Does an apartment complex have to let you know before bringing Section 8 people in? Our complex has opened up to Section 8 people recently and the place has totally gone down hill. Noise all hours of night and day due to these people not working. They leave their junk cars in the parking lot taking up precious spaces so paying tenants have to park on the street. Is it possible to get out of a lease early due to this?

With regard to your first question, a landlord would not normally be required to notify existing apartment tenants of a decision to rent to Section 8 eligible tenants. This is because many Section 8 tenants are quiet, peaceful and considerate tenants. Conversely, many non-Section 8 tenants are noisy and inconsiderate. So, it wouldn’t be right to assume only Section 8 tenants would make living conditions unbearable at the complex.

 However, as to your second question, there may be some relief for you. Most apartment rental agreements contain a clause stipulating that the landlord must provide for the “quiet enjoyment” of the premises. In some cases this has been interpreted to prohibit the kind of noisy activities you describe. You could document the dates, frequency, circumstances and extent of the activities disturbing the quiet enjoyment of the premises and then send a letter to the landlord notifying him/her of the problem and demanding it be eliminated. In lieu of any effort on the landlord’s part to effectively deal with the problem, send a letter to the regulatory body in your city that enforces residential noise codes. Typically, if noise levels exceed those allowed by law, the city can issue a notice of violation of noise standards. There may or may not be penalties that can be levied against the landlord, but even if not it could give you legal momentum to break the lease early.

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