What is an “Implied Covenant of Quiet Enjoyment”?

Implied Covenant of Quiet Enjoyment

Most landlords require their residents to sign a lease before moving into their Idaho rental properties. A lease is a legally binding document that states each party’s rights and responsibilities.

All residents in the U.S. have is the right to the quiet and peaceful enjoyment of their rented premises. It’s an implied covenant that guarantees that every resident has the right to enjoy their space devoid of any unreasonable disturbances.

Residents are guaranteed this fundamental right regardless of whether it’s implied or expressly stated. As such, violating it can amount to a serious breach of the lease agreement. Whether you’re just getting started or are looking to learn more, here’s everything you need to know about the Implied Covenant of Quiet Enjoyment.

Residents’ Rights When Signing a Lease or a Rental Agreement

Before diving deeper into the topic, it’s important to first understand the rights residents gain after signing the lease. They have the right to:

  • Live in a secure rental property. You have a responsibility to provide your resident with a safe home.
  • Exclusive use of the property. Even as a landlord, it’d be unlawful for you to barge into a tenant’s unit as you like. You must notify the resident that you need to enter the rental and can only do so during business hours. The only exception is in case of an emergency or lease violation. 

rights when leasing a property

  • Reasonable privacy. You shouldn’t engage in actions that can potentially interfere with your resident’s privacy and peace of mind.
  • A habitable unit that meets all the basic safety, health, and building codes.

What Does “Quiet” in Quiet Enjoyment Mean?

Naturally, a lease gives residents two fundamental rights: The right to live in:

  • A habitable rental property that meets all the basic safety, health, and building standards.
  • Peace and quiet, away from unnecessary annoyances or disturbances.

Now, the term “quiet enjoyment” is not an easy one to define. This is because no two scenarios are the same. But broadly speaking, “quiet enjoyment” is considered the undisturbed use and enjoyment of a rental premise by a resident.

Does Landlord Entry Violate the Implied Covenant of Quiet Enjoyment?

Not at all, as long as you meet the required conditions!

More than 25 states in the U.S. have rules regarding landlord entry. These rules stipulate when and under which circumstances a landlord may enter a rental unit. As a landlord, you may want to enter your residents rented space for any of the following reasons:

  • In case of emergencies.
  • To show the space to prospective resident, buyers, or lenders.
  • In case the resident abandons the unit.
  • To inspect the unit for damage or other lease violations.
  • Under orders of a court.

In Idaho, there is no statute requiring landlords to provide their residents with notice prior to entering the property.

landlords right to enter

That said, this doesn’t mean that you can barge in on your residents as you like. Because, if you do, your resident could sue you for landlord harassment. To be on the safe side, most landlords in Idaho give their residents a notice of at least 24 hours prior to entry.

Common Violations of the Implied Covenant of Quiet Enjoyment

The following are scenarios show a potential violation of the implied covenant of quiet enjoyment:

  • Entering a unit too frequently and without letting your resident know beforehand.
  • Going through your resident’s personal belongings.
  • Not controlling annoying behaviors, noises, or nuisances impacting on a resident’s quiet enjoyment of the property.
  • Harassing residents whether in person or over the phone.
  • Ending or limiting essential utilities such as electricity and water.
  • Not repairing things that impact the property’s health, safety, and structural soundness.
  • Making rules that prohibit residents from reasonably enjoying their rented premises.

Acceptable or Reasonable Disturbances to the Implied Covenant of Quiet Enjoyment

As long as they aren’t done repeatedly, the following may not be deemed as violations of the implied covenant of quiet enjoyment:

  • Hosting a dinner party with moderate noise levels.
  • Noise from crickets, birds, or other wildlife.
  • Noises that emanate from residents living upstairs.
  • Noise emanating from working on the repairs a resident requested you to do.
  • Responding to an emergency at the rental premises.

landlord repairs

How can Landlords Avoid Breaching the Covenant of Quiet Enjoyment?

The following are some of the things you can do as a landlord to voice breaching the Covenant:

  • Make repairs promptly when a resident requests them.
  • Notify your resident before entering their unit. Even without a statewide statute, make sure to let them know at least 24 hours beforehand.
  • Consider evicting a resident causing disruptions to other renters.

What Options does Your Resident Have Once the Covenant has been Violated?

Similar to violating the Warranty of Habitability, your resident may have different options to pursue. One such option would be to move out without further responsibility to the lease agreement. The second option would be to report you to relevant agencies for failing to honor your responsibilities.

Summary

One key responsibility landlords have is knowing and understanding the landlord-tenant laws including the “Implied Covenant of Quiet Enjoyment”. Understanding them can help you avoid many legal issues that may arise during a tenancy.

If you are a new landlord, hiring experts can be the best option for you. Five Star Property Management can help you in this regard! Contact us today to learn more about our professional property management services

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