Quiet Enjoyment Laws
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What Is "Quiet Enjoyment"?
Quiet Enjoyment is the right to the unimpaired enjoyment and use of any property that has been leased, sold, or conveyed. The right to quiet enjoyment is sometimes expressed through a “Covenant of Quiet Enjoyment,” and may be contained in the lease or deed of sale.
If the right to quiet enjoyment is not specifically listed in a document, most jurisdictions will imply the right if a landlord-tenant or seller-buyer relationship exists between the parties. This is also known as the “implied covenant of quiet enjoyment”, meaning that the tenant or buyer can exercise this right even if it is not specifically stated in the lease agreement.
The covenant of quiet enjoyment is part of a larger bundle of rights and protections contained in the general warranty deed issued in connection with the sale of land.
When Is the Covenant of Quiet Enjoyment Violated?
A person’s rights to quiet enjoyment of property are violated if:
- The landlord commits wrongful acts against the plaintiff or the property
- The landlord commits negligence or some other act of omission (such as failing to repair dangerous conditions)
- The property becomes uninhabitable
- A third party attempts to claim the property by challenging the lease or title
Thus, the right to quiet enjoyment is not limited to noise violations or acts of nuisance. Instead, the quiet enjoyment focuses more on a person’s right to possess property without having the title to the land challenged by another party.
Quiet enjoyment is considered a “future covenant”, meaning that violations only occur in the future after a sale has been completed. The right to quiet enjoyment implies that a buyer will not be subjected to the inconvenience of a title challenge after they have made a purchase of the property.
When Does Quiet Enjoyment Not Apply?
The right to quiet enjoyment does not apply to strangers attempting to interfere with possession. Here, the word “strangers” applies to persons who are not claiming title under the lessor or seller. That is, the a person leasing or selling property cannot be held liable for parties who are challenging possession but are not claiming the same “chain of possession” as the title holder.
Therefore in order to avoid confusion over title records, a person ought to conduct their own search of title records before purchasing or leasing a home. It may be necessary to consult with a lawyer for assistance with title searches in local or county records.
Do I Need a Lawyer?
When a person purchases or leases property, they are entitled to the quiet enjoyment, use and possession of the land. If you have any issues or disputes over quiet enjoyment, you may wish to contact a property lawyer for advice and representation in court. You may be able to have a title dispute resolved, and if you have suffered damages, you may be able to recover your losses in court.
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Last Modified: 09-15-2014 10:40 PM PDT
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