What is a Covenant of Quiet Enjoyment?
Written by Jason C. Henbest, Esq. and Brittany Saxton
A covenant is an agreement which can either be express or implied. Every rental agreement contains a covenant of quiet enjoyment that gives a tenant certain rights. The covenant can, but does not have to be, written in the lease.
In property law, the tenant essentially buys a covenant of quiet enjoyment with his or her monthly rental payments. This covenant generally provides that the tenant can peacefully enjoy his or her space with the authority to express certain rights in regard to the property. Quiet enjoyment typically applies to anything that creates a legitimate nuisance, or an unlawful interference with the tenant’s use and enjoyment of the lease premises.
Landlords and tenants each may have their own interpretations to what this covenant of quiet enjoyment entails. Potentially, this implied covenant may not permit the landlord to act in such a way that disturbs the tenant’s right to reasonably utilize the rented space. Examples of a landlord’s violation of the covenant of quiet enjoyment include: frequent entry into the rental without notice, failure to control disruptive noise throughout the complex, and forbidding the tenant from having guests that are non-tenants.
Does a tenant have any remedies if their right to quiet enjoyment is violated? If the landlord unreasonably and continuously breaks this covenant, the tenant can potentially forego rental payments. In the extreme case, the tenant can terminate the lease without further payment. If you feel your right to quiet enjoyment is being violated, consult a qualified attorney in order to take proper legal action.
Forked River, Lanoka Harbor, and Lacey Township Lawyer | Landlord-Tenant | Covenant of Quiet Enjoyment