can you terminate lease early due to false advertising?

ajminck21May 9, 2009

I moved into an apartment last June. On the website, in the newspaper and on the contract it states NO PETS. After moving in I discover that just about every single tenant has animals! My downstairs neighbor had 2 German shepherds that barked all the time. They would leave the dog outside tied to a pipe or something and every time I would try to scoot past the one dog to get in my door he would growl and bark and lunge at me. Also, they never cleaned up the dogs feces and both myself, fiancee and friends stepped in it numerous times! I wrote the landlord a letter telling him about the dogs and nothing was ever done! I called the rental office and asked about terminating my lease early and was told the only penalty I would face would be that my deposit would not be returned to me. Unfortunately I didn't get it in writing and now am being billed 2 months rent plus an $860 administrative fee for "skipping"! Any way I would win in court for the apartment company false advertising? Thank you for any help!

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Funny, I remembered I'd just read a section in Every Tenant's Legal Guide about false advertising. I looked it up, and while the chapter deals with repairs, it kind of touches on your problem. Apparently, if a landlord advertises something, like cable TV, he's required to keep it working; if not, you can repair it yourself and sue in small claims court.

It's not the same issue (when have you ever read a guide that addresses your exact problem? :o), but I think it's close. You moved in on the expectation that you'd have no neighbors' pets to deal with (and no odors from previous pets in your unit), and that's not how it worked. You should be able to sue in small claims for everything; the two months plus the admin fee. Just make sure you print out the web page, cut out the newspaper ad, and obviously bring a copy of your lease. Maybe get hold of the book and copy the section on advertising promises.

    Bookmark   May 9, 2009 at 9:34PM
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You signed the lease last June, it is May, MOVE instead of renewing the lease.

Read your lease, it has something in there about not renewing your lease. Most say 30 or 60 day written notice. Your landlord wouldn't be saying "skipping" for no reason.

You lived in the no pets building for a year and let it go.

Maybe try small claims court

    Bookmark   May 11, 2009 at 3:43PM
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They might argue that all new tenants are not allowed pets, but that it doesn't apply to tenants who have renewed. If you had something in writing (or maybe a person's name at least) you'd probably be fine, but since you don't, they'll just refer to the lease. Maybe just having a lawyer contact them about you taking them to court will get you somewhere. Good luck!

    Bookmark   May 12, 2009 at 9:18AM
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I agree about trying to get a lawyer. Some will give free conseltation. Call around to find one. Maybe call small claims court and ask them your rights in the situation.

    Bookmark   June 2, 2009 at 10:37PM
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These types of things is exactly why I do not do apartment living anymore.

    Bookmark   June 20, 2009 at 4:31PM
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