The affirmative defense of constructive eviction in California is the topic of this blog post.
Constructive eviction is an affirmative defense that is based on a breach of the covenant of quiet enjoyment that is implied in every rental agreement.
Any tenant in California can assert constructive eviction as an affirmative defense to an unlawful detainer (eviction) complaint in situations where the actions or omissions of the landlord interfere so much with the right of the tenant to peaceful and beneficial possession of the rental unit that the unit or a portion of it becomes uninhabitable.
Examples from published California cases include cases where extreme rain damage to one or more rooms of a unit was caused by a leaky roof that the landlord refused to repair; very noisy renovations at the premises at unreasonable hours; and persistent harassment of the tenant by the landlord.
And constructive eviction may also be used as an affirmative defense by commercial tenants in California as well.
In a published California Court of Appeal case that involved the issue of parking spaces being necessarily useful for occupancy by the lessee and were expressly or by implication included in the lease, the Court of Appeal held that, “It is well established that the intention of the parties as to just what property was to be occupied as essential to the use and enjoyment of the described premises is to be ascertained from the circumstances at the time the lease is entered into.”
That case involved a situation where parking spaces adjacent to front of motel office and in private driveway on north side of lessee's liquor store, space for lessee's compressor plant in the rear and free water and additional storage space in rear for liquor stock, were reasonably necessary for useful occupancy by lessee and were expressly or by implication included in lease, the Court found that the lessee was constructively evicted from leased premises when the lessor sold motel premises without any reservation of the parking space and without providing water and additional storage space and without reservation of space for compressor.
Attorneys or parties in California who would like to view a portion of a sample answer to a California eviction complaint that contains 15 affirmative defenses including constructive eviction and is sold by the author can use the link shown below.
Attorneys or parties in California who would like more information on a California unlawful detainer document collection containing over 30 documents including a sample answer to an eviction complaint in California sold by the author can use the link shown below.
The author of this blog post, Stan Burman, is a freelance paralegal who has worked in California and Federal litigation since 1995 and has created over 300 sample legal documents for sale.
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Please note that the author of this blog post, Stan Burman is NOT an attorney and as such is unable to provide any specific legal advice. The author is NOT engaged in providing any legal, financial, or other professional services, and any information contained in this blog post is NOT intended to constitute legal advice.
The materials and information contained in this blog post have been prepared by Stan Burman for informational purposes only and are not legal advice. Transmission of the information contained in this blog post is not intended to create, and receipt does not constitute, any business relationship between the author and any readers. Readers should not act upon this information without seeking professional counsel.