Covenant of Quiet Enjoyment

A covenant of quiet enjoyment is an agreement between a tenant and a landlord that guarantees a tenant’s right to quiet enjoyment.

What is a covenant of quiet enjoyment?

A covenant of quiet enjoyment is an agreement between a tenant and a landlord that guarantees a tenant’s right to quiet enjoyment. In general, this agreement is implied by any form of rental agreement.

What is quiet enjoyment?

Quiet enjoyment includes several rights for a tenant:

  • Privacy
  • Peace and quiet - this includes being free from unreasonable and recurring disturbances from neighbors or the landlord
  • Right of use - apart from the landlord’s reasonable right to access, this guarantees the tenant to have the exclusive right of using the rented real estate
  • Safety and security - the right to a dwelling that is secure and free from bodily hazards
  • Basic Utilities - access to electricity, heat and hot water

In general, quiet enjoyment guarantees a tenant’s right to live in the accommodation they have rented without what is considered a legitimate nuisance.

What is a legitimate nuisance?

Generally speaking, a legitimate nuisance is relative to the tenant’s ability to access and enjoy the housing. “Quiet” - in this case - does not mean “silence”. Rather, it is a subjective term. While there may be general legal guidelines like decibel limitations, it is usually decided on a case by case basis.

Violations of the covenant of quiet enjoyment

If a landlord creates a legitimate nuisance or does nothing to remedy the situation, they can be in violation of the covenant of quiet enjoyment. Some of the more common violations are:

  • Entering the premise too frequently or without proper notice.
  • Looking through the tenant’s personal property.
  • Failing to respond to complaints about disturbances made by the tenant.
  • Harassing a tenant.
  • Restricting or terminating essential services like water or electricity.
  • Fails to provide repairs within a reasonable period of time.
  • Prohibits the tenant from entertaining guests or otherwise reasonably enjoying the housing.

Examples of violations:

  • Parties next door that happen too frequently or last too long.
  • Second hand smoke entering the unit from a neighbor smoking inside.
  • Other cars parked in a tenant’s parking spot.
  • A landlord threatens or harasses the tenant.
  • Failing to keep the wildlife on the premises under control.
  • Neighbor’s pets constantly being overly noisy.
  • An unattended smoke alarm, when a neighbor goes on vacation for a week.
  • Unattended repairs like water damage etc.
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