As a tenant, you have the right to quiet enjoyment of your rental unit. Even if this is not expressly stated in your lease agreement, this promise is implied in every Bay Area residential lease. Read on to learn exactly what the covenant of quiet enjoyment means for you as a tenant.
The covenant of quiet enjoyment gives the right to every tenant exclusive use and enjoyment of their rental, even when it comes to the owner. Put differently, this means that they are entitled to use and enjoyment of their entire rental unit without "substantial interference" from the landlord.
One way to see how the covenant works is in the area of repairs. Suppose that your heat isn't working in your unit. You give the landlord written notice of this fact and after some time passes, they still don't get around to fixing it. This is an example where is there overlap between the right to quiet enjoyment and the warranty of habitability (another implied covenant that is in your lease), which ensures that the living space has livable conditions. Here, you aren't able to use or enjoy your unit as intended until your landlord makes the necessary repairs. If it does indeed go beyond a "reasonable" time, then you could recover damages from your landlord for a refund of your rent for the time that you've lived in the unrepaired state.
Sometimes a landlord will enter your apartment under the guise of making repairs. In general, the landlord isn't allowed to enter unless it's under specific circumstances; making necessary repairs (or agreed upon repairs) is one of the circumstances that the law specifies. However, the landlord can't just come in at any time and announce that they're making repairs and instead they usually must give you "reasonable notice," unless it's an emergency repair. Reasonable notice is usually considered at least 24 hours.
If the landlord makes a habit of entering without a legal purpose or without proper notice, then the landlord is breaking the law. The action is not only trampling on your right to quiet enjoyment, but it may also be an indicator of other violations, such as harassment or an attempt to wrongfully evict.
Keep in mind that the landlord may only enter your unit under specific circumstances:
They can enter with prior written notice under these conditions:
Your right to quiet enjoyment is an important part of your tenants' rights. If your landlord is violating this, you can notify them and ask that they stop. If this doesn't resolve the issue, then get in touch with a Wolford Wayne tenants' rights attorney who can help you go over your options. Contact us immediately for help with next steps.
Recovered on behalf of a group of 30 tenants living in an SRO in San Francisco who were living with horrendous conditions in their rent controlled apartments, including rodents, bedbugs, mold, water leaks and harassment.Read More
Recovered on behalf of three families living in a building in San Francisco’s SOMA neighborhood who were forced to live with substandard conditions for years as a result of their landlord’s negligence, including issues with lack of heat, lack of hot water and cockroach/rat infestations.Read More
Recovered on behalf of a couple living in a rent-controlled home in the outer Sunset neighborhood. Our clients were forced to vacate after the landlord served them with an Owner Move-In Eviction Notice. After the landlords failed to move into the property, our clients filed suit for wrongful eviction.Read More
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Recovered for a single long-term tenant in San Francisco. Our client was forced to move out of his apartment as a result of extreme landlord harassment.Read More
Recovered on behalf of three long-term tenants in San Francisco’s Castro neighborhood who were constructively evicted due to noise and nuisance conditions created by their downstairs neighbors, which the owner refused to address.Read More
Recovered on behalf of elderly, disabled tenant who was forced to move out of her rent-controlled San Francisco apartment of 50 years after landlord/owner failed to resolve numerous building code violations that remained outstanding for over a decade.Read More
Recovered on behalf of seven tenants living in a makeshift boarding house in East Palo Alto.Read More
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Recovered on behalf of an elderly long-term tenant who was forced to vacate her long San Francisco apartment as a result of her landlord’s refusal to address longstanding defective conditions, including lack of heat, mold, rodent infestations, and defective plumbing. Read More
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Recovered on behalf of a San Francisco family that was constructively evicted from their home in the Richmond District as a result of unlawful rent increases, defective conditions and tenant harassment.Read More
Recovered on behalf of a tenant living in an illegal “in-law” unit. In this case, a new owner purchased the building and then demolished our client’s unit without permits while she was displaced for seismic retrofitting.Read More
Recovered on behalf of two long term San Francisco tenants who were fraudulently evicted from their home of over twenty years under the pretext of an owner move-in eviction.Read More
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For more information or to discuss your legal situation, call us today at (415) 649-6203 for a phone consultation or submit an inquiry below. Please note our firm can only assist tenants residing in San Francisco, Oakland & Berkeley.