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What is constructive eviction in a residential lease?

On Behalf of | Dec 9, 2021 | Residential Real Estate |

Constructive eviction is a term used where a landlord effectively leaves you no choice but to move out of the property they lease you. Often this is because they are irresponsible and do not care about their tenants. Other times it may be that they want to push you out of their property early, but know they have no legal ground to do so turn to underhand methods to get you to leave.

Whatever the reason, if the landlord does not live up to their responsibilities under the lease agreement, you may be able to move out without paying for the entire lease term. Here are some of the things your landlord might do which breach the rental terms:

  •     Turning off the utilities
  •     Changing your locks
  •     Blocking your access to the property
  •     Failing to make repairs as per the lease agreement

Proving constructive eviction

To prove you have the right to move out without further payment, you have to show a breach of duty by the landlord that interfered with the use and enjoyment of the leased property. You also need to prove that you gave your landlord notice of the breach and a reasonable time to act on it. For instance, you cannot just move out because the heating is broken if you did not give the landlord a chance to fix it.

What next?

If the landlord contests your leaving or insists you continue paying rent,  it is critical to have the proper information to ensure the best possible outcome for your case.