SRS OT law crew: Terminating an apartment lease early.

Discussion in 'On Topic' started by nicklk, Jul 21, 2009.

  1. nicklk

    nicklk New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2004
    Messages:
    23,760
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Denver, CO
    Back story:

    My gf and I moved from Denver to Gillette, Wyoming almost a year ago. We looked around all over the place for apartments to move into, and everything was insanely expensive, beyond our means.

    We then found a brand new apartment complex, that wasnt finished with all construction, that had only about 25% of the occupancy filled (Mainly white people, workers that shared our same work hours ie. would be going to bed at a farely decent time) We really liked the area, the rent was reasonable, and some of the perks is that it would include cable TV and high speed internet (which could essentially save $200/month compared to anywhere else). We chose an apartment that faced the middle playground area, so that our 5 year old boy could play on and it we didnt have to go across the apt complex for him to go and play on in the summer. So we signed a 12 month lease, out of frustration, and knowing that we REALLY liked the apartment and it was perfect for us and our living conditions.

    Since the day we signed the lease, it has gone downhill. I cant even start to explain everything that has gone wrong with this place. So I will start a list.
    -Within the first two months of moving in, they had to come in to fix our heating because the pressure wasnt being equalized between rooms with the way they built the units, and each time they came in, they gave us less then 24 hours of notice before they came in.

    -We've had people come in to our apartment without notice, with a single knock on the door to change out air filters.

    -Since Janurary, a VERY large amount of hispanics have been moving to the apartment complex. When I say VERY, some of the apartments will have 4-5 adults in each apartment. And follows with them is kids, usually unattended. They have parties outside int he play area and volleyball court EVERY night upwards to midnight and we can hear them scream and yell all night long.

    -With that many people in the complex, that means there is NO parking anywhere close to the vacinity of your entrance.

    -Their high speed internet consists of ONE T1 line, that thens gets broadcasted to 216 apartments. And who knows how many apartments have numerous computers......you get the jist. At times, we can only connect at 30kbs. And we have no option on getting our own services because of how they designed the apartments communications.

    -Same thing goes with the cable tv. They have two dish network units that are shared between all the apartments. And since we moved in, almost a year ago.....it went from about 40 channels of english speaking channels, to 30/10 english to spanish speaking channels....and is regularly off line because of missalignment of the satellite. Once again, we cant upgrade to our services.

    These are just the icing on the cake, we have NUMEROUS other things that have happened that has made us completely hate this complex.

    Well, we found a house we want to rent downtown, but we have two months left on our lease. There is a section in the lease that says word for word.

    "Monthly rent $1150.00 Pro-rata rent for move-in $593.54 for Oct 16th to Oct 31st Administrative Fee $125 Late Fee $50.00 plus $5.00 per day after and inclusive of the 5th day of each month. Month to Month Fee $100.00 Early termination of lease fee $200.00 Security deposit $500.00 NSF Fee $40.00 Service of Notice Fee $25.00"

    Well we put in our 30 days on Friday, the 16th. And the lady at the front desk said she was sure that we were still responsible for the remaining rent, I was like :ugh: WTF is the reasoning behind a Early Termination Fee thats in our signed contract, and STILL have to pay the remaining two months rents.

    Soo.....my question, what is their legal holding to us continuing the payment of the remaining rent if we pay the early termination of lease fee?

    Any help would be great! :bigthumb:
     
  2. uneek

    uneek OT Supporter

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2003
    Messages:
    12,002
    Likes Received:
    0
    I'd go to the office & tell them everything you've said here. Tell them the condition of the apartment & the property has materially changed from what you agreed to lease & you will give them 30 days rent as a courtesy but no more. have you complained at all previously? if not, a tougher sell, but I think you can still make your case

    don't budge. if they threaten you then tell them you will counter sue for everything you mentioned & whether it's worth them to fight over $200 and 1 months rent that they will have to mitigate anyway, it's worth it to you to fight on principal.

    that's what I would do anyway. they will probably hold onto your security deposit, so figure if you want to fight them on that or not. you could try & take the position that the apartment is in good shape so you are giving them 15 days rent and they can keep the deposit as the other 15th for a total of 30 days.
     
  3. nicklk

    nicklk New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2004
    Messages:
    23,760
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Denver, CO
    We have already mentioned ALL of this to the property manager in April. And I have also been in there two other times complaining about the internet speeds, and the parking. Two times each.

    Another thing to add to the list, is that they had so many things going in completely different ways when we moved in, that they gave us a renewal notice that our lease had expired on 4/30/09. As they had on their end that we had only signed a 6 month lease. We had tried VERY hard to find another location to move to, and were exhausted to the point that we couldnt find anything and we went in and said that we truly had signed a 12 month lease and not 6. Just another thing on their end, just had nothing organized.

    And I thought of another complaint/problem we have had with in the past. The guy/person that rents the apartment adjacent to our bedroom, snores so loud that we can hear him through the wall at night. Just the quality of the insulation/wall construction is horrible.
     
  4. uneek

    uneek OT Supporter

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2003
    Messages:
    12,002
    Likes Received:
    0
    I would just tell them things have gotten worse to the point where the apartment is no longer anywhere close to what you signed on for & you are terminating the lease. The important point is that the apartment & overall state of the property doesn't resemble what you agreed to lease. It hasn't been kept up, the promised amenities were not provided, etc. I'd emphasize the 30 days is against your better judgment but in the interests of being polite & up front you will offer that, but no more.

    go in armed- that is, find out what it would cost you to have high speed internet at another apartment complex, and also what parking would cost in another place. since it sounds like they advertised both as a feature of the complex. i.e. if you rented from a similar place that itemized & internet would be $50/mo and parking would be $50/mo that's $100/mo, plus the cable for another $50 so $150/mo, times however many months this has been going on. if they argue, I would mention it to them, otherwise I would keep it to yourself & just speak generally, without any dollar figures- i.e. don't reveal all your cards unless you get push back. if they really press the issue then tell I'd also say you are also aware of the occupancy issues that they are having & one of the reasons you are not comfortable living there anymore is because of the large number of people living in single units & the health & safety concerns that you have. at some point you may have to say that they have your offer & you are leaving one way or the other but if they insist on pressing the issue then you will withdraw the courtesy.

    obviously there are two sides to every story but I would think the lessors would have to be insane to turn down 30 days free rent given that the units appear to be filling up fast & they can flip the place pretty quickly. maybe I am misreading your post but sounds to me like you will actually have 2+ months on the lease when you leave so you are basically splitting the difference (minus the penalty that you should refuse to pay imo)
     
  5. Ameter

    Ameter Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2005
    Messages:
    97,795
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Calgary, AB
    Tell them that they violated the lease agreement by repeatedly entering your premises without proper notice, and therefore, it is null and void. They are getting no early termination fee and no final amount of the rent, and if they attempt to withhold your security deposit, you will sue them both for the deposit and for punitive damages resulting from their behavior.
     
  6. Ameter

    Ameter Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2005
    Messages:
    97,795
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Calgary, AB
    Everything else you're complaining about, however, is not grounds to break a lease, so don't bank on that.
     
  7. GregFarz78

    GregFarz78 New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2002
    Messages:
    64,128
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Philly, PA
    Are you sure you don't have to give 60 days notice? Around here anyway its 60 days notice
     
  8. nicklk

    nicklk New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2004
    Messages:
    23,760
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Denver, CO
    That was our battle the second time they entered the premises without notice, and its in the lease they can enter without notice :madfawk:

    "Ownter may enter the premises during reasonable hours with or without notice in order to inspect, make repairs, provide general or preventative maintenance, replace filters, and leave any notices or other reasonable business purposes while Resident is present in the Premises. If resident is not present at the premises, the Owner will have the same right to make such entries by duplicate or master key but will leave written notice of and the reason for any such entry made"

    The issue with this is that the filter replacement, which the guy knocked once.....then came in with a key. The apartment complex sent a news letter stating that the filters in the apartments needed to be changed. That either I could change them myself, or maintenance could change them for us. I checked that I would change them myself and signed the agreement.......and yet he still came in. The other instance was my gf was at home and someoen knocked on the door (we have no peep hole in our door) so she didnt answer the door without me there. And then the lease manager unlocked the door and came in, to drop off a Christmas card!
     
  9. nicklk

    nicklk New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2004
    Messages:
    23,760
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Denver, CO
    30 day notice.
     
  10. Ameter

    Ameter Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2005
    Messages:
    97,795
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Calgary, AB
    A lease cannot violate law. If there is a provision in the lease which is contrary to law, then the lease does not hold.

    Furthermore, you have several cases where they entered without notice, and not to perform repairs, etc.
     
  11. Ameter

    Ameter Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2005
    Messages:
    97,795
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Calgary, AB
    I would check your local laws to make sure. Also, there is usually a landlord/tenant advisory board that you can call to find out your rights/responsibilities
     
  12. uneek

    uneek OT Supporter

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2003
    Messages:
    12,002
    Likes Received:
    0
    are you sure? the landlord doesn't seem to have provided the advertised amenities, nor kept the property in the condition that a reasonable person (presuming that the TS has the judgment of a reasonable person) would expect as part of the lease. it also seems like the conditions have steadily gone downhill. my legal knowledge is limited but to me all of the above points to a breach. I'd be pressed to cite precedent but I'm sure I could given time to look around. I distinctly remember at least one such case
     
  13. Ameter

    Ameter Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2005
    Messages:
    97,795
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Calgary, AB
    no? It includes cable TV and internet

    They have 40 channels and internet. The apartment complex is providing what they promised.

    Claiming that the neighbors have changed and you don't like the new ones isn't grounds for breaking a lease, but it's fair enough reason to not want to continue on there, which is why most complexes will screen tenants.

    Claiming that it has become more crowded since they moved in is something any reasonable judge would laugh at, since no reasonable person could expect them to maintain 25% occupancy.
     
  14. uneek

    uneek OT Supporter

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2003
    Messages:
    12,002
    Likes Received:
    0
    the highspeed internet is not highspeed, the cable programming was changed & the TS says it is frequently offline. not to mention the entire makeup of the complex has changed- not just the neighbors but the way the TS describes it's the equivalent of going from family friendly housing to a student housing unit.
     
  15. Ameter

    Ameter Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2005
    Messages:
    97,795
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Calgary, AB
    30K/sec is high speed internet

    Furthermore, a T1 line is considered high-speed. The fact that it is shared amongst many users does not mean it's no longer high speed.

    The simple fact is, anything which is faster than dial-up is high speed.

    So what if the cable programming was changed? They still have cable. I feel certain the lease didn't specify which channels would be included.

    As for the entire makeup changing, unless the lease specified it was going to be a certain type of community, that's just the way things go. You don't get to move out just because you don't like your neighbors.
     
  16. uneek

    uneek OT Supporter

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2003
    Messages:
    12,002
    Likes Received:
    0
    my point is that the way things are in the complex now has materially changed from when the lease contract signed. I don't think there's too many people that would consider 30k high speed but that's beside the point. the complex doesn't resemble what was contracted for. IIRC there's a case where an apartment complex set up a playground and one of the tenants sued (and won), claiming that the playground was a material change to the complex & would alter the overall living situation from what it was at the time the lease was signed- therefore a material breach of the contract.

    going from bona fide high speed internet to 30k shared T1, losing 1/4 of your channels, and having a total makeover in the makeup of the tenants including overcrowding in the apartments are pretty significant imo but I'm not a lawyer so I'm suprised but your judgement is beyond mine.
     
  17. Ameter

    Ameter Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2005
    Messages:
    97,795
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Calgary, AB
    I'm no lawyer either, but I don't see any court upholding 'I moved in when the place was 25% occupied, and now that it's full, I don't like having this many people around. Things have been materially changed' holding up.

    It would be different had the place been near occupancy when they moved in
     
  18. kf4zht

    kf4zht New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2005
    Messages:
    979
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Jasper, GA
    The only thing that you mentioned that actually violates your lease is them entering without 24hrs notice. Unless you lease states that you have x number of english channels and x average internet speed those are not legal points. Arguing that too many hispanics moved in is against the fair housing act, unless they are illegal and you can prove it. Only other thing would be if there is a limit to how many people can share one dwelling, but those are easy to get around.

    Now if you pay the termination fee you should not have to pay any other rent but for the 60 days you live there.
     
  19. GuantanamoBay

    GuantanamoBay New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2009
    Messages:
    54
    Likes Received:
    0
    you might be out of luck, such a contract is usually very solid. These apartment guys have been in business for a long time. Just pay up and learn.
     
  20. katt_85

    katt_85 OT Supporter

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2004
    Messages:
    3,556
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Edmonton
    Contact your local landlord and tenant advisory board. They know the rules and can give you some information on what your rights are. Personally, I would take the new place regardless of your current lease and fight the old one on a termination fee AND having to pay the last two months rent. It should be either one or the other.
     

Share This Page