Q: I plan on constructively evicting myself from my apartment, what is considered uninhabitable in order for me to do this?
Going on 3 months now, I have had a leak from my roof, they have come to "fix" it several times and i still have the same issue, with electrical wires being exposed very close to the leak, and the leak making puddles on my stairs causing me to fall, would that be considered uninhabitable? There is also mold but in Indiana i understand that the mold is not that big of a deal, they could clean it our paint over it but my issue is they have known about it for a while and have not done anything to fix it, is that enough "inhabitability" for me to move out and claim myself constructively evicted? I live in Fort Wayne IN
A: First off there is no such thing as 'constructively evicting yourself.' Constructive eviction occurs when a landlord fails to provide or maintain the rental premises in such a way that deprives the tenant of their rights to quiet enjoyment and/or violates the implied warranty of habitability.
Second, there is no hard or fast rule as to what constitutes constructive eviction. It will always be dependent on the specific facts of your case. If you live in unsafe conditions and have hurt yourself because of those conditions, you may have a basis for claiming that you have been constructively evicted. Every failure of your landlord to provide a safe and habitable property adds to your claim.
If you are planning on claiming constructive eviction you should document your communications with your landlord, as well as all the problems you have experienced in your home. Take clear pictures that are instantly recognizable as to what the viewer is looking at. Inform your landlord of their failure to remedy your list of problems and give them a reasonable time to fix the issues. If your landlord refuses or fails to fix these issues, you have a better basis to move.
Do no expect your landlord to let you out of the lease just because you claim constructive eviction. Always consult with a local landlord/tenant attorney to review your claims and evidence. Obtain legal advice and possible representation.
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