neither of them deal with laws pertaining to renter's rights. I have already reviewed several city codes that he is in violation of and continue not to be able to find LAWS that detail renter's rights and recourses.

    [url]http://law.enotes.com/everyday-law-encyclopedia/90034#CONSTRUCTIVEEVICTION[/url]
    I am not sure if I completely vouch for this site,but it might help a little.

    Good luck.
  15. #15
    BL
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    What you want us to tell you ? Move ?

    You were already given advice ...... The code inspector's report/opinion will give you some insight .
    If the inspector's
    opinion/report state's the place is still habitable , you have NO cause to breach .

    You may have a cause for reduced rent until fixed .

    If the inspector advises inhabitable that he will report , go ahead and move .

    It's your choice either way .

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