When you rent out your property, providing a tenant with a right to quiet enjoyment of the rental property is something you implicitly commit to doing.
Once the lease is signed, you are no longer free to come and go as you choose, and the renter has some degree of control over how the property is run. This means you must uphold the implied covenant of quiet enjoyment.
Although some landlords may have never heard of the idea of quiet enjoyment, they almost certainly have used it in their daily operations. Every lease between a landlord and a tenant includes the right to peaceful enjoyment. Join us as this article sheds light on quiet enjoyment and other valuable information.
What is Quiet Enjoyment?
The idea of quiet enjoyment holds that a tenant has the right to utilize the rented property in a peaceful, reasonable, and disturbance-free manner. Because the terms “quiet” and “enjoyment” can be construed in various ways, they might be challenging to describe. Nevertheless, the fundamental tenet is that the landlord must permit and guarantee that renters can use their property in a peaceful, enjoyable manner.
This clause is frequently misinterpreted as requiring the landlord to maintain peace on the property. Additionally, it does not imply that the landlord must somehow guarantee the tenants’ enjoyment.
It essentially states that the tenants must be free from interruptions from the landlord to enjoy their stay in the property, and it thus rarely has anything to do with noise.
It’s important to understand that quiet enjoyment goes beyond the plainly stated complaints about peace. It also involves the right to keep the area clean, the right to keep people off the property, and the right to basic amenities like heat and hot water. In addition, since owners are required to maintain the property in excellent shape, many landlords compare it with the more well-known Warranty of Habitability. Regardless, you can hire a reliable property manager to handle landlord-tenant issues and avoid potential lawsuits.
Courts must remember that courts accept this covenant as a necessary component of any lease in a landlord-tenant relationship. Furthermore, residential rental arrangements are not exempt from this covenant. Therefore, regardless of whether the contract mentions it directly, a renter has the right to quiet enjoyment. Alternative terminology for this is an implied covenant of quiet enjoyment.
Examples of Quiet Enjoyment Clauses in a Lease
Quiet Enjoyment: The landlord makes sure that the tenant will be able to possess peacefully, occupy, and enjoy the Premises without interference from the landlord or anyone claiming by, through, or under the landlord, subject to the other terms of this agreement, provided that the tenant pays the Base Rental, Additional Rental, and any different amounts cited as being due by a tenant, and that tenant complies with all of the agreements and covenants contained in this document.
It is acknowledged and accepted that this covenant, as well as any other covenants of the landlord in this lease, shall only be binding on the landlord and its successors concerning violations. At the same time, they own the landlord’s interest under this lease.
Quiet Enjoyment: The Landlord and its agents may enter the Leased Premises at any reasonable time to inspect them, ensure that the tenant is abiding by its obligations under this lease, and make repairs, alterations, changes, adjustments, improvements, or additions to the Leased Premises or any part of them, or any adjacent property. For this purpose, the landlord may take materials and equipment. While the work is being done, the rent won’t decrease or be waived, and the landlord won’t be held responsible for any injuries or damage to their or other people’s property while it is being entered.
Quiet Enjoyment: To lease the Premises to Tenant following the terms of this Agreement, Landlord represents and warrants to Tenant that Landlord has sole fee simple title to the Premises. For the duration of the lease, the landlord agrees to maintain the tenant’s quiet enjoyment and possession of the premises without interference from the landlord or any party claiming by, through, or under the landlord, so long as the tenant does not default under this lease after any applicable cure period has expired.
How to Handle Complaints on Breach of Quiet Enjoyment
Only some claims of violating the right to quiet enjoyment are taken to court. These problems are typically resolved by effective and professional communication. However, landlords must be aware of their tenants’ rights to handle complaints in the best way possible. Please read on as we describe how to handle a complaint about a breach of quiet enjoyment:
Tenant Files a Written Violation of Quiet Enjoyment Complaint
An alert that a problem is happening is the initial step. Maintaining a documented record of the incident is crucial, as it is with any landlord-tenant communications. This lessens the possibility of future conflicts or misunderstandings:
Tenants must provide a letter of quiet enjoyment to the landlord. The intent is to alert the property owner that a violation of the right to quiet enjoyment has occurred. The primary difficulties and how they have affected their living circumstances must be covered in as much detail as possible in this letter.
If a complaint is made, the landlord must look into it immediately and find a solution before it worsens.
Refusing to pay rent
The renter may be able to withhold rent if a substantial concern arises and is not swiftly rectified. Local regulations will guide whether a renter may withhold rent due to infringing on the right to quiet enjoyment. However, to prevent this from happening, it is in the landlord’s best advantage to respond to the tenant’s complaint as soon as feasible. Even though it may take some time to resolve the issue, keep your tenants informed at every stage to let them know you value their concerns.
Landlords respond to complaints
Once notice has been given, the landlord is now in control. Landlords must respond in writing in the same manner as the tenant’s complaint was submitted. Although escalation is not the intended outcome, this generates a vital communication trail just in case. The renter should also be aware of your efforts to address the issue in this answer, along with an approximate time frame. Open and honest communication is crucial to guarantee a tenant’s happiness with the result.
Taking the Issue to Court
When a landlord and tenant cannot come to an amicable agreement on a claim of breach of peaceful enjoyment, they may end up in court. Therefore, landlords must have documentation and supporting evidence to protect themselves from potential legal action.
No landlord wants to deal with intrusive situations or complaints regarding a breach of quiet enjoyment. However, knowing your rights and those of your tenant can help you deal with even the most trying circumstances if they arise. Successful landlords are aware that dealing with tenant interactions of any kind can become time-consuming and overwhelming.