Are you looking for information on the “implied covenant of quiet enjoyment”?
You have arrived at the right place. The implied covenant of quiet enjoyment is one of the tenant’s basic rights. As a landlord, it’s important to respect your renters’ rights, including this one on peace and quiet.
While some legal concepts are straightforward, this one concerning quiet enjoyment is often misunderstood. In the following paragraphs, we’ll uncover all the major aspects of this covenant so that you can make more informed choices as a rental property owner.
First Things First: The Concept of Implied Covenants
The first step in explaining this legal concept is making sense of the “implied covenant.” This legal term states that two parties have come into an agreement that is inferred or implied in some way to make sure intentions are realized.
Implied covenants are often used in lease agreements. That’s because the sides may not want to go into details by describing a long list of responsibilities. An “implication” means that certain duties won’t have to be taken apart in the lease agreements.
Furthermore, there are certain rights that can’t be asked for your tenants to waive. Some renters’ rights are implied in this way. One of these basic rights is receiving protection against unnecessary interruptions and disturbances.
The Next Definition: Quiet Enjoyment
We have now seen what the first part of this term means. Now, “quiet enjoyment” stands specifically for the tenant’s rights to peace, quiet and privacy. However, when it comes to legal talk, agreeing on a universal definition is complicated.
Quiet enjoyment may lead to a variety of definitions, which is why lease agreements use an umbrella term. Otherwise, some tenants would have the justified argument that their rights aren’t protected.
The most common definition interprets quiet enjoyment as a state of surroundings that ensures renters can enjoy their living space without unnecessary disruptions. For instance, tenants can enjoy any activities inside their home if that specific behavior isn’t violating the lease terms.
What Are the Typical Violations of Quiet Enjoyment?
As a landlord, you need to make sure that you respect the essential legal regulations at all times. If you seriously violate the rights of your tenants, they may have the legal opportunity to withhold rent or break the lease.
A single misunderstanding may not be enough to justify the aforementioned means. However, if your tenant has broken the lease due to the “quiet enjoyment” rule, you should consult with a legal professional to know exactly where you stand with this.
The covenant of quiet enjoyment is a two-way street. For instance, your tenant can violate the right of quiet enjoyment of another renter if you have a multi-unit property. These situations are more difficult. You need to use your diplomatic skills to take care of this kind of scenario.
When you look at the big picture, most of the violations are due to landlords’ actions or inaction. The following are typical breaches of this implied covenant:
When a landlord spies or harasses the tenants, it’s always considered to be a serious breach of the renter’s privacy. In fact, these types of activities likely lead to further legal charges.
Landlords must provide enough notice to the tenants before making entry into the property. Keep in mind that you need to have a reasonable purpose to enter the rental property in the first place. Visiting often, such as on a weekly basis, to check on everything may be considered an unlawful activity.
Forbidding Social Events
Restricting your tenants from holding ordinary dinner parties could be a form of harassment. Loud parties continuing well into the night are one thing but hosting a big dinner party with guests leaving at 10 pm is clearly not an issue.
As a rental owner, you are never allowed to restrict your tenant’s basic services. For example, you can’t restrict A/C, running water, electricity or heating. The same holds true for blocking your tenant’s entry to the property.
Blocking Parking Space
You aren’t allowed to block your tenant’s parking space on purpose if access to the parking spot was included in the lease agreement.
This rule doesn’t apply to parking lots that follow the “First Come, First Served” rule.
Ignoring Noise Complaints
Whenever your tenants have complained about noise issues, you should deal with these matters at the earliest convenience. Severe delays or inaction may be legally interpreted as negligence on your behalf.
Can Tenants Expect Complete Silence?
As you could see from the previous paragraphs, “quiet enjoyment” isn’t only addressing actual noise. It’s more about minimizing the overall disruptions and unlawful conduct on part of the landlord.
Even intruding smoke can be considered a breach of quiet enjoyment. For instance, neither secondhand smoke nor environmental tobacco smoke should enter the rental property. Smoke affects quiet enjoyment due to its detrimental effects on health and personal property.
When it comes to strictly noise problems, it’s important to take the location of the particular rental property into account. If the rental is situated in a busy downtown, the acceptable base level is going to be higher compared to a rural setting.
In a Nutshell: Implied Covenant of Quiet Enjoyment
The implied covenant of quiet enjoyment has been put into place to regulate the tenant’s rights. The individuals residing in your rental property have the right to peace, quiet, and privacy in their current home.
You may find that this covenant creates some misunderstandings. This rule doesn’t strictly focus on noise pollution. It’s more of a general concept that aims to prevent unnecessary disruptions of any nature.