Lease says "2 bedroom/1 bath/1 parking..." but landlord says parking can only be used if lessee owns a car and not by guests.
My college student's lease in Honolulu says it comes with 1 parking space but no further specifications. There are 12 units and 12 parking spaces labeled 1 - 12. The landlord recently assigned the parking space with their unit number to someone else. The landlord says since she or her roommate doesn't have a car registered in their names, it was assigned to someone else. They are not entitled to use even for their guests. There was a text exchange with the landlord confirmation that the lease comes with a parking space even if they don't currently have a car. Landlord is now refusing their use of the parking space unless they show proof of their ownership or rental of a car. What recourse can we take?
1 attorney answer
Of course, it is not possible to determine what the Tenant is entitled to without reviewing the Lease.
However, generally, unless there is some kind of restriction in Lease, the Tenant is entitled to whatever is allotted to them under the Lease terms. For example, if the unit has two bedrooms but only one bedroom is being used, the Landlord cannot unilaterally decide to rent out the unused bedroom as storage space to others. The same principle applies here. If the Landlord is going to rent out your spot, you are probably entitled to a deduction in the rent. As the Landlord has breached the Lease, you could probably terminate your tenancy and move out, and then may be able use the Landlord’s prior breach as a defense if legal action is taken against you. (Please understand that there may be lawful restrictions on the use of the parking space depending on the contents of the Lease, and perhaps also the building rules.)
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