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I am a tenant that rents from a landlord who owns a multi-family rental housing complex. Recently, I was notified via email that they would be renovating a unit in my particular building as early as 6AM. According to my local city ordinance, construction or repairs to any structure must be made after 7AM on weekdays.

In the leasing agreement addendum that includes this information regarding this specific renovation, it does not state a specific time that the renovation work should be done.

I'm wondering what my options are as a tenant going forward. Is it possible to break my lease without a penalty due to this?

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  • There may be city-specific ordinances governing this; it might help to include your city. – Ryan M Jan 1 at 0:40
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Is it possible to break my lease without a penalty due to this?

No. A reminder to the landlord or reporting with the authorities the violation is most likely to dissuade the landlord from incurring nuisances earlier than 7AM. The landlord might be mindful enough to ensure that work done between 6AM to 7AM does not disturb tenants.

Even if the landlord insisted on causing disturbances earlier than 7AM, the situation is very unlikely to justify tenants' breach of the lease. That is because the annoyance from 6AM to 7AM does not render (or is not what renders) a unit unlivable. The landlord's violation could be actionable if it causes to the tenant(s) an provable loss.

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That would depend on the specific provisions of the local ordinance, which we cannot examine without knowing the city or other local jurisdiction involved. The ordinance may well spell out a specific consequence for violation, such as a fine or a rent rebate. Or the ordinance might specifically provide that in such a case a tenant might break a lease.

In the absence of such a specific provision, a tenant could probably only break a lease without penalty if the repairs made the apartment effectively unlivable.

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