Can I Get A Rent Reduction Due to a Loss of Amenities? With some many businesses and services being shut down due to the pandemic, it's likely that you haven't been able to use common areas in your apartment complex like the gym facilities or even the roof top garden for several months. And you didn't even get to use the pool or jacuzzi during the warm summer months. Yet, you are still paying your same monthly rent. Is it possible to get a rent reduction for services that have been suspended due to Covid-19? COVID-19 rent reductions are a common search topic right now and rightfully so.
It's important to know the type of services involved and the reasons for the closure. In determining whether the amenities are closed or restricted, it depends on how the amenity is classified and whether social distancing can be maintained. For instance, laundry mats are considered an "essential service." This means that the on-site laundry services in your building should remain open during the pandemic. But something like a gym isn't considered essential and can be subject to restrictions.
If certain building amenities aren't available for periods of time because repairs are needed, some degree of compensation might be appropriate. Ultimately, you chose to pay a certain amount of rent based on being able to live in a building with certain amenities. For instance, if you haven't been able to use the hot tub for several months because it's under repair, you could have a right to complain and might be entitled to a certain level of compensation, depending on your lease.
However, that is not what's happening during the pandemic. Currently, taking access away isn't something that the landlord is doing because they don't want to make costly repairs or they're being lazy. The landlord is following public health orders that call for shutdowns or stay-at-home directives. Since everyone is supposed to follow social distancing guidelines, it isn't possible to keep certain amenities open. Thus, it's difficult to successfully argue that you are entitled to compensation.
It's common practice for lease agreements to state specifically that renters are not entitled to a rent reduction or otherwise recover funds for services that aren't available during the tenancy. For instance, if you haven't been able to use the gym since the pandemic hit, it's unlikely that you would be able to recover anything if your lease had this type of provision.
However, in the unlikely event that your lease specifically obligated the landlord to provide recovery in such a situation, then you could receive compensation or get a reduction. Additionally, you could recover if your lease was such that you had a specific separate fee for those specific amenities. Otherwise, if you can show that your rent is much higher than that for comparable apartments in buildings in the neighborhood that don't have the same amenities, you can try to request a reduction. Even if you don't get it, some landlords have compensated tenants in other ways besides lowering the rent, such as hiring additional cleaning staff.
If you are having any issues with your landlord regarding fees for amenities or other issues that need legal attention, don't hesitate to reach out to a skilled attorney. Here at Wolford Wayne, we are committed to advocating for tenants' rights. Contact us today to learn how we can help you.
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