Q: Does an apartment not providing timely repairs and not fully helping with noise issues let us break our lease?
At the apartment I am currently living in, in Oregon I am having issues with the apartment complex fixing issues in our apartment in a timely manner. For example, we put a maintenance request in June and they still not been completed. We also have been having noise issues with our Neighbors since May and have been updating our current apartment complex every couple weeks or so with very little support. There is a second neighbor with the same issue. While the apartment complex told us they are talking to our neighbor about it, nothing besides that has been done. It has been so bad that we have not been able to sleep in our own bedroom and have been in the living room to escape the noise. We decided to move out so we can escape these issues. To do this though we have to break our current lease and have been told that we have to pay a fee of terminating the lease. I just wanted to see if we could deny paying the fee since the reason we are moving is due to these issues.
A: Under Oregon Law your landlord has to complete repairs within a reasonable timeframe. If you have not followed up on your repair request that you made in June, you should do that. If you have spoken with your landlord about requesting a similar unit to what you are renting now in a different part of the complex, your landlord maybe amendable to allowing you to move to a different unit similar/ comparable to what you are currently renting. If you have not spoken with a local landlord tenant attorney you should because additional facts would be needed to determine if your landlord has been unreasonable in fixing the repair your requested. It is unlikely that your landlord would not charge you the lease break fee as stated in the your lease agreement, but you could potentially negotiate a lower amount due to the violation of quiet enjoyment.
Gregory Abbott agrees with this answer
A: The key to getting repairs made is persistence and good documentation. Ultimately, if absolutely necessary, you can seek a judicial order requiring the landlord to make the repairs. You may, however, be entitled to pay reduced rent while the defects persist. The same with the noise issue. The landlord has the right to charge a lease break fee if it is listed in a written rental agreement but may be agreeable to waive it in exchange for your waiving claims against it for the repairs and/or noise issues. Consider reviewing everything with a local landlord-tenant attorney.
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