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  1. #1
    slstafford Guest

    What is the definition of common area?

    What is the name of your state?Nh
    After I told my landlord I was withholding the rent for multiple problems with the apartment including leaking roof, stairs to cellar are all broken and some stairs don't even have 6" wide to them, broken windows that have been here since I moved in 2 years ago that he promised he would fix, he never insulated the old laundry chute so cold wind comes up through, and he changed the lock on the back door where we come in and didn't even tell us. He gave me a notice to quit and a demand for rent plus he wrote that I have to remove my belongings in 7 days from the cellar if the stairs are dangerous and everything out of my hall in 7 days, none of which are within the walking area or blocking any exits. He stated the cellar and the hall both of which are only belonging to my apartment are common areas. What are the laws for this?
  2. #2
    HomeGuru is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by slstafford
    What is the name of your state?Nh
    After I told my landlord I was withholding the rent for multiple problems with the apartment including leaking roof, stairs to cellar are all broken and some stairs don't even have 6" wide to them, broken windows that have been here since I moved in 2 years ago that he promised he would fix, he never insulated the old laundry chute so cold wind comes up through, and he changed the lock on the back door where we come in and didn't even tell us. He gave me a notice to quit and a demand for rent plus he wrote that I have to remove my belongings in 7 days from the cellar if the stairs are dangerous and everything out of my hall in 7 days, none of which are within the walking area or blocking any exits. He stated the cellar and the hall both of which are only belonging to my apartment are common areas. What are the laws for this?
    **A: after you read the NH L/T law, come back and post your specific question.
  3. #3
    slstafford Guest
    I did and it doesn't state anywhere what exactly is considered common area. The only thing I found was for tenants of places that share kitchens, bathrooms and such. My specific question was what is considered common area. If the basement is only accesible from my apartment and the only apartment the stairs lead to is mine then are they still common area?
  4. #4
    HomeGuru is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by slstafford
    I did and it doesn't state anywhere what exactly is considered common area. The only thing I found was for tenants of places that share kitchens, bathrooms and such. My specific question was what is considered common area. If the basement is only accesible from my apartment and the only apartment the stairs lead to is mine then are they still common area?
    **A: yes, it is considerd a limited common area. If your lease specifically includes the rental space of the cellar and basement, than those spaces are considered your lease premises. Why are you searching for excuses? Pay your rent.
  5. #5
    slstafford Guest
    Since you liked this question so much.
    Where is your head?????
    He already got the rent. Plus here it is May 16th and still no repairs which even after telling him I was withholding the rent he does nothing to repair the apartment within the 14 days. Please keep your snide remarks to yourself.
  6. #6
    HomeGuru is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by slstafford
    Since you liked this question so much.
    Where is your head?????

    **A: I am using it to read the NH L/T law, something which you know nothing about.
    ********

    He already got the rent. Plus here it is May 16th and still no repairs which even after telling him I was withholding the rent he does nothing to repair the apartment within the 14 days.

    **A: where are you getting the 14 day period from? Is it from the same law that allows a tenant to orally "tell" a landlord to repair things?
    ************

    Please keep your snide remarks to yourself.
    **A: do you want help or not? Do you want to know why no one else is helping you?
  7. #7
    slstafford Guest
    Here is where I get 14 days.
    TITLE LV
    PROCEEDINGS IN SPECIAL CASES
    CHAPTER 540
    ACTIONS AGAINST TENANTS
    Section 540:13-d
    540:13-d Defenses to Violations of Fitness.
    I. No action for possession based on non-payment of rent shall be maintained in regard to any premises leased or rented for residential purposes, other than for vacation or recreation, if such premises are in substantial violation of the standards of fitness for health and safety set forth in RSA 48-A or in local codes, ordinances or bylaws established pursuant thereto, and such violation materially affects the habitability of said premises, provided that:
    (a) The tenant proves by clear and convincing evidence that, while not in arrears in rent, he provided notice of the violation to the person to whom he customarily pays rent; and
    (b) The landlord failed to correct the violations within 14 days of the receipt of such written notice or, in an emergency, as promptly as conditions require; and (c) The violations were not caused by the tenant, a member of the tenant's family or other person on the premises with the tenant's consent; and
    (d) Necessary repairs have not been prevented due to extreme weather conditions or due to the failure of the tenant to allow the landlord reasonable access to the premises.
  8. #8
    HomeGuru is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by slstafford
    Here is where I get 14 days.
    TITLE LV
    PROCEEDINGS IN SPECIAL CASES
    CHAPTER 540
    ACTIONS AGAINST TENANTS
    Section 540:13-d
    540:13-d Defenses to Violations of Fitness.
    I. No action for possession based on non-payment of rent shall be maintained in regard to any premises leased or rented for residential purposes, other than for vacation or recreation, if such premises are in substantial violation of the standards of fitness for health and safety set forth in RSA 48-A or in local codes, ordinances or bylaws established pursuant thereto, and such violation materially affects the habitability of said premises, provided that:
    (a) The tenant proves by clear and convincing evidence that, while not in arrears in rent, he provided notice of the violation to the person to whom he customarily pays rent; and
    (b) The landlord failed to correct the violations within 14 days of the receipt of such written notice or, in an emergency, as promptly as conditions require; and (c) The violations were not caused by the tenant, a member of the tenant's family or other person on the premises with the tenant's consent; and
    (d) Necessary repairs have not been prevented due to extreme weather conditions or due to the failure of the tenant to allow the landlord reasonable access to the premises.

    **A: thank you. You have just proven my point.
    Read again 540:13d (1)b
  9. #9
    slstafford Guest
    I know what you are getting at but he already recieved the rent from this month by taking the check from the other post so I am not behind on rent has still not done any repairs is what I am trying to say.
    You are trying to point out the non-payment of rent which will not apply until June now because he got the money. He recieved the notice of rent withholding on May 2nd and here it is now May 17th and nothing has even been attempted to be fixed.
    So where am I wrong in reading that? Before you go off on this has nothing to do with the original post, Yes it does because one of the things I mentioned needing to be fixed was the stairs to the cellar. These stairs are definately not up to code.
  10. #10
    JETX is offline Senior Member
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    Okay, lets cut to the chase on this.....
    "He stated the cellar and the hall both of which are only belonging to my apartment are common areas. What are the laws for this?"
    "What is the definition of common area?"

    *** The 'common area' is any area of the property that is NOT leased to a particular person. This would include any open areas of the basement, hallways, parking lot, grounds outside the buildings, etc. Simply, any area that is accessible to others.... and NOT specifically included in your lease. And since you have NO rights to put or store your property in the common areas, the landlord is well within his/her rights to demand that you remove it.
  11. #11
    HomeGuru is offline Senior Member
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    AND L must correct the violations after WRITTEN NOTICE.
    Your post stated that you told L, therefore telling L is not proper written notice purusant to the NH L/T law.
    So consider this "snide remark"; follow the law or else you will have no case such as your current situation.
  12. #12
    slstafford Guest
    Ok so he still has to fix common areas. That is pretty much what I needed to know. The basement area is included in the lease and my stuff is already out of it but if my circuit breaker goes I still have to use those stairs. Without realizing it you actually helped me. By the way the stairs was a written notice on May 2nd. I am sorry if I miss stated that above.
  13. #13
    JETX is offline Senior Member
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    "Without realizing it you actually helped me."
    *** That makes it sound like we were never trying to 'help' you which is simply NOT the truth. We have tried REPEATEDLY to help you... even to the point of holding your hand and leading you to the answers (in your other post). You simply didn't like the answers you got.
    And you still simply do not 'get it', do you??? You have NO justification for withholding your rent payment AND you have no claim against the landlord for processing your previously NSF check AND the landlord has EVERY right to demand you remove your improperly stored 'stuff' from the common area.

    I would suggest you get an immediate 'attitude adjustment' and try to resolve these issues, or you will very shortly find yourself in dire need of a new place to live.
  14. #14
    slstafford Guest
    I will not get an attitude adjustment. I have the housing codes for my state and the ordinances for my town and both state that even common areas have to be kept up to code. I have had an attorney get a hold and come by the house and I do have merit for withholding the rent.
  15. #15
    JETX is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by slstafford
    I will not get an attitude adjustment. I have the housing codes for my state and the ordinances for my town and both state that even common areas have to be kept up to code. I have had an attorney get a hold and come by the house and I do have merit for withholding the rent.
    Wow, you really know how to 'spin and dodge', don't you??

    First, no one said that the common areas don't have to be kept up to code. In fact, that issue is NOWHERE in this thread until now. Your thread was:
    "He gave me a notice to quit and a demand for rent plus he wrote that I have to remove my belongings in 7 days from the cellar if the stairs are dangerous and everything out of my hall in 7 days, none of which are within the walking area or blocking any exits. He stated the cellar and the hall both of which are only belonging to my apartment are common areas. What are the laws for this?"
    Now you have 'spun' it into a 'code enforcement' issue!!

    Second, no one has doubted that your complaints to the landlord didn't have 'merit'. Only that, BASED ON YOUR POST, you did not have a valid legal justification to withhold rent. And guess what.... that wasn't even your first issue in that other thread of yours. It was asking if the landlords submittal of a prior NSF check was illegal (it isn't).

    So, now you have taken two threads and turned them 180 in trying to bend them to fit your ever-changing issues. You twist and turn more than any circus contortionist!!

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