As the fall season begins, it's time for the return of Ask Curbed. Got a question about real estate, development, or your neighborhood that no one else can answer? Send it along to firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll see what we can do.
A Curbed reader emails a poignant (aren't they all?) rental query:
I recently rented an apt. and moved in by august 29th. its a top floor of a walkup building, very quiet (great! no noisy neighbors upstairs...we thought). Last Friday (a week after i signed the lease) I started to hear a lot of noise coming from the rooftop, metal banging, heavy footsteps and other construction related noises. On my way out the building i saw that the super taped a work permit on the main door: the roof and the parapet of the building will be fixed/replaced and the noise will last, according to the supper, from two to eight months.
The problem is that my wife and I work several days a week from our
apartment and she is also in her last year of school and spends almost everyday studying at home. If we were working full time in an office the noise wouldn't be a problem, but since we work/study from home the noise will be a major issue for us.
my questions are:
1. Is it legal for a landlord to rent an apartment without telling the renter about this kind of situation? By the time I signed the lease they knew about the construction and how long would it last but they failed to tell us. If I knew about this I would have never rented the place.
2. is there a legal way to solve this? (I know that calling 311 wont do anything) I was thinking of talking directly with the landlord to maybe get my rent reduced in half (too much?) during the noisy months or just try to find a new place and make them pay for my move (about 600$)?
Any help will be highly appreciated.