A “constructive eviction” is the legal term for someone being chased out of their rented property due to inhospitable or inhabitable conditions. In other words, when someone has been subjected to a constructive eviction, they have effectively been kicked out of their home because it is no longer possible to live there in safety or comfort. Here are five of the most common reasons for constructive evictions:
- Landlord fails to fix broken utilities
- Hot water, electricity, and heat are not simple conveniences in the modern age. As far as the law is concerned, access to these basic utilities is essential for living, and a landlord has a responsibility for repairing any utilities when they break. When a landlord does not repair utilities in a timely fashion, or outright refuses to repair them, that can be a cause for constructive evictions.
- Infestation goes unaddressed
- Mice, rats, roaches, termites, and bedbugs all pose potential problems for any tenant that has them in their apartment. Landlords must deal with these infestations within a reasonable time period so that tenants may enjoy their apartments without worrying about unwanted pests. When the Landlord does not address an infestation, it could be considered grounds for a constructive eviction proceeding brought by a tenant.
- Apartment is damaged by natural disasters
- Just like any other building, apartments can be significantly damaged by floods, fires, storms, and other natural disasters. If the damage is significant enough, it may become unsafe to live in the damaged building. At that point, tenants may have to leave their apartment as it is a constructive evictions due to the dangerous condition caused by the disaster.
- Landlord does not respect tenant privacy
- Tenants have something known as the right of quiet enjoyment, which is protected by law. This right allows tenants to live in their apartments without worry that they will be intruded upon or forced to leave without a good reason. When landlords violate this right by failing to respect a tenant’s privacy, a tenant may have grounds to claim they have been the victim of a constructive eviction.
- Tenant leaves due to landlord harassment
- Sometimes, a landlord will deliberately make their property unlivable for their tenant in an attempt to chase them out. This could mean intentionally disabling utilities like water or power, sending their tenants threatening messages, or changing the locks when the tenant is out of the apartment. When this happens, it may be time to seek the guidance of a landlord-tenant lawyer who can advise you on the law behind constructive evictions.
If you are in a dispute with your landlord and want to know more about protecting yourself, do not wait until it is too late. You should seek advice from an attorney experienced in handling landlord-tenant disputes, who can advise you on your rights and help you avoid the risk of eviction. Contact the skilled landlord-tenant attorneys at Hobson-Williams, P.C. Contact us online, toll-free (866) 825-1529 or (718) 210-4744 to discuss your rights and the solutions available to you.