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LANDLORD & TENANT

Constructive Eviction


There are many situations in a landlord-tenant relationship that may result in termination of the tenancy, including non-payment of rent, lease violations or sale of the property.  The landlord’s breach of certain lease covenants, such as an express promise to maintain or repair the property can also lead to a “constructive” eviction of the tenant.  Generally, constructive eviction arises when the landlord does something of a “serious and substantial character” with the intention of depriving the tenant of the beneficial use of the property.  In some cases, if the landlord’s acts or omissions cause the constructive eviction, intention may be presumed.


Tenant’s Rights upon Constructive Eviction

Constructive eviction may arise as a result of a breach of the landlord’s express failure to repair and the premises are no longer fit for the purposes for which the lease was intended.  Upon eviction, the tenant may abandon the leased premises and is no longer liable for the payment of rent or performance under the lease.  However, prior to abandonment, the tenant must permit the landlord a reasonable opportunity to correct the situation causing the constructive eviction.  Furthermore, the tenant must abandon the premises within a reasonable period of time from the constructive eviction occurred.  Failure to do so may result in a waiver of such a claim.


Landlord’s Possible Defenses

A landlord may defeat a constructive eviction by establishing that the tenant failed to abandon the premises within a reasonable time after the untenable condition occurred or that the condition was corrected.  Also, if the situation was foreseeable at the time of the lease, the tenant may not use such conditions as a basis for a constructive eviction.   


Consult an Attorney

If you have a problem with your landlord or tenant, first try to resolve it. If you can't get satisfaction, consider consulting a lawyer to explore what options you have for resolving your dispute in court. Keep in mind that although there are many situations that may give rise to a constructive eviction claim, constructive eviction is ultimately a defense to a landlord’s claim for rent and other damages.  The likelihood of success of a claim of constructive eviction is entirely dependent upon the tenant’s ability to prove the untenable condition. 

      


*Legal advice varies depending on the facts; for that reason, the information in this article should not be acted on without consulting an attorney.  Advertising material. 



 

Law Office of Rachel J. Hess

525 Tyler Road  Q2

St. Charles, Illinois 60174

 

630-377-6828

331-222-4103 (fax)

law@rachelhess.com

www.rachelhess.com

 

 

*Legal advice varies depending on the facts; for that reason, the information in this article should not be acted on without consulting an attorney.  Advertising material.