18 Sep 2023
15 Sep 2023
Are you a tenant living in a property that is uninhabitable, and your landlord refuses to fix it? As a tenant, you have the option of sending your landlord an eviction notice and terminating the tenancy without rent obligations
Keep reading to discover the steps needed to terminate your tenancy using the concept of constructive eviction.
Constructive eviction allows a Tenant to vacate the property and terminate the tenancy agreement without further rent obligation if the landlord fails to carry out essential repairs, rendering the property uninhabitable.
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This blog provides all the answers to your questions, such as understanding your rights and sending a constructive eviction letter to the landlord to protect your claim.
So, what is constructive eviction in real estate?
As a legal term, 'Constructive Eviction' refers to a situation where the tenant's right to quietly enjoy the rented property is severely impeded because the rented property is rendered uninhabitable due to the landlord's failure to perform its legal obligations.
Let me break it down for you:
Constructive eviction occurs when the landlord neglects to carry out its duties and responsibilities such as maintaining the rental unit and that renders the rental unit unlivable for the tenant. In such circumstances the tenant has the right to move out of the rented property and terminate the rental agreement without obligation to pay future rent.
Read more about constructive eviction, click here
Examples of Constructive eviction are:
(a) Plumbing Problems: Frequent leaks, drainage issues, and water pressure fluctuations have disrupted daily activities.
(b) Heating/Cooling Issues: The inconsistent functioning of the heating and cooling systems has made it difficult to maintain a comfortable temperature within the property.
(c) Electrical Problems: Frequent electrical outages and malfunctioning fixtures have created safety hazards.
(d) Mold Growth: Mold has developed in various areas of the property, leading to potential health concerns.
(e) Pest Infestations: Persistent pest infestations, such as [specify type of pests], have made the premises unsanitary and uncomfortable.
In such circumstances where the landlord neglects to maintain the rented premises, rendering it uninhabitable for the tenant then constructive eviction can be used as defence in the court for early termination of lease by the tenant.
Are you unsure whether you’re experiencing a case eligible for constructive eviction? Use this checklist to ascertain if your circumstances align with constructive eviction.
If your response to all the above is ‘Yes’ then follow the step by step guide below to take further action
Read more about the necessary criterias to constitute constructive conviction, click here
Record Incidents: You must document details of all incidents that contribute to constructive eviction.
Collect Evidence: Gather any relevant evidence such as photos, videos to support your case.
Download the DocPro’s Repair and Maintenance Request Letter to Landlord Letter Template to inform your landlord of the issues you are facing in the rented property and intent to claim constructive eviction.
Repair and Maintenance Request Letter Template - Download Now! Printable Template
You can move out of the rented property if the landlord fails to fix the issues and the property is uninhabitable. It is advisable, that you as the tenant have provided a reasonable period of time to the landlord to fix these issues.
Download DocPro’s Constructive Eviction Notice Template to notify your landlord that you have vacated the property and hereby terminating the Agreement due to circumstances that rendered the property uninhabitable, and you have no further obligation to pay rent.
When landlord illegally removes the tenant from the rented property i.e. without following the legal procedure for eviction of tenant
When landlord’s actions or negligence renders the property inhabitable and forces the tenant to leave the property
Physical eviction by landlord
No physical eviction by landlord
Examples : Landlord changes the locks, removes the tenant's belongings or shuts off the utilities
Examples: persistent maintenance problems (e.g., plumbing or electrical issues), unsafe conditions, pest infestations
Constructive eviction allows the tenant to:
It’s advisable to consult a lawyer as the constructive eviction laws varies by jurisdiction.
For instance in Florida, tenants may claim constructive eviction based on precedents. It is advisable to tenants that they provide a reasonable period of time to the landlord to fix the issues in the rented property, and if the property is rendered uninhabitable then vacate the premises within a reasonable time.
In California, tenants can break a lease without obligation to pay rent if the property is not in a livable condition. Again, it is advisable to notify the landlord about issues and provide a reasonable period of time to fix those issues.
Constructive eviction laws differ from state to state, so it is important to consult an attorney before taking action. Tenants can deduct repair costs from their rent in some jurisdictions if they carry out the repairs themselves.
Yes. tenants take a substantial risk when utilizing the constructive eviction defense in court. This is because to meet the criteria for constructive eviction, the tenant must prove to the court that the property was uninhabitable due to the landlord's failure to address the issues. If the court does not accept the claim, the tenant could be held responsible for paying the full rent for the entire lease term.
Download and Use the printable letter templates for tenants linked in this blog to ensure you have the necessary evidence to support your claim for constructive eviction. These are the only templates you will need to protect yourself.
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