Please help! I need to break my lease

iluvrainFebruary 22, 2008

Hello, I rented an apt in the 4th street area of Long Beach, CA which is turning into a nightmare in the two months I have been here. I feel so desperate, and I don't know what I can do.

First off, during a recent heavy rain I found out the breakers are old and outdated.. plus my electric is wired to the upstairs neighbor's apt... why I do not know. I called and had it put in my name, and the Edison tech told me this information.

The breakers went out three times very late one rainy night between 2 am and 3:30 am. I am a single female, and this was very scary for me. The building is a four-plex, and my unit is the bottom back unit. It does have safety bars installed.

Reason number two: There is a common area between my building and another four-plex very close next door.. we share the same back entry, and my kitchen, alcove and bathroom windows face that building... as well as my back door.

The neighbors next door have many kids ranging in age from 5 to about 14. I was told that there were kids around and that sometimes they "play" there.

Well if you call four 14 year old boys throwing a soccer ball full force at my windows and kitchen door for 2 hours every day. It sounds like rattling sonic booms. I feel as thou I am holed up in a city that is being bombed and attacked and my space is totally being invaded and will never be respected.

I asked them firmly and nicely to please stop throwing the ball at my windows because they might break and they looked at me very hostile like, but said " sorry" then started again. I have been cursed at numerous times, and the garden I was going to plant next to the kitchen door is now a absurd fantasy.

I don't think their family speaks english and I do not want to get involved in a neighbor dispute with these people as I do not know what they may be capable of doing to me. They sit on my steps and block the entrance, park a motorcycle in front of the trash cans in such a way that makes it hard to get the bin out to the street on garbage day.

I am in recovery from Leukemia in 2005, and I need a safe place to live. This is not it. I haves friends stay over as often as possible here now because of all this.

My landlord actually seems like a understanding and fair person, who is unaware of this having bought the building recently, and I am wondering how best I might approach him with this, so I can look elsewhere.

O I do not feel ok calling the Police on these people. I value my life, so that is not an option. If I get a judge to say I have gone insane because of asll this can I get out of the lease? lol- did I mention I am at my wits end, and this is not good for my health.

thanks!

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lucy

First of all, have you asked your landlord if there is another unit you might be able to switch to (though I'd be very careful as you might end up dealing with noise upstairs or something else) and/or asked him outright to get out of the lease? Have you had your MD write a note for him saying you cannot stay because of your health and therefore have to give 30 days notice? And I am a bit curious - when you signed the lease, didn't you appreciate where the apt. was in relation to everything else (if not kids)? It is probably unrealistic to expect them to 'behave' well - they probably have nowhere else to go.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2008 at 5:22AM
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talley_sue_nyc

well, kicking the ball against a wall is not "having nowhere else to go." Little kids kicking the ball on the ground back and force to one another, or riding trike and squealing--those actually, depending on one's personality, could be pleasant noises to hear outside one's home.

And I think you need *first* to tell your landlord of the problem. Documentation (setting up a video camera, or something) might provide him w/ a tool to use against the other tenants.

So, if you can, try to get video of the problems, and put that on a disk. Or take a snapshot of the motorcycle, and print it out (or get a print made, if you use film). Write a letter to the landlord detailing these problems. Tell him the time of day the kids play, and request that he come and see it for himself.

Tell him you fear that these other tenants will act against you if they suspect you have complained, and request that he investigate these things directly himself, so that the complaints can be clearly seen to be coming from him, independent of you.

Then ask if you can move to another unit.

Then you have to give him time to fix it, if you want to break the lease without being forced to pay the rent until he finds a new tenant.

Your landlord certain doesn't want someone kicking a ball against his wall, so he needs to know. And does he know about the problem w/ the breakers?

In order to have any legal leg to stand on, you have to give him a chance to fix these problems.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2008 at 10:15AM
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