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    Breaking a Lease Ė NC

    Jurisdiction / State: North Carolina

    Good Day,



    I reside in an apartment complex that has just recently gone under contract. The sale should be finalized sometime later this month.

    I have not been happy since I moved into the apartment complex. The lack of privacy is unnerving to me. Iíll admit that I am a private person by nature and could be more upset perhaps than some. When I first moved in, I resided in a downstairs apartment. I was able to hear very private noises from the upstairs apartment. The noise was so great that I had to change my sleeping hours to fit the hours of the people who lived above me.

    During February, I was given an option for a free transfer to an upstairs apartment. I took this option since breaking the lease meant paying 2 months rent at that time. I had hoped that I could ride the remainder of the lease out.

    Well, though the upstairs apartment is better somewhat, I was appalled one afternoon when I could hear the entire conversation of my downstairs neighbors. It bothered me to the point that I now dread talking on my phone while in the apartment. Plus my downstairs neighbors work third shift. When I take a vacation day, I feel so guilty if I make any noise. I feel like Iím living in a prison.

    After I realized the apartment complex is now under contract, I wondered if there is a chance I could escape the lease agreement via ownership changing. Thus far in my online research it doesnít appear that this could be possible. But, I felt it was worth asking if anyone has any advice or suggestions.

    No where in my lease does it mention breaking the lease. The rules set forth are done so now by the current owners in separate unsigned paperwork. Iíve gone long enough in my lease now that to break it will cost me 1-1/2 monthís rent. It goes down to 1 monthís rent with 3 months or less. What concerns me is these rules are not specially stated in my lease, I would assume the new owners could come up with their own rules. I donít mind abiding by the rules but worry that the rules could become stricter by the new owner as in paying the lease off, which would force me to stay almost the entire lease term.

    Any advice would greatly be appreciated and thanks for your time!

  2. Super Moderator Honorable Scholar

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    After I realized the apartment complex is now under contract, I wondered if there is a chance I could escape the lease agreement via ownership changing.

    Have you talked to the current owners or the new owners?
    Be not niggardly of what costs thee nothing, as courtesy, counsel, & countenance.

    Ben Franklin

  3. #3

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    I have talked with the lady who oversees the rental office -she is the on site management but not an owner. The current owners are located in another city. I have not spoken to the new owners but as of right now, they do not own the complex. Closing has yet to be done.

    Thanks!

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    thelawprofessor's Avatar
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    Have you discussed with them the sound issue and your inability to enjoy the privacy of your own apartment? Here's the big one - does everyone have the same problem? How about the apartments next to you instead of above or below? How many other people have this problem? It sounds like the Judge's suggestion of negotiation is the best one available to you and you won't be able to simply walk away from the lease because of the allegedly excessive noise.
    Forum posts are not legal advice, are for educational purposes only & are not substitutes for proper consultation with legal counsel.

    Ľ Need a lawyer? Use TheLaw.com's FREE Case Review now! ę

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    Hi,

    I’m not certain about how others feel individually about the noise. The complex is only ľ occupied. It is a large complex with several buildings. The building I’m currently in has four apartments. It is only I and the couple below me who live there. I try to be very quiet and respect them and thus far I’ve done a good job because they seem to have told the office lady they rarely hear me. But being so quiet is a cost to my freedom somewhat, which is to me is sometimes like work.

    The two apartments next to us are damaged and will not be rented out anytime soon. The apartment next to me has a hole in the door.

    I made a huge mistake in moving to the complex. I understood that the complex was being renovated. I was told it was a quiet place to live. And, the rental price was affordable compared to most apartments in the area that allowed pets. I had wanted a dog for quite some time. I was WRONG in thinking I had found a good place.

    Back when I lived in the downstairs apartment, I had one incident where the upstairs neighbors had company to which brought a vicious dog and left it unattended. I had walked outside (leaving my front door unlocked) to retrieve something from my car and the dog came running for me. I luckily was able to get inside of my car as the dog leaped onto the hood of my car growling and barking. I called the police on my cell and was able to get back inside my apartment. The dog would not leave my car. He circled my car growling and barking until the police came.

    It was after the dog incident that I stated my case to the rental office lady explaining about the noise and my unhappiness with living in the complex. I take so much until I burst. It is my personality. The dog incident was my bursting point. I knew from research that noise would not be enough to get me out of the lease. The dog incident wasn’t either. But at that time, I requested the rules in regard to breaking the lease. The rental office lady gave me a sheet of paper listing what I had to do in order to properly break the lease.

    It wasn’t long after me stating my case that the owner reviewed my file and recommended a free transfer.

    After the dog incident, I also learned that the complex was up for sale. And that it at one time had issues with criminal activity but those residents had been cleared out. The lesson learned here for me is to be more cautious about renting any apartment that is “being renovated.” I should have tried to find out the history of the complex. But I have not ever had experiences like this before. I’ve rented for years and not ever been in this type of situation. I didn’t see it coming. I mean, the complex exists in a decent area. I thought criminal activity was prevalent in bad areas.

    The noise issue is known and acknowledged. I was told recently that maybe the new owners would work on adding insulation though I don’t think that will help me because I would assume to do so would require an empty apartment.

    I had hoped that the sale MIGHT give me a loophole to break the lease. But I guess not. If the new owners keep the same rules for breaking the lease, I will be fine. I had wanted a dog so incredibly bad but not under these circumstances. LOL

    Thank you.

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