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Quiet Enjoyment Law

“Quiet enjoyment” is a real estate covenant or agreement between two parties to do or not to do something. It grants a tenant or a landowner to use and enjoy a real property, undisturbed by anyone. Even when this is not specifically included in a rental agreement, courts will usually read the covenant into the agreement, or tenancy. Some of the rights include the right to exclude others from the premises, the right to enjoy quiet and peace, the right to premises that are clean, as well as the right to basic services such as heat and hot water and elevator service for high-rise buildings.

Listed below are a few questions answered by Real Estate Experts on “quiet enjoyment” related issues.

How can “quiet enjoyment” be defined under HOA’s rules and regulations?

Quiet enjoyment is the right of a tenant or landowner to the undisturbed use, possession and enjoyment of real property. In legal terms, “quiet” is defined as “uninterrupted” along with “an absence of noise.”

Does an apartment tenant have quiet enjoyment rights when a neighbor’s child is too loud and their smoke enters the tenant’s apartment?

As a tenant, you do have the right to quiet enjoyment and you can demand the landlord keep other tenants from interfering with your right. What you could do is document your demands to the landlord in writing, and then file a suit against him/her for breach of the lease. However, the success of your case would depend on whether the court considers family noises that are a part of everyday life in an apartment building as a violation of quiet enjoyment. The behavior that a landlord is supposed to protect tenants from is usually much more serious than apartment building noise. Finally, if the landlord does not take steps to keep smoke out of the apartment, you could declare a constructive eviction and move out. Whatever you do, take advice from local counsel to protect your rights before deciding upon anything.

Legally, can a landlord let Pest Control leave a dead animal in the interior wall of a leased house?

With every property rental, there is an implied warranty of habitability, and this includes a tenant’s right to a safe and healthy environment and to the peaceful and quiet enjoyment of the rental property. With the stench, it is clear that the landlord has breached this implied warranty of habitability. 

Your recourse would be to send a certified, return receipt requested letter that notifies the landlord of the default and demand the situation be fixed posthaste. Ask for a reimbursement of a part of your rent paid thus far to compensate you for the reduced value of your rental property due to the problem. Also, until the problem is solved, demand that the landlord either lowers your rent moving forward or pays for temporary living expenses.

Finally, let the landlord know that you can terminate your lease because of the default, effective as of a specified date if the problem is not fixed. Also, demand your security deposit be refunded to you in full and tell the landlord you will soon make a determination and will notify the landlord of any damages you might have suffered because of the default.

In Florida, what are the "quiet enjoyment" standards of apartment living?

Florida has no statutes on quiet enjoyment. The standard is "peaceable use and enjoyment of the premises" which is what the landlord should grant to the tenant in conjunction with a lease. "Peaceable" has been defined through thousands of Florida court cases. Basically, it means the tenant can use the rented property, without interference, as long as they do not cause damage to the property in any way or violate the lease terms. Most leases will also have a nuisance clause and other clauses that restrict a tenant's use of the premises. Other than that, the tenant is free to use the property without anyone else interfering, interrupting or disturbing them.

When you are renting a place to live you expect it to be a peaceful and enjoyable living situation. This is not always the case and legal recourse may be necessary. To know your rights and what to expect when filing a case, consult with legal Experts. They are available online day and night to provide you with customized answers.

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