My question involves landlord-tenant law in the State of: MA
I am a resident of an approximately 100 unit luxury building in the heart of Boston, MA. The building is entirely residential, and is in good shape. It is also one of the most expensive buildings in the city. The landlord has been doing renovations since before I moved in, which at the time consisted of redoing all the interior hallways and lighting before I had moved in, and completely redesigning the lobby area as I moved in. After I moved in they also replaced the elevators. The elevators worked fine, but they were old and slow. The renovations went way past schedule, which left me without elevator access to the garage I pay for (it was accessible through the outside). I was willing to live with all of that, but what has happened since has become unacceptable, and I'm looking into what legal options I have.
Long after moving in, during a conversation with the building manager, she informed me that at some point in the future they would start to replace all the windows in the building. She told me then that current residents would have the option of having them done while they live there, or after they move out.
I should point out here that the windows, while slightly old, were perfectly fine. No leaks, they opened and closed, had proper screens, etc. If they were anything, they were a little noisy because they were single paned.
A few months later (approx Sep 29 2008), all residents received a notice on their door that in three days they would be entering everyone's apartment to replace the windows, and we had to move all our furniture or they'd do it for us. They said the repairs would take no longer than four days, although most took six or seven. Each day residents had to wake up early and move furniture, then move it back (presumably) when they got home. In literally cutting the windows out of the wall, they spread plaster dust throughout my apartment (they did cover the furniture but it didn't help avoid the fine-grained dust much). It took me several vacuumings to get it mostly clean.
During this time, and continuing through now (Oct 1 through today+) they have stored all the windows and building materials in the unit above my own. This is a residential unit that they converted to a storeroom for this project. In doing so they removed all the flooring in the unit, exposing nothing but cement, the same cement that makes up my ceiling. So every impact noise that comes from that floor, i hear, which has meant I have been worken up literally every single work day since the beginning of the month between 7 and 7:30 am, about one hour earlier than my normal work schedule. I have been miserable and tired as I have not been able to adjust to this.
I have asked the landlord for compensation which they refused, and am now preemptively withholding next months rent. Between the forced renovations that weren't needed, the unannounced (or announced with less than 24 hours remaining which is a violation of state law) entries into my unit, and now the incessant early morning noise, I have had enough.
Also, when I have asked what gives them the right to do this, they claim (by they I am referring to the building manager on behalf of the owners) it is repairs to the building (personally, I don't see how "fixing" something that isn't broken constitutes a repair). Furthermore, according to our lease, all repairs are MY responsibility and it is my duty to return the apartment to them in the same condition they leased it to me.
This is all about money to the landlord. They pay all heating and cooling costs, so replacing the windows lowered their costs. Forcing residents to do them all at once instead of as they moved out saved them on installation costs.
I would like to know what my legal standing is here? Is this a violation of "quiet-enjoyment" as I believe? Are there other laws and rights they have violated.
I should also add that the windows in question were metal and structurally perfect, so they weren't rotting wood or anything of that sort...
And also add that this building is normally silent. I have never heard a neighbors TV, a conversation, or even them walking. My point being: this noise is very loud and out of the ordinary, the landlord is creating the noise, and the landlord has not tried to prevent the creation of the noise.