Apartment in Construction: Your Rights as a Tenant

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You might welcome the fact that your apartment is in construction, because the landlord is either remodeling the apartment or fixing repairs that will improve your living space. What you may not appreciate is the fact that you may have to leave the apartment temporarily.  Moving to a new place even for a short time can be inconvenient, especially when the landlord doesn’t provide adequate notice. You do have rights as a tenant under landlord and tenant laws to help you survive the situation without undue financial hardship or an abrupt notice from your landlord. Here’s what you need to know:

Notification Requirements

How much notice your landlord is required to give depends on whether you’re leaving or staying at your apartment. If you decide to stay while the work is being done, then some states allow landlords to give a 30 day notice, and other states require as much as a 60 notice. The apartment may not be habitable when there is no construction activity, such as at night when the workers go home, and you may have to relocate to another apartment that the landlord owns or to a hotel. Some states require a 60 day notice at that point.

Construction Activity and Noise

You don’t have to worry about construction taking place in your apartment while you live there at all hours of the evening. City ordinances typically restrict construction activities during certain times, in order to prevent the workers from becoming a noise nuisance when they use equipment and tools. For example, some ordinances may only permit construction activity during standard business hours. If the timing of the construction is a problem, then you should find out what’s allowed in your area for apartment construction. If there’s a violation, then report it to your landlord who may be unaware of the rules. If the violation continues, then you’ll have to consider pursuing legal action.

Payment for Temporary Leave

The landlord is responsible for paying for your move, because he has a duty to maintain the premises. If the construction doesn’t have to do with maintenance, but solely to boost the property value and later increase rent, then he has to bear those expenses. Your landlord may offer you a couple of choices. He could either move you to a hotel or to another apartment and pay for it all directly. Another option for your landlord may be to offer you a daily stipend that you can spend where you see fit. Wherever you move has to be reasonably comparable to your current apartment. For example, a landlord can’t decide to move a family of four living in a three bedroom apartment to a one bedroom apartment or a one room and one bed motel. If the landlord is offering a daily stipend, then it has to be sufficient for you to find a place that’s like where your current apartment.

You have the option to move out entirely if the apartment construction is going to last longer than 30 days. If you plan to do so, then you’ll have to provide the landlord notice after he serves you notice about the construction.

3 Responses to “Apartment in Construction: Your Rights as a Tenant”

  1. April 12, 2014 at 12:37 pm, ann stanley said:

    Rented a room from a lady I knew. She said she would write out rental agreement for welfare, however verbally we agreed to me paying $300 in cash and me putting in all of my food stamps to the home which was $347. Rent was for myself and my 12 year old son for one room to share. All house privileges. She had a washer there when we moved in that she wasn’t using. I asked if I could use it and put a line up in the garage to dry towels and clothes. She agreed. Moved in December 23/24 of 2013. This was until I got my payment from social security, which had been approve for. She said she would get receipt book for the cash that I was paying her. She never did. I informed her in March that my SSD and SSiI were in the payment stage and that I would be getting back pay of $16,000 from SSI and that my first check should arrive some where at the beginning of April or end of March, however I still had not received the awards letters telling me the total monthly income as to be able to apply for any of the apartments that I had been looking at. I asked her if she wanted us to move right away or if she could give me a little more time to get a place and that I would give her a little more for us being there towards the other bills. March 1st I paid $300 in cash and —– and I went and spent my $347 for food for the house as agreed upon. March about the 21st is when I informed her of status off SSD. She agreed to let us stay. —- went to work the next day and on her break from work came home and informed me that we needed to be looking for a place. I informed her that I already had been doing that just waiting on the award letters to know how much we could afford. to pay. She again said ok. I went to SS office to see if I could get copy of them and did recieve one which was SSI letter. At that time was informed that they had already sent a check for $2600 along with my first monthly check of $637. She has a habbit of not giving me my mail. She throws it in the back of her car or all in a pile on top of the bar. did get it near then end of march. I went down opened up checking and came home and gave her another $200n hundred toward the bills electric and gas. in the short time that we had BEEN LIVING THERE THE ELECTRIC TURNED OFF 3 TIMES GAS 2 WATER 1. prior to us moving in she failed to inform me that she was behind on all of her bills. After giving her the other $200, I won $500 from a scratchier I again came home informed her and handed her another $300 and said it was early for the month of April. She never gave me any receipts, I then took her to Lemoore casnio and gave her 50 and myself 60 to play. We talked about me moving out by the end of April. the electric was turned off again and I informed her mother that I had just given her $500 in the last couple of days and I would paid on the ele bill if she would have asked or informed me. —- came home for break to call the ele com and informed her mother that she would have to borrow it from her because she did not have any money and that she would pay her back. She had it on speaker and the bill was $749.00 plus reconnect fees. I informed her I would like to be however I could not promise. She said we were coasting her more than it was worth. Now April 7th she confronted me and said I need you to be out at the end of April. She said we were using more utilizes then she thought we would. I said all of these place save and sites even txting new rental however I dont know how much I am getting waiting on the mail. I had been going out every daysince the 16th of March we spent weekend with middle sons house with his dad for my birthday. Every dsy after I was ridding myt bike and getting apps. My son and I stayed away from the house everyday from morning until 5 to 6 pm every night except for when I got sick for four days. I had already been getting box and informed her I was going to try and be out by when she wanted me to be and I would pack the things we weren’t using in boxes and stack them in the garage if that would be alright She agreed. On the 7th she demanded we be out by the end of April that what she said we when talked prior. I reminded her she said that she would work with me. She said my money problems were not hers. I informed her I have the money to move, however I could not force people to rent to me. I have Mental health issue along with physical which she knows about and I take meds for. I am also on probation and in recovery. I came home after going to get a money order for apt app and coolING DOWN AFTER THE WAY SHE CAME AT ME. I came home and gave her a copy of the tenat landlord hand book and said here are something s you need to know. —- jumped up in a threating wayandf I step back she said like that and I said sorry I am tryn and you arent forcing me out before my things get here there in the mail and you know that and i just gave you$800 and $347 in stamps in March and the lasr part of March my son and I were not eating there because she said she still had to come out of her pocket $200. I even had to call a friend to loan me 40 for my son and i to for the stamps were gone and so was all the food that i had bought and she was stressing me. She denied me access to washing my sons clothes on the &th of April 2014 after giving her the handbook and informed me that she now would not give my son a ride to school for his scicon trip with his bags and that I need to go somewhere else to do laundry that it wasnt included in our agreement. That was at 9:30 pm on the 7th of April. I got a ride … I can not do conflict I have issues so I informed her that I did not know if we would make it back or it might be late. however that I would be back if not that not but tomorrow. I wished her good night as we left. Came on the 8th and she had my four guitars sitting in the garage. —- leaves the garage door open till late at night sometimes over night AND i COULD NOT CLOSE WITHOUT HER PERMISSION. My bike was stolen from right next to the washer and dryer which is by the enternce to the house door. I carried them into the house. No one was home. While I was there her mom and oldest came home. I informed them that I did not appericate the fact that she was storing them in her closet for me, that I would never enter her room without her permission or her there , I am not a thief. I also let them know that I was taking my biscuits and sausage to where I was going to stay the night do to the hostile environment I was a afraid she would say or do something to provoke my mental issues. That I might in up in m ill creek or even jail or loose my son. So I was tryn to avoid conflict. I explode if pushed with blackouts. On the 9th I came home to get paperwork that I needed for apps and SS apt. She had everything I owened that was through out the house packed and set in front of the sliding glass door of my room. I could not even get in there with out moving things. I got the paperwork along with my other bike that I had and she handed me 30 day notice to evict. I tried to go to where my stuff was and she redirected me to my things in front of my brdroom door and out in the garage and removed yhe crutent which gave my son and I privacy. On the 10th I went to Family Law facilitators and they informed me she couldnt do that. to go put crutent back up and if she diened me again access to the house to call the police. I told them I was afraid of my exploding disorder and bipolar mood swings. that I did not want the conflict. I go into survivor mode and if push verbally mentally physical I blackout and explode. they said I have a civil suit. Social security today on the 11th I broke down in tears prior to that i wassketching out over them tryn to stop me from answering phone for my son was coming home from scicon and that we are homeless because she has now went into our roomand pcaked things up in there and on our bed along with removed things that she was allowing us to use out of my closet she removed her things that were store in there as if I was going to steal her things and it looks as if she has went through our things. I asked her tonight when I went home with my son if she could please stop going into our room while we were gone. Her reply was that I was a boarder and she could do what ever. My SSI was stopped and for a reason someone said I was living free food and shelter. Which I got reinstated today as well and told to contact a lawyer and to get a post box, which I did. For she not giving memy mental health my mail when it comes in One of the SSD award letter was written March 31st post marked April 3ed and she gave to me on th 9th. I need help. I am frighten for MENTAL HEALTH AND STABLIBLITY. I have had to come out of the money that was for my move to stay on a signke couch with me sitting up and mt son laying down on it. gas money for rides and money for allowing to stay and eat along the money for the post box.


  2. January 28, 2017 at 6:33 am, Dayle-Rose King said:

    My building is being remodeled and all the tenants have been shuffled us to the opposite side of the building. I have no hot water in my kitchen. I was just curious if it's normal and legal to allow tenants to live in unoccupied apartments and deal with the mistakes for a week or until they can fix it. If you could, please email me back with any info or questions?
    Thank you,
    Dayle-Rose King


  3. February 12, 2017 at 9:47 pm, Haylie said:

    My upstairs neighbors water heater burst AMD a pipe above my bathtub has been leaking and has caused water to leak into my bathtub. They want to start working on the repairs tomorrow. Do they have to move my family (I have a 6 month old) to a hotel to ensure that we dont inhale any of the dry wall dust?


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