Quiet enjoyment sounds like the ideal term to describe a rental situation, but it actually has a specific legal meaning. Quiet enjoyment is the agreement between renters and property owners that assures a safe unit, free of disruptions or issues that inhibit living. Quiet enjoyment is not an agreement that promises absolute silence. Instead, it’s a promise to provide housing disturbance-free and hostility-free.
1. Quiet enjoyment is an implied covenant
A lot of the time, an agreement regarding quiet enjoyment is never put in writing. Quiet enjoyment is what’s known as an “implied covenant.” An implied covenant is something that’s understood to exist by both parties involved in the agreement unless explicitly repudiated in writing. That means, even if it hasn’t come up in a discussion between you and your landlord, you’re still almost certainly entitled to quiet enjoyment.
2. Definitions of quiet enjoyment may vary
Quiet enjoyment isn’t a term that has a hard-lined, legal definition. In fact, it varies quite a bit based on the norms of any given locale. While a horn honking daily might be considered a violation of quiet enjoyment in a remote, rural apartment, it probably wouldn’t violate a New York City quiet enjoyment covenant.
3. There might be more info in your lease
Before you make any assumptions, you should check out your lease. Even though you’re usually entitled to quiet enjoyment as an implied covenant, there’s a chance the property owner set out different guidelines in the lease. There are any number of clauses you may have signed as a part of your lease, so it’s important you read carefully.
If your quiet enjoyment is being disrupted, you have options
The first thing you should do if you believe your quiet enjoyment is being violated is to check the lease for specific avenues for addressing concerns. If there are none, you should contact the property owner or offending party directly. In an absolute worst-case scenario, you may have to seek legal counsel.
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