Constructive Eviction


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Constructive Eviction

The disturbance, by a landlord, of a tenant's possession of premises that the landlord makes uninhabitable and unsuitable for the purposes for which they were leased, causing the tenant to surrender possession.

Constructive eviction arises when a landlord does not actually evict but does something that renders the premises untenantable. This might occur, for example, where a tenant vacates an apartment because a landlord turns off the heat or water.

The term is also used to mean the breach of a Covenant of Warranty and Quiet Enjoyment of real property, which prevents a purchaser from obtaining possession of property due to the existence of a paramount claim of title.

Cross-references

Landlord and Tenant.

constructive eviction

n. when the landlord does not go through a legal eviction of a tenant, but takes steps which keep the tenant from continuing to live in the premises. This could include changing the locks, turning off the drinking water, blocking the driveway, yelling at the tenant all the time, or nailing the door shut. (See: constructive)

References in periodicals archive ?
344) Recognizing constructive eviction as cognizable
perhaps not amounting to constructive eviction, would constitute
Other decisions focused on the nature of the claimed disturbance to deny constructive eviction claims.
A tenant who contemplates vacating the premises on ground of constructive eviction must give his landlord notice and a reasonable opportunity to correct or remove the condition complained of, when this is feasible.
Nevertheless, it is difficult, in our experience, for a landlord to preclude, on summary judgment, a claim of constructive eviction based solely on a lack of written notice.
See Anti-Defamation League Foundation, supra, (dismissing claim of constructive eviction based on landlord's building reconstruction work, where interference was, by its nature, "intermittent"); see also, Darnley v.
The doctrine of constructive eviction is based on the fundamental principle of failure of consideration: If one party to a contract is materially deprived of the benefits of the contract by the other party, the first party in turn may correspondingly suspend performance.
This theory of independent covenants in turn also explains the basis for the exception noted in Kayser-Roth, that the no-offsets clause does not preclude a defense of constructive eviction.

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