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What is The Difference Between an Actual and Constructive Eviction?

What is The Difference Between an Actual and Constructive Eviction?

What is The Difference Between an Actual and Constructive Eviction?

22Jun

What is The Difference Between an Actual and Constructive Eviction?

Generally, we all understand that an eviction occurs when your landlord takes official measures to get a tenant out of their apartment-- usually because they haven’t paid the rent, or they have otherwise violated some part of the lease.  But there is more than one type of eviction-- there are actual evictions and constructive evictions. Read on to learn the difference between them.

Actual Eviction Definition

An actual eviction refers to the legal process of removing a tenant from the property. When lawyers use the term "eviction", it is a reference to an actual physical eviction.

What is Constructive Eviction?

However, there are times when the conditions of a unit are so bad for the tenant that a reasonable person couldn't bear to live there and continuing to do so would be bad for their welfare. So, they leave because of the environment. This is the scenario for a typical constructive eviction.

One example would be when a landlord makes it impractical or impossible for you to use your unit by refusing elevator service in a high-rise building. Since you are effectively forced out, you're are on solid legal ground to terminate the lease without further liability for rent due to the landlord's wrongdoing. This is considered a "constructive eviction." The court must make a judgment before a landlord is allowed to physically remove the tenant from the property. Otherwise, the landlord who makes the effort to skip the unlawful detainer process is engaging in illegal self-help.

Why Does a Landlord Do This?

Going through the legal eviction process is time-consuming and expensive with court and legal fees. Landlords may be willing to forgo the legality in exchange for quickly getting a tenant out through illegal means. They figure it's worth it to get the unit back so that they can rent it out for a higher rate. When a constructive eviction occurs, you have legal options.

Constructive Eviction Examples

  • Repair issues: Landlord tries to force tenants out is by not making repairs to the unit. In these cases, the tenant has informed their landlord that the place has a pet infestation, a leak, no water or heat, or some other major issue that makes the unit unlivable.
  • Denial of services: Landlord refuses to provide essential or necessary services to the tenants.
  • Harassment: Landlord enters premises without notice, bothers tenants with invasive texts, phone calls, or email or engages in other harassing behavior.

Dealing with a Real or Constructive Eviction? Discuss with a Bay Area Tenants' Rights Lawyer

Landlord/tenant law is complex. If you're facing eviction issues, you probably need an attorney to help you. The legal professionals at Wolford Wayne have the experience and compassion to help you assert your rights. Contact us immediately to discuss your options.

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