Landlords legal responsibilities…

By Martin

Upon our marriage and purchase of our new home in August 08, my husband moved out of his apartment after 10 years there. He had just renewed his lease in May 08, making them aware that he would be moving in August. They would not allow him anything less than a years lease, but told him they’d get another tenant in asap (it’s on the beach) and he wouldn’t be held to the lease then. Well, my husband paid all of August, and generously paid September too, because they decided to renovate the apartment after he left. Well, every time we drove by it was STILL under renovation. Neighbors told us the workers come on occasion and nobody was in any hurry to get the renovations done as long as they were getting money from my husband…. they weren’t even trying to rent it. It has now been 3 1/2 months and the place is finally up for rent, but this renovation should NOT have taken this long, it is an extremely small apartment with no luxuries. They have not communicated with us for all this time until today, by letter wanting payment for Oct and Nov. rent! Is this legal to unreasonably “sit” on a place instead of securing a new tenant, renovating at their leisure at my husbands expense?  They knew 3 months prior he was moving but unfortunately it was not put in writing at the lease re-signing. They have not been communicative or respond to calls. They also kept the security deposit.  This just seems like bad business practices that need attention. The rental company refuses to allow us to speak to the owner of the property as well. Please advise.

Edited on: Friday, September 17th, 2010 2:54 pm

2 Responses to “Landlords legal responsibilities…”

My response: (We welcome stories, examples, explanations, answers and a touch of your personality)

Gary Hepworth

November 18th, 2008 7:04 am

To answer the question about legalities, yes they can do that. Is it illegal to delay renting a place, not necessarily– it is definetly unethical!
I would suggest doing the following:
1) File an apartment complaint against your property manager
2) In the complaint state that the property manager has been unethically slow with finding a tenant. (State the time-frames you mentioned above)
3) Resolution: Request that the agent investigate how the property was being marketed, and request that the property manager show how/ why tenant was responsible for rent payments during renovations.
4) I would suggest you add the option to have a certified letter delivered to the property manager from the RPA. (This is an option you can add to your complaint)
5) Take it one further step– State that management has had ample time to find a new tenant based on rent market conditions. Tenant is requesting that through Mediation the property manager agree to stop charging tenant for any future rents. Failure to do so may result in further legal action.
This should get your property manager in some hot water. I’m sure the Investigating Agent will hold your manager responsible to reasonable time-frames. If nothing is done, you will continue to have to pay your rent. Now go file an apartment complaint– don’t forget to add the “Certified Letter” option.


November 19th, 2008 8:52 am

It doesn’t seem right that you would be charged during the time the unit is being re-finished. I would suggest filing a landlord complaint as mentioned above. I would bet that the manager will continue to charge your husband through the end of the contract unless you put your foot down.
Good Luck!


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