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“Do we have any legal rights to ask for this financial concession?”

by Prince Of Petworth July 14, 2015 at 12:30 pm 81 Comments

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Photo by PoPville flickr user Erin

“Dear PoPville,

My boyfriend and I recently received notice from our landlord that our large, lovely patio, the sole reason we decided to rent the unit, will be undergoing 18+ weeks of construction to repair brick damage from the DC earthquake a few years back. We can’t go out on the patio for the entire 18 weeks, and will need to leave our blinds closed due to dust and falling brick risk. We recently moved into the building, so are very frustrated none of this was shared with us prior to moving in: we wouldn’t have signed a lease if we knew we’d be living in a construction zone for 4-5 months so soon after moving.

We think we are entitled to a rent reduction to make up for the patio loss, noise, and dust we’ll be experiencing – we determined the price per square foot we pay for the patio, and want it removed from our rent. Do we have any legal rights to ask for this financial concession? We’ve emailed the DC Office of Tenant Advocacy but have yet to hear back. Has anyone else out there had a similar experience? Thank you for any advice!”

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