Know Your Tenant’s Rights

Another part of your tenant’s rights in California includes the implied covenant of quiet enjoyment. “Implied” means even if the covenant is not explicitly stated in the lease, it still exists. So what is this covenant?

You Get to Be There

The covenant means that the landlord cannot take any action that interferes with you possessing and enjoying your home. This includes actions like physically removing you from your apartment when you have the legal right to be there. Or denying you access to your home by changing the locks.

Another Aspect of the Law

It also means that the landlord or someone in the landlord’s control cannot significantly disturb you. An example is if the landlord was extensively remodeling your home while you lived there and the remodeling interfered with your right to use and enjoy it. Or if the landlord disturbed you while remodeling the apartment next door over a long period.

When You Lease to Someone Else

Usually the covenant does not protect sub-lessees because there is no lease between the landlord and the sub-lessee. In most sub-lease situations, the rental agreement is between the lessor and the sub-lessee. However, if the landlord expressly agrees to the sublease, then a contract and a covenant of quiet enjoyment could exist between the landlord and the sub-lessee.

Opinions over whether the landlord is breaking the covenant of quiet enjoyment can vary greatly.  Know your tenant’s rights. You might consider talking to an experienced tenant lawyer about your situation in order to protect yourself.


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Mary Catherine Wiederhold

Real Estate Attorney
1458 Sutter Street
San Francisco, CA 94109

Mary Catherine Wiederhold
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Courtney Brown
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