When we signed our lease, we were promised access to the building's parking lot. It was an important factor in our decision to move in. But none of the tenants has had access in the 18 months we've lived here. Our building is zoned R6, which apparently requires that the landlord provide off-street parking for tenants. We'd like to move to a place that has off-street parking available.
Agree with Mr. Schuyler regarding careful reading of the lease terms and oral promises not being binding, but it also may be worth checking with the zoning people (Buildings Department) whether the landlord's development was built after the off-street parking requirement went into effect and whether the Certificate of Occupancy or zoning/building permit application represents the landlord as intending or required to be in compliance. If the landlord is "grandfathered", that is built and occupied the building before the R-6 parking standards when into effect, you're out of luck, but a call to the building department may also disclose that the landlord is required to provide you parking which he is not doing.
From what you say in the question, however, it seems you may be looking for a "pretext" to break the lease and are really not interested in the parking, just a reason to declare the landlord is in breach of his obligations. This is not a great idea, especially if the landlord starts providing parking. Also, there is probably nothing in the zoning ordinance which requires the parking to be free, or even necessarily for tenants.
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From your statement I would guess that this was just an oral promise. If that is the case you may have no recourse unless it says you are entitled to parking in the lease. Always get all promises in writing. If you break the lease the landlord could sue you for the remaining rent as well as (possibly) attorney's fees. Again, it depends on what your lease says. Your best bet is to see an experienced landlord tenant attorney BEFORE you decide the break the lease. Good luck.
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You will certainly want to see a landlord tenant lawyer, but I predict you will NOT be able to break the lease, although there is a possibility of a reduction in the rent.
Dear Brooklyn Tenant:
"Breaking a lease" is a one-sided action with risk that a tenant may need to conjure a defense in a lawsuit one day should the landlord choose to use the legal system to secure money damages that flow from the breaking of the lease.
If you believe honestly that the failure to open the adjacent parking lot to use by residential tenants is wrongful act by the landlord, then the landlord, in your point of view already breached the lease.
Be certain your lease links hand in glove the lease of an apartment to you as a residence, together with a no-fee parking privilege in the adjacent parking lot (that means the apartment rent covers the apartment and parking.)
So rather than demand delivery of a service you believed you had a right to all along and then move out if the service is extended to you,declare affirmatively the landlord did not uphold its end of the lease agreement, and so breached the lease, pack up and move out.
Return the keys with a note where to send the refunded security deposit. Take many photos of the condition of the apartment to help you show no damage if the landlord holds on to your security deposit.
If your old landlord sues you for the remaining portion of rent left on the lease or until a new tenant moves in before the lease ends, see a lawyer to defend the claim.
The point is: don't demand the parking, receive the parking and move out. If you do so, the failure to provide parking before is not a reason to "break" the lease after you secure the privilege to park.
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