This page is focused on tenant rights. Landlord’s seeking to learn how to lawfully evict tenants should go here.
Breach of Covenant of Quiet Enjoyment
Most tenant’s have the right to “Quiet Enjoyment” of a rental unit unless their lease provides otherwise. This means a landlord must guarantee that: (1) Tenant can take possession of the property at the beginning of the lease term; and (2) That the landlord will not disturb tenant’s possession of the property. In some cases, a landlord may be liable for breach of covenant of quiet enjoyment by actions caused by another tenant if the action could and should have been stopped by the landlord.
What constitutes a breach of covenant of quiet enjoyment varies on a case by case basis. It could be pet complaints, noise complaints, landlord’s visiting the property at unreasonable hours, the list goes on. Consider contacting me and talking to me about your specific issue.
Right to Possession at Beginning of the Lease Term
Right to possession at the beginning of the lease term is a paramount property right. A tenant does not owe any rent until he or she can take possession of the property. In addition, a tenant may cancel the lease by giving the landlord written notice before taking possession of the property.Landlord must then return to the landlord any rent or security deposit that has already been paid.
Landlord’s often rent bad units to tenants and many tenants do not find out until after they take possession of the property. If you find out your property is in bad condition, then do not take possession of the property and follow the steps above. If you have already taken possession, then you still may be able to recover damages that you suffered as a result.
If a landlord fails to correct or terminate a disturbance that seriously interferes with a tenant’s use and enjoyment of rental property, then a tenant may abandon the property. This defense is called “constructive eviction.” A tenant who prevails in a constructive eviction action can recover moving expenses, attorney’s fees, and other expenses resulting from the constructive eviction. A tenant who abandon’s a property can still file for rent escrow. In accordance with Maryland law a landlord must have notice of the defect. Written notice is the best practice.
Disturbances serious enough to support a claim of constructive eviction include but not limited to: failure to furnish heat or electricity, unsanitary restroom facilities, frequent flooding, and more. Consider contacting me to evaluate whether or not your particular claim rises to the level of constructive eviction.
The Pendergraft Firm LLC Help Me Break My Lease Practice
Brian Pendergraft is a Maryland landlord-tenant attorney that has successfully represented tenants in the District Courts of Maryland. Call me at (301) 205-9013 or E-mail [email protected] to schedule a free phone consultation!
Unable To Afford an Attorney or Would Rather Do It Yourself?
Check out my Maryland Landlord Self-Help Eviction Legal Kit or my Maryland Tenant Rights Legal Kit. The kits contain my strategies and sample pleadings for representing landlords and tenants in Maryland.