Can my landlord do this? - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 18 Old 05-03-2013, 09:55 PM
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Saddlebag, it wouldn't be changed to commercial zoning. It would still be residential, but it would be multi-residential which may or may not require rezoning depending on the municipality.

Eolith - just keep in mind that if you tick off your landlord, he can give you notice as well... I would read the lease carefully, find out the laws and by-laws that would govern and wait for a while. The idea might just fizzle away on its own.
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post #12 of 18 Old 05-03-2013, 10:19 PM
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Check with a lawyer. Check with the city. Do a gut check- because if you call the city down on him, he'll likely make your life difficult too. I wouldn't go reporting him unless you're ready to move out and have somewhere else to stay lined up. Would it be illegal for him to harass you for enforcing city code or your lease? Absolutely. That won't likely stop someone though.

What might be better is to find out the facts and legalities, and then ask to talk to him about it. Point out that you found out (from a "friend" who you were chatting with, lol) that XYZ is illegal or ABC permits are required, etc for him to do what he's planning on and that you'd really rather he wait until your lease is up and you move away before going through. Veiled threat sure, but easier to swallow for most people.
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post #13 of 18 Old 05-04-2013, 02:31 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks again for all of the input and advice, as well as the words of caution not to rile him up too much.

I do have plans in place for moving out. I will be graduating from college this June and plan to move back in with my parents until I can get all of my ducks in a row. The lease officially ends at the end of August, but the landlord would actually be doing me a favor if he terminated the lease early or did something which violates our lease and thus allows me to leave without penalty. It would essentially save me two months of rent, which is advantageous. So... I actually sort of want him to give me the boot -- but only as long as it is done in a way that means he has no right to keep my security deposit, and hopefully peacefully enough that he doesn't try to trash my name to future landlords.

I actually managed to get some legal advice today through a program for low income individuals which allows you to speak with a lawyer and get input. The present plan of action is to expressly inform him via certified mail that he does not have my consent to begin construction on the garage while I am still living in the duplex. If he disregards my letter and begins construction anyway, I will likely be able to invoke constructive eviction. I have included the definition of this below, and underlined the sections which are especially applicable to me.

"Occurs when a landlord does not physically or legally evict a tenant, but takes actions that interfere with the tenant's use and enjoyment of the premises significantly. Constructive eviction can occur as a result of the landlord's breach of the implied covenant of quiet enjoyment if (1) the landlord substantially interferes with the tenant's use and enjoyment of the premises by his actions or failure to act to resolve a problem; (2) the tenant gives the landlord notice of the problem and the landlord fails to respond and resolve the problem; and (3) the tenant vacates the premises in a reasonable amount of time after the landlord fails to resolve the problem."

Constructive eviction | LII / Legal Information Institute

Last edited by Eolith; 05-04-2013 at 02:37 AM.
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post #14 of 18 Old 05-04-2013, 02:36 AM Thread Starter
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The lawyer also informed me that if I do not consent to having the construction workers enter the duplex and they do so anyway (with keys the landlord provided), I will be within my rights to call the police and report them as trespassers. Of course if this were to actually happen, I would inform them first that they had 5 minutes to vacate the premises before I exercise my right to call the police.
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post #15 of 18 Old 05-04-2013, 10:45 AM
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Most leases can be nullified if both parties agree, you might also approach him about that since you wouldn't mind being let out 2 months early.

Edit: Forgot to add, get it in writing if he agrees.
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post #16 of 18 Old 05-04-2013, 10:49 AM Thread Starter
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I have indeed given him the option of terminating the lease early. He didn't go for it. He wants to have his cake and eat it too (ie remodel my garage and make my life miserable while I'm still paying him full rent).
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post #17 of 18 Old 05-04-2013, 11:07 AM
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He might change his mind once he finds out you wont be a pushover.
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post #18 of 18 Old 05-04-2013, 02:15 PM
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My take on your situation is this (to be used in the event the garage is not explicity mentioned in writing): Going on the assumption that the garage is attached (or at least on the property) and you & your roommate have being using it all this time and no one else has (also assuming since you moved in) you thus have implied consent to its use and as such it is part and parcel of your rent. So to take away its availability should create a contravention of the agreement and puts you in the 'constructive eviction' situation you have already mentioned.
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