2

Are there any cases won on the grounds of quiet enjoyment where a tenant whose life was being disrupted by another tenant or the other tenants' guests? Or are there any cases regardless of circumstances in case law regarding quiet enjoyment that ended up in a favorable outcome for a tenant?

I have had my quiet enjoyment violated a couple of times as a tenant throughout my life and yet, unless they are violating a state law in general, I don't see why quiet enjoyment is even mentioned or exists as it does not exist as de jure nor de facto.

Also, if the agreement is between landlord-tenant, how does one prove the landlord is at fault for another tenant?

Could you make the argument that their change in visitor policy is the problem? For example, if the new policy says, hey as long as the visitor has a permit parking pass we consider them okay to be on premises indefinitely, whereas perhaps before the policy was a visitor must register and they must be there no more than 72 hours or 3-day visit.

The quiet enjoyment seems like more of a social contract, but when that social contract breaks down, either between landlord-tenant or tenant-tenant, if the circumstances are not illegal, nothing becomes of that breakdown.

So my past and present experience has shown me, its quiet enjoyment violation if and when a local, property or state law has also been violated, otherwise, its your problem and civil suits are fraught as someone once said.

  • @SJuan76, no and no. Nothing unusual right now except deciding to walk those 20 feet from the front of their kitchen door to speak in front of our kitchen door. And no our kitchen does not share a wall with theirs, so they are not hearing me. So what you are suggesting is that if its not happening after hours or yelling, then its legal and does not constitute interference. So walking 20 feet away from your front door to speak on your cellphone in front of someone else's door is quite normal from a legal standpoint. – Daniel Jul 24 at 17:54
  • @SJuan76, I am trying to be clear here, this is not, I can hear through the walls situation. This is someone who walks out of their premises and walks 20 feet over to my side of the property and stands in front of my kitchen door to have a cellphone conversation. Is that reasonable? Would you, as a person needing to have a private conversation, go over to your neighbors front door to have this private conversation on your cellphone? Kind of odd. – Daniel Jul 24 at 18:30
  • @SJuan76, so it seems that legally, if its not happening after 10pm or there are no lewd and inappropriate things being said, its okay for me to have to partake unwillingly of someone's private conversation that they decided to bring to my doorstep, literally and there is nothing I can do except ask them to please leave, which obviously has not worked because its a shared balcony, which I knew was going to be a problem, but they told me its the only apartment they had at the time. So moving seems to be the only option. I think I will rephrase my question above then. – Daniel Jul 24 at 18:36
  • 2
    Litigated cases like this are very rare. I'll look for cases if I get a chance. The quiet enjoyment obligation runs from the tenant to the landlord, so one has to show that the landlord is at fault for a neighbor's misconduct. More often, one would directly sue the neighbor for creating a public nuisance or seek to have law enforcement enforce some sort of pertinent municipal ordinance such as a noise ordinance. – ohwilleke Jul 24 at 18:50
  • 1
    @Daniel Whether it is wise and whether it is possible are two different things. The biggest issue is that you can't generally get attorneys' fees as a prevailing party in such a case unless it is part of an HOA, and the money damages awarded will typically be less than the attorneys' fees incurred. Still it is worth it to some people, I've brought them, and when the neighbors are businesses or rich people it can be worth it. Anyway, it is a respectable and valid cause of action and isn't especially more difficult to prove than other kinds of lawsuits when the facts are extreme. – ohwilleke Jul 24 at 18:58
0

Lots

Commercial landlord-tenant disputes are heard at first instance in the NSW Administrative Disputes Tribunal. A search of their decisions gives more than 50 hits between 1999 and 2013.

Quoting from the first of these:

whether the former lessee under a retail shop lease of premises in a shopping centre is entitled to damages from the former lessor, on the ground that renovation works in the centre carried out by a building contractor employed by the lessor disrupted the business of a real estate agency carried on in the premises, in ways amounting to a breach of the lessor’s covenant for  quiet enjoyment 

Spoiler - the answer was “yes”.

Residential landlord-tenant disputes are heard in the NSW Consumer, Trader and Tenancy Tribunal but only after mandatory Alternative Dispute Resolution has failed. A search gets over 400 hits.

For example, Ingram v Department of Housing (Tenancy) [2002] NSWCTTT 84 was a successful argument by a tenant that the landlord denied them quiet enjoyment. The facts of the case were that a neighbour who was a tenant of the same landlord interfered with their quiet enjoyment to the extent that required police intervention.

These cases give you some idea of the things you would need to prove: that your landlord was responsible (so a neighbour who is not under your landlord’s control wouldn’t. Similarly, a landlord can only influence a body corporate to the extent of their power within it) and the interference was egregious.

  • Dale, thank you for sharing this information about New South Wales. I am particularly looking for case law in the United States, but it sounds like New South Wales are taking quiet enjoyment seriously. I was also thinking, I run my business from my home and in the United States, businesses usually call the police and have people removed from the premises, I am guessing a sole proprietor does not have that kind of influence with the State. Also, after 50 views, it looks like the number of case law in the U.S. where a tenant wins quiet enjoyment is close to nil. – Daniel Jul 25 at 2:13
  • 1
    @Daniel "quiet enjoyment" is a common-law covenant implied into leases so, unless statute law (or the contract) has overridden it, it should be applicable in most common law jurisdictions. – Dale M Jul 25 at 2:15
  • Right I am aware of this, but when I have tried to take action in cases where a landlords tenant was disrupting my quiet enjoyment, I get push back saying well we need evidence that they violated the lease to kick them out, violating my quiet enjoyment is not violating a lease and in the States, judges do tend to favor the tenant, the judge needs good reason such as violation of a lease, not just oh he bothered another tenant of mine, this is my understanding and its what I get back when I talk to real attorneys, either that or they are just blowing me off because its not lucrative? – Daniel Jul 25 at 2:19
  • ""quiet enjoyment" is a common-law covenant implied into leases so...": most of the leases I've read, if not all of them, mention quiet enjoyment explicitly. @Daniel when two tenants have competing quiet enjoyment claims, it complicates matters considerably, but that doesn't make quiet enjoyment meaningless. – phoog Sep 23 at 20:19

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.