AgentRentals

Skip rent when secondhand smoke persists?

Rent it Right

Q: I live in an apartment building that I thought would be zealous in protecting me from secondhand smoke. My lease has a clause in which I acknowledge that secondhand smoke is a legal nuisance, and I promise to make sure that no smoke from me or my guests infiltrates common areas or other tenants' apartments.

Several months ago, I began getting smoke in my unit from a neighboring tenant. Management's attempts over the past four months to stop it failed, so I asked to be moved. The management approved, but required that I sign a new, one-year lease. Since I'm planning on going to school in another city, I couldn't do that -- and I couldn't bear the smoke anymore, so I had to leave.

I didn't pay the last month's rent, and I'm refusing to pay for any of the months left on the lease. Do I have the law on my side? --Dan C.

A: To management's credit, they have recognized the dangers of secondhand smoke in a multifamily ...