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When Is a Breach of Quiet Enjoyment Cause for Legal Action?

When Is a Breach of Quiet Enjoyment Cause for Legal Action?

When Is a Breach of Quiet Enjoyment Cause for Legal Action?


When Is a Breach of Quiet Enjoyment Cause for Legal Action?

Tenants have a legal right to a reasonable degree of quiet, privacy, and enjoyment of their rental property. Unfortunately, landlords do not always honor this right.

For example, the landlord of a rent-controlled unit might intentionally cause excess noise or disturbances – or ignore their duty to address them - until the tenant becomes so fed up that they move out voluntarily, allowing the landlord to re-rent the unit at a higher rate.

It is important to understand your rights as a tenant so that you know how to properly deal with a harassing landlord. If you’ve been forced out of your rent-controlled unit by your landlord’s illegal actions, the attorneys at Wolford Wayne can help. We’ll evaluate your case and discuss options for a potential lawsuit. 

Quiet Enjoyment Is an Implied Right for Every Renter

 When someone rents a residential property, they enter into a “covenant of quiet enjoyment,” as the California Department of Real Estate (DRE) explains. This means that the tenant leasing the property has the right to use and enjoy that property without unreasonable interference from the owner or landlord. When a landlord invades your privacy or causes constant disturbances, this violates the covenant of quiet enjoyment.

Some landlords intentionally disrupt a tenant’s right to quiet enjoyment to provoke the tenant to move out voluntarily. More common, landlords ignore the impact that construction or problem neighbors have on tenants which is equally problematic. This is an unfortunately common problem in rent-controlled units in San Francisco, Oakland, and Berkeley, where landlords benefit from pushing out long-time tenants so they can re-rent their homes at a higher rate. If your landlord’s bad behavior (or anyone acting on the landlord’s behalf) has forced you to leave your rent-controlled unit, this could qualify as a type of wrongful eviction called constructive eviction, and you may be able to take legal action.

Regardless of intention, interfering with your life in a manner that causes distress or violates privacy may be grounds for legal action. If you are still occupying your unit and dealing with an invasive landlord, or if you have already been forced out of your home due to interference with your right to quiet enjoyment, consult with an experienced wrongful eviction attorney immediately.

When to Take Legal Action for Breach of Quiet Enjoyment

Many local rent ordinances, like San Francisco’s Rent Ordinance and Oakland’s Tenant Protection Ordinance, include an anti-harassment law, which uses the phrase “substantial interference” to describe when a landlord’s breach of quiet enjoyment amounts to harassment and becomes illegal. Some examples of landlord harassment that may be grounds for a lawsuit include:

  • Making verbal threats against you
  • Unnecessary construction or maintenance at unreasonable hours
  • Violations of your privacy, such as entering your unit without notice
  • Intentionally and repeatedly disturbing you with noise, unannounced visits, and other types of harassment
  • Attempting to get you to move out via coercion or fraud

After years of representing tenants who experience constructive eviction, we have seen countless ways that landlords illegally intimidate, annoy, and harass tenants. We also know how important it is to have legal guidance you can trust in this situation. If you’ve been forced out of your rent-controlled unit by harassment, our firm will review your case and explain your options in depth.

If Breach of Quiet Enjoyment Forced You to Move, Contact a Tenant’s Rights Lawyer

When landlord harassment, unreasonable noise, or lack of privacy make your rent-controlled unit so unlivable that you must leave, you may have cause for a wrongful eviction claim. If a lawsuit against your former landlord becomes necessary, you can trust the attorneys at Wolford Wayne to be your reliable and knowledgeable advocates. We can seek the maximum compensation you deserve for your suffering.

Call Wolford Wayne today or contact us online to discuss your wrongful eviction case. We are committed to fighting for the rights of tenants.

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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.

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