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RE: Covenant of Quiet Enjoyment

Oakland, CA |

Our landlord has been doing construction in vacated units in the bldg, on an adjacent unit (same parcel) for a duration of approx 4 months through the year. This has been noisy (saws, power tools, large machinery), has resulted in trash and debris in shared backyard area, breached security with visiting workers, propping doors, etc., privacy intrusions (has walked in to apts unannounced, workers walking along scaffolding for a month), and we have concerns about fumes, dust, other airborne pollutants in the area. Vacated units when overturned rent increased by upwards of 50%. This fall we received a rent increase notice this time in order of 13% (last fall 7%). At this point we've lost patience with giving way to construction. Might we have breach of CQE here?

Attorney Answers 1

  1. It sounds like you have experienced uncomfortable living conditions, but not necessarily illegal conditions. More would need to be known such as 1) what time of day does the construction noise occur, 2) does the landlord actually intrude into YOUR apartment, 3) the specific nature of the fumes and airborne pollutants. It's frustrating to receive a rent increase, but it does not necessarily mean you have a meritorious case for breach of the covenant of quiet enjoyment. Nevertheless, you should consult with an experienced landlord/tenant lawyer in your area to better explore your options. Good luck.

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