Q: My landlord is finishing our basement in our townhome while we live there, is that legal?
We rented a townhouse in Draper UT in November 2020. It is a 3 bedroom, 2 1/2 bath, with an unfinished basement. In late September 2021 new management took over the property (without notice to the residence, we got notice the day the transfer of ownership took place). At this exact same time our water heater went out and we were without hot water for 2 weeks before the water heater was finally replaced by new management.
In December 2021 we received a notice on our door that they had decided to finish all the unfinished basements and would begin work at the end of January 2022. At the beginning of January 2022, I called the office to see when construction would be starting. They had moved it up to mid-January instead of the end. We were told to put all our storage in the garage (now we have to park in the driveway) and that the project would only take 2 - 3 weeks to complete. It is now March 10th and all that has been done is the framework, shower lining installation, and electric
Your relationship with your Landlord is governed by the rental agreement. There are a few different issues that could affect the outcome of the issues you presented. If your lease has expired for example, you may be living in the property on a month to month basis. In that case, the landlord would only need to give you at least 15 days notice to leave prior to the end of the month. Perhaps in that case the landlord hoped you would stay while they did the work, but they know they can evict if necessary to complete the work.
Another issue is whether the agreement allows the landlord to make repairs and improvements to the property.
Another issue is whether the landlord promised you a garage in exchange for the rent. In this case, the landlord has not given you what they promised. You can demand a partial refund for failure to fulfil the contract.
You may also have the option of terminating the lease early due to a breach by the landlord.
The main concern is whether these issues have already been addressed in the contract. You will need to have someone look at your contract to give you a good answer to your question.
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