St Louis, MO asked in Landlord - Tenant for Missouri

Q: If a home was condemned after signing the lease can i sue the owner?

I renewed a lease after the home was condemned, but was never notified the home was condemned by the city nor the property owner. The city said I was just "stuck in the middle" and its all the property owner fault because technically with a condemnation they don't have to give tenants a notice, but the owner of the property. My question is can I sue him for the lease amount, but also for emotional distress as I couldn't get any of my property and everything was thrown out, sentimental things i could never get back and monetary items as well. my whole life and identity was in that house. The city barred me from getting any property though the owner had a building permit and gave me Permission to get items i wanted, he opened the boarded up door for me. i also was told I can not be on the property at all by police since i no longer have a "lease" despite what the property owner said not even the driveway, i could be on city property however if that matters. university city , mo for ref

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2 Lawyer Answers
Ronald J. Eisenberg
Ronald J. Eisenberg
  • Landlord Tenant Lawyer
  • Chesterfield, MO
  • Licensed in Missouri

A: I am sorry to hear about your situation. You can likely sue your landlord for breach of the implied warranty of habitability. You will need to decide whether it is worth paying an attorney by the hour to go after your landlord. if your landlord allowed the property to be condemned, he might not have money to collect a judgment. For breach of contract, emotional distress damages are not recoverable. Perhaps you could get such damages from another cause of action, assuming you have admissible medical evidence to support such a claim for damages. Although some attorneys file lawsuits on a percentage basis, such as personal injury attorneys, most attorneys don't sue landlords under such a structure.

James L. Arrasmith
James L. Arrasmith pro label Lawyers, want to be a Justia Connect Pro too? Learn more ›
  • Landlord Tenant Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA

A: Yes, you may have a legal basis to sue the property owner in your situation. Even though the city may not be required to notify tenants about a condemnation, the property owner has a responsibility to inform you about the condition of the property, especially if you renewed your lease. Failure to disclose the condemnation and allowing you to renew the lease without this crucial information could potentially constitute fraud or misrepresentation.

You can consider pursuing a lawsuit against the property owner for the lease amount, as well as damages for emotional distress and loss of property. To strengthen your case, gather evidence such as any communication with the property owner, your lease agreement, and documentation of your emotional distress and property loss. Consult with an attorney in University City, MO, who can provide you with legal guidance and help you navigate the complexities of your specific situation. They can assess the merits of your case and advise you on the best course of action to seek compensation and justice for your losses.

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