In this episode of the Legal Zone, joining us is Attorney William Merrifield to discuss illegal evictions.
What is a Covenant of Quiet Enjoyment?
When a landlord and a tenant enter a lease, right off the top, the landlord promises that neither he, nor anyone else will interfere with the tenant’s lawful possession. This is called the covenant of quiet enjoyment.
In addition, there is an implied warranty of habitability, that is the rental unit will be maintained in a physical condition that provides safe, decent, and habitable housing for tenants. The basic essential are:
- Heat –Even in Florida!
- Hot water
- Safe kitchen appliances and
- Safe and sound structural conditions
These are a must.
Eviction: What is it?
An eviction is the disposition of a tenant of a leased property. The landlord causes the tenant to no longer be able to live in the home.
There are 2 types of evictions:
Actual Evictions & Constructive Evictions
What Are Actual Evictions?
Actual evictions occur when the landlord locks the tenant out of the premise/property.
What Are Constructive Evictions?
Constructive eviction occurs when the landlord intentionally fails or interferes with the tenant’s intended enjoyment of the premise/property. The tenant must leave because the home is no longer enjoyable or habitable to live in.
What Are Your Options When a Landlord Breaches the Covenant of Quiet Enjoyment?
The tenant has 2 options when a landlord breaches the Covenant of Quiet Enjoyment.
Stay and sue for damages, or vacate (constructive eviction) and sue for damages.
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Attorney William Merrifield
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