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Can I break a rental lease due to noise? Building is an old school and is not properly insulated/sound proofed.

Seattle, WA |

My fiance and I have 5 months remaining on the lease of a condo. When we moved in the owner promised that the unit is a quiet and peaceful place to live. This was important as my fiance is attending school for her undergrad degree and I am working on my MBA.

As it turns out, the unit is not quiet at all. We hear every foot step from our upstairs neighbors, often times as late as 11:30 pm or as early as 2:00 - 3:00 am. It is very disruptive. We had arranged a meeting with our condo owner and the neighbors, but they claim that they are "doing their best" to be quiet. The owner acknowledged that there are structural issues with the insulation, etc.

Do we have any right to break our lease in this situation (i.e. "Peaceful enjoyment" clause or promise that the unit was supposed to be quiet)

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Attorney answers 2

Best Answer

Breaking the lease due to noise is often times complicated and difficult, it really depends upon how one would interpret whether the noise is too much. But . . . I see that you live in the city of Seattle. Seattle is a very pro-tenant city and requires certain disclosures. Failure to provide those disclosures allows a tenant to terminate the lease without repercussion at the end of the next rental period. It may be advisable to hire a landlord tenant attorney to review your lease and your documents to determine whether or not you can legally break your lease early.

This answer is for informational purposes only and should not be construed to establish an attorney client relationship. Before taking any legal action, it is always advisable to discuss your specific situation with an attorney.



Thank you for the response, Ryan. Our landlord has said that they have done all that they can about the situation and advised that it is now our responsibility to deal with the neighbors. Also, when you mentioned failure to provide disclosure, would it also be a consideration that a temporary fire station was constructed 2 months after we moved in? We were never told about this, now the sirens go off at all hours of the night. We want to be able to respond in an appropriate manner before taking the next steps. Many thanks


It is in your best interest to have an attorney look at your lease agreement to identify your options.

Legal disclaimer: The answer provided is for educational purposes only. It does not constitute legal advice or create an attorney-client relationship. You should consult an attorney for legal advice regarding the facts of your specific case and designed to help you with your personal needs.

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