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.
Recovered on behalf of a group of 30 tenants living in an SRO in San Francisco who were living with horrendous conditions in their rent controlled apartments, including rodents, bedbugs, mold, water leaks and harassment.Read More
Recovered on behalf of three families living in a building in San Francisco’s SOMA neighborhood who were forced to live with substandard conditions for years as a result of their landlord’s negligence, including issues with lack of heat, lack of hot water and cockroach/rat infestations.Read More
Recovered on behalf of a couple living in a rent-controlled home in the outer Sunset neighborhood. Our clients were forced to vacate after the landlord served them with an Owner Move-In Eviction Notice. After the landlords failed to move into the property, our clients filed suit for wrongful eviction.Read More
Recovered on behalf of a San Francisco tenant in Russian Hill. Tenant was forced to vacate her illegal apartment in retaliation for reporting unlawful rent increases to the San Francisco Rent Board.Read More
Recovered for a single long-term tenant in San Francisco. Our client was forced to move out of his apartment as a result of extreme landlord harassment.Read More
Recovered on behalf of three long-term tenants in San Francisco’s Castro neighborhood who were constructively evicted due to noise and nuisance conditions created by their downstairs neighbors, which the owner refused to address.Read More
Recovered on behalf of elderly, disabled tenant who was forced to move out of her rent-controlled San Francisco apartment of 50 years after landlord/owner failed to resolve numerous building code violations that remained outstanding for over a decade.Read More
Recovered on behalf of seven tenants living in a makeshift boarding house in East Palo Alto.Read More
Recovered on behalf of two former San Francisco tenants who were evicted via an Owner Move-In Eviction and owner failed to occupy the unit as her primary place of residence.Read More
Recovered on behalf of an elderly long-term tenant who was forced to vacate her long San Francisco apartment as a result of her landlord’s refusal to address longstanding defective conditions, including lack of heat, mold, rodent infestations, and defective plumbing. Read More
Recovered on behalf of a San Francisco tenant who was forced to vacate his home as a result of ongoing, disruptive construction and the owners’ refusal to provide him with alternative housing. Read More
Recovered on behalf of a San Francisco family that was constructively evicted from their home in the Richmond District as a result of unlawful rent increases, defective conditions and tenant harassment.Read More
Recovered on behalf of a tenant living in an illegal “in-law” unit. In this case, a new owner purchased the building and then demolished our client’s unit without permits while she was displaced for seismic retrofitting.Read More
Recovered on behalf of two long term San Francisco tenants who were fraudulently evicted from their home of over twenty years under the pretext of an owner move-in eviction.Read More
Recovered for tenant who was injured when their stairway railing collapsed at the tenant’s Mission District apartment building.Read More
Recovered in action for a group of tenants forced to vacate their San Francisco apartment house due to severe habitability defects including mold and water leaks.Read More
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For more information or to discuss your legal situation, call us today at (415) 649-6203 for a phone consultation or submit an inquiry below. Please note our firm can only assist tenants residing in San Francisco, Oakland & Berkeley.