What is the Right to Quiet Enjoyment?
Every tenant has the right to use and enjoy the property for which he pays rent without being disturbed. This right is known as the quiet tenant right and applies to both tenants and landowners. Real estate covenants include this right, and rental or purchase contracts often include these covenants.
Implied rights and guarantees of quiet pleasure
In many cases, the right to quiet enjoyment of a property is an implied right or warranty, meaning that an agreement between tenant and landlord involves the right to enjoy and use it without being disturbs. Even if your rental agreement does not explicitly mention the tenant’s right to quiet enjoyment, the court still recognizes it as an implied right that accompanies the rental agreement of a property.
What does quiet pleasure mean?
The definition of quiet enjoyment states that a tenant has the right to enjoy their rental accommodation without “substantial interference” from their landlord and ensures that tenants enjoy the full use and enjoyment of their home or apartment. . This can be a bit difficult to define as each individual’s perception of “calm” differs. If you’re used to living in a large city with a lot of street noise, the noise of passing cars probably doesn’t impact your ability to relax and feel comfortable in your home. living space. However, if you’ve lived in the suburbs, street noise might bother you when trying to sleep at night.
Ultimately, the ability to achieve quiet enjoyment of your living space depends on the actions of your landlord. Dealing with persistent disruption is something you don’t have to put up with as a tenant, under this particular implied right. Here are some examples of persistent disruption caused by the owner:
- Entering the property without notice or too frequently
- Harassment directed at you or your guests
- Unnecessary maintenance or improvements that take longer than they should
- Constant contact, whether by email, in-person visits or phone calls
- Prohibit the reasonable enjoyment of the property, for example preventing the tenant from inviting and receiving guests
- Failing to repair issues within the property that impact livability or that the landlord has promised to fix in the rental agreement
- Search personal property
In addition to the disturbance caused by the landlord, the quiet enjoyment can also be compromised by other tenants, neighbors and pests. Dealing with disruptive nuisances like barking dogs, loud music, or loud neighbors can be frustrating and make it difficult for you to feel comfortable and relaxed in your living space. You might also have static in your unit that makes noise or makes you uncomfortable.
Acceptable or unacceptable disturbances
It is important to understand the difference between acceptable or one-time disturbances and unacceptable or ongoing disturbances. If you owe rent or if your landlord follows up on another request or financial concern, they are entitled to contact you regularly until they receive a response. An emergency, such as a broken pipe or a fire in the unit, can also void the owner’s requirement to provide notice before entering the living space.
If you have neighbors who like to throw parties and the noise from these gatherings occurs outside of quiet hours, it probably wouldn’t be considered an unacceptable disruption. After all, they have the right to quietly enjoy their living space to receive guests, as long as they don’t violate the terms of their rental agreement or make a lot of noise late at night. Some disturbances can also come only with the territory, such as street noise in a high-rise building or train horns when a residence is next to a train station or stop.
Specific implicit rights under quiet enjoyment
A person who rents a property has certain specific implied rights under the right to quiet enjoyment. These include:
- Privacy: A reasonable expectation of maintaining privacy in the unit without being disturbed by the owner.
- Right of use: Exclusive right to use the property as the tenant sees fit, provided their actions fall under the terms of the rental agreement and do not violate any local law.
- Peace and calm: The right to enjoy an atmosphere of calm living, without disturbances which would be considered unreasonable and / or recurring by neighbors, the owner or others around the property.
- Basic utilities: Access to basic utilities, including hot water, heating and electricity, which make the property habitable. Access to utilities also falls under a separate implied warranty, known as the livability guarantee of a property.
- Safety and security: The right to housing which offers sufficient security, such as having locks on exterior doors and windows, and to premises free from bodily harm and security concerns.
What constitutes a violation of the tenant’s right to quiet enjoyment?
When wondering if something violates the right of quiet enjoyment, you can ask, “Would the specific problem or situation prevent a typical resident from enjoying and reasonably accessing the rental?” If the answer to this question is yes, it is better to act and remedy the situation.
If a landlord violates this right, the tenant may be released from their obligation to pay rent and terminate their lease. One of the most fundamental aspects of a good tenant-landlord relationship is the payment of rent in exchange for livable and safe accommodation that the tenant can enjoy. When this aspect is not present in the relationship, the tenant may have legal grounds to terminate their lease and find rental accommodation that meets their requirements for safety and enjoyment.
When you are a tenant, you have the right to enjoy and feel reasonably secure in the property for which you are paying rent. Landlords must ensure that the property they are renting to an individual or group of people meets the requirements of the tenant’s implied guarantee of enjoyment, as well as providing a living space free of disturbance and offering a standard of living. privacy appropriate to those who live there. .
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