Covenant Of Quiet Enjoyment
The covenant of "quiet enjoyment" is implied in every lease and rental agreement under California law. It doesn't have to be specifically mentioned in the lease in order for it to protect the tenant.
What is the Covenant of Quiet Enjoyment?
The covenant of quiet enjoyment includes the following rights:
A reasonable expectation of privacy;
Peace, quiet, and solitude;
Freedom from disturbances such as loud noises, smoke, and other nuisances from the landlord or other tenants;
Exclusive possession of the rental unit, subject to the landlord's right of access pursuant to the terms of the lease or rental agreement;
The use of common areas, free from significant disturbance or interference by the landlord or other tenants;
The use of basic services such as electricity, heat, and hot water.
What to do if the Covenant Has Been Breached
If a landlord fails to remedy the interference with quiet enjoyment, the tenant may be able to sue the landlord in small claims court.
For example, if you are a Los Angeles tenant and your unit has smoke drifting into it or you are constantly suffering from outside noise, you may have a claim for breach of the covenant of quiet enjoyment. You may also have a related claim of nuisance.
If the interference with your right to quiet enjoyment of the premises is so substantial that it forces you to abandon the premises, you may have a claim for constructive eviction.
Consult with a Reyes & Associates landlord-tenant attorney who can assist you with determining whether or not the covenant of quiet enjoyment has been breached in your case.