Understanding Common Tenant Defenses: Constructive Eviction and Wrongful Eviction

Nemat Law Firm

In eviction proceedings, tenants can use several defenses to challenge their removal from the property. Two common defenses are constructive eviction and wrongful eviction. Here’s a closer look at each:

  1. Constructive Eviction:
    • Definition: Constructive eviction occurs when a landlord’s failure to maintain the property results in conditions that make the property uninhabitable for the tenant.
    • Requirements: To successfully claim constructive eviction, the tenant must prove two elements:
      1. Landlord’s Failure: The landlord failed to maintain the property, leading to conditions that make it unusable for the tenant.
      2. Inability to Restore and Move Out: The property cannot be restored to a habitable condition without interrupting the tenant’s use. Tenant moved out. This applies to both commercial and residential leases.
  2. Wrongful Eviction:
    • Definition: Wrongful eviction occurs when a landlord attempts to evict a tenant without following proper legal procedures, such as filing a dispossessory action and obtaining a writ of possession from the court.
    • Consequences: Landlords who wrongfully evict tenants can face legal consequences, including damages for trespass. The tenant may seek compensation for the value of the remaining lease term and any additional damages resulting from the wrongful eviction.

Understanding these defenses is crucial for tenants facing eviction and landlords involved in eviction disputes. Knowing the legal requirements and potential consequences can help both parties navigate the eviction process more effectively.

Legal Disclaimer: This article is provided for educational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. Tenants and landlords facing eviction proceedings should seek professional legal assistance for specific legal questions and concerns.

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