When you’re a landlord, it’s always best to be well-versed in property laws. Knowing the law will let you serve your renters and be a great landlord. Aside from studying the regular landlord-tenant laws, you should also brush up on the “Implied Covenant of Quiet Enjoyment.”
Even if it’s not explicitly stated, this concept is deemed to be part of every leasing agreement you signed with your renters. The “Implied Covenant of Quiet Enjoyment” grants your tenant peace and quiet while staying in your rental unit.
As the landlord, you’re responsible for maintaining a harmonious home environment and keeping the disturbances to your tenants’ lives minimal. This will also help better your landlord-tenant relationship.
If you fail to meet this covenant, it will be harder to operate a successful rental home. Among these difficulties that you’ll encounter are that:
- Income from rental payment may be affected. If a tenant complains of too much noise in your area, they may withhold paying the monthly rent. Legally, some local and state laws allow renters this option should the landlord fail to respect the right of the renters to quiet enjoyment
- A tenant may break the leasing agreement and move out. Since the peace in their environment is compromised by disturbances, the tenant may find the rental unlivable. If you have ignored their justified complaints about nuisances or failed to address them, this breaking of the lease may be legal
- You could face a lawsuit. The possibility of facing a lawsuit is high given that the covenant of quiet enjoyment has been breached
To avoid breaking this covenant, it’s important to be aware of and study the concept of “Implied Covenant of Quiet Enjoyment” in a more in-depth way.
Defining Implied Covenant
Given the term implied covenant, the details of what falls under this covenant are not explicitly stated in the lease. By law, it’s part of the lease whether it’s stated or not. In fact, the landlord can’t forgo this covenant or request a renter to relinquish this right.
Defining Quiet Enjoyment
Being the rental owner, you need to be aware of the tenant’s basic rights. You can focus on providing your renters with:
- A dwelling that promotes safety and habitability
- A peaceful environment for their quiet enjoyment
“Quiet enjoyment” can mean different things to different renters. The term can also be general. However, landlords are expected to ensure minimal disruption to their tenants’ peaceful living in their rental units.
Leasing agreements state that renters can enjoy the following:
- Private use of the rental except during the inspection and repair sessions when landlords need to enter the unit to conduct maintenance inside
- Peace and privacy for the tenants to live comfortably
- Secure rental where the renters’ safety is prioritized. The rental must be equipped with features that deter intruders. Structural integrity must also be observed
- A habitable rental home where basic essential services are available. Renters should be able to access power, running water and heat as needed for survival
Landlord’s Right of Entry
Even if you own the rental unit, landlords are advised to respect the tenant’s right to privacy and quiet enjoyment. This means that a property owner can’t just step inside the rental space anytime and without warning.
Here are some specific scenarios when landlords are permitted entry to the rental home:
- To perform a move-out property inspection. When a tenancy expires, the landlord will be needing to do a final walkthrough to determine property damages. Once the property has been inspected thoroughly, it’ll be easy to calculate and refund the security deposit of the renter
- When maintenance requests are made. During repairs, a landlord would need access to the rental. Inspections must also be conducted to analyze the cause of the property damage
- Renovation or improvements. A landlord may proceed with renovation projects to improve the rental further and raise its property value. They can enter the rental unit to start the property improvements as they planned
- Abandonment. When the renter has abandoned the rental space or left without notice
- Issuing an eviction notice. Upon issuing an eviction notice and this must follow the legal process
- A court order. When the court orders the landlord to enter the property
- Property showings. To perform a property showing even with current tenants still living in the unit
Some states are very specific when it comes to the schedule of entry by landlords. They stipulate that business hours must be followed. However, this can depend on the agreement between the landlord and tenant. If any untoward incidents happen such as a fire breaking out, a landlord can enter the property anytime.
Common Violations Affecting the Tenant’s Quiet Enjoyment
At times, landlords may not be aware that they’re stepping beyond the boundaries of the “Implied Covenant of Quiet Enjoyment.” It’s best to be cautious and avoid violations like:
- Going inside the rental frequently without sending the renters a notice
- Being intrusive by prying into the tenant’s business. This is done by spying or peering into their personal possessions
- Failing to address the noise problem and nuisance created by another tenant
- Subjecting a renter to harassment through the phone or face-to-face
- Shutting down the renter’s access to basic services such as electric power, heating system or running water
- Failing to meet the expectations of clients by not providing what’s covered in the leasing agreement such as a security camera, washer and dryer and other stated items in the contract.
- Not getting around to fixing damages inside the property, leading to unsafe rental conditions
- Keeping a renter from welcoming guests in their home
Common Examples of Disturbances That Are Acceptable
Peace and quiet is necessary to encourage tenants to stay in your rental for the long-term. There are some cases of disruption that don’t necessarily count as a violation to a tenant’s quiet enjoyment. Some of them are:
- Reaching out to the tenant to follow up on the rent payment
- Knocking on a tenant’s door to collect the due rent
- Noises created by birds and other wildlife outside the premises
- Entering the rental unit to fix property issues and inspect the interiors
Landlords should pay attention to the noise level surrounding their rental home. Find ways to address disturbances, providing renters with reasonable peace and comfort while residing in your property. It’s also important to include leasing policies that protect a tenant’s right to quiet enjoyment so that both of your responsibilities are clear.
If you’re still not sure about what situations might violate the “Implied Covenant of Quiet Enjoyment,” get in contact with Evolve Nevada today! Our team will take care of you and your rental, boost your investment’s success, and help you understand the law.