This covenant is an implicit part of every lease agreement in California and defines how the relationship between the property owner and the tenants should be. There are certain rules that the landlord must respect and follow to ensure the comfort and privacy of the tenants.
Under California law, a rental agreement includes two promises that apply regardless of whether they appear in the lease or are implied agreements. The first is the guarantee of a habitable home, and the second is the covenant of quiet enjoyment.
What is the Covenant of Quiet Enjoyment?
The implied covenant of enjoyment or tranquility states that a tenant has the right to enjoy their rental unit without “substantial interference” by the landlord. This ensures that tenants benefit from the full use of the premises and enjoy the place they rent.
It is similar in many respects to the habitability guarantee. Lease agreements imply both, and both are intended to protect tenants from substantial interference with the use of the premises, and both may apply in the same situation.
For example, a physical defect, such as faulty plumbing or a leaky roof, is technically non-compliant because it may make the property unfit for human habitation and prevent tenants from enjoying their rental unit.
Could the owner be found guilty of not respecting it?
Yes, the owner of the place where you live could be guilty, and you as a tenant could be entitled to a partial or full refund of your rent. To achieve this, you must prove that the disturbances create substantial interference. In some parts of California, like San Francisco and Oakland, if the owner had bad intentions on their visits, the monetary claim you can make will be much higher.
What can you do if this happens to you?
- Ask the landlord in writing to stop doing this.
- Call the police to intervene.
- Ask for compensation for the damages that occurred.
- Leave the property.
- Use the breach as a defense in case the landlord tries to evict.
If you need help, call us.