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January 17, 2019

Constructive Eviction

Word of the day

Constructive Eviction

Conduct by the landlord that so materially disturbs or impairs a tenant’s enjoyment of the leased premises that the tenant is effectively forced to move out and terminate the lease without liability for further rent. This concept is a product of modern property law, which now tends to place more emphasis on the quality of possession or habitability under a lease. Constructive eviction might occur when a landlord cuts off the electricity or fails to provide heating, makes extensive alterations to the premises or attempts to lease the property to others, or fails to provide elevator service in a highrise building. There can be no constructive eviction without the tenant’s vacating the premises within a reasonable time of the landlord’s act. The tenant’s duty to pay rent is not terminated if the tenant remains in possession.

The tenant can sue to recover possession or bring an action for damages based on breach of the covenant for quiet enjoyment.

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