Constructive Eviction

The term “constructive eviction” refers to a scenario where there is a substantial breach by the landlord that violates the tenant’s implied right to quiet enjoyment of the property and entitles the tenant to terminate the lease and seek damages against the landlord. For instance, a leaking roof that floods the apartment, a broken heating system during the winter season, or any other breach by the landlord which renders the premises uninhabitable can constitute constructive eviction.

Reference Desk

Grammer v. Turits, 706 N.Y.S. 2d 453 (2000).

“A constructive eviction occurs where the landlord’s wrongful acts substantially and materially deprive the tenant of the beneficial use and enjoyment of the leased premises.”

Honce v. Vigil, 1 F.3d 1085 (1993) (quotations and citations omitted).

“Constructive eviction occurs when the landlord has substantially deprived the tenant of the beneficial use of the premises, and the tenant vacates or when the landlord’s actions are meritless, done in malice or bad faith, and so severe as to interfere with the tenant’s peaceful enjoyment of the premises. The New Mexico Supreme Court has found that three threatening demand letters by the landlord followed by a lawsuit were not sufficient to interfere with the tenant’s peaceful enjoyment of the premises. However, the court did find constructive eviction where the tenant was forced out of the premises because of a fire code violation. Other courts have held that mere threats by the landlord do not constitute constructive eviction, nor do acts which merely inconvenience the tenant.”

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