One of the most basic assumptions a person has when they rent an apartment or a workspace is that it will be safe to live in, and free from hazards or pests that will allow them to live or work in peace. However, sometimes, a rented space can, through negligence or malfeasance on the part of the landlord, become effectively uninhabitable. If things become bad enough that you can no longer safely or comfortably inhabit the space, you may be dealing with a constructive eviction.
A constructive eviction is a situation where a tenant vacates a rented space because it has become effectively uninhabitable. By law, every landlord must maintain habitable conditions on their property, due to a legal doctrine known as the warranty of habitability. This means ensuring common utilities are available, such as running water or heat during the winter, and that the space is free of hazards or nuisances like broken floorboards or vermin infestations.
If conditions do become that inhospitable in your rented space, and the landlord doesn’t take steps to rectify the inhospitable conditions in a reasonable amount of time, it could be considered a constructive eviction. In that case, you can vacate the premises and not be held legally liable for violating your lease or paying your rent during the period of the constructive eviction. However, you may face a legal battle if your landlord sues for any rent you didn’t pay because of the constructive eviction.
If you are a tenant and your landlord is violating the terms of your lease or seeking to evict you, our Suffolk County tenant lawyers can ensure that your rights are protected. The Long Island landlord-tenant attorneys at McGuire, Peláez & Bennett, PC are experienced in handling these cases and will fight vigorously on your behalf. For information or to schedule a consultation, contact our Suffolk County traffic lawyers at (631) 348-1702.