Constructive Eviction Claim

Constructive Eviction Claim

Responding to a Constructive Eviction Claim is easy when you know what steps to take and work with skilled experts. In this article, you will find what you need to know as a landlord about constructive eviction claims, including how to respond when you receive them and, more importantly, how to avoid receiving them.

What is a Constructive Eviction?

When a landlord does not attempt to evict a tenant physically or legally but rather takes or fails to take certain actions, significantly interfering with the tenant’s use of the premises, that landlord is said to be performing a constructive eviction.

Evicting tenants is sometimes necessary. The problem is tenants are often reluctant to leave, and they might claim and try to prove that you have violated the law. One of the main ways a tenant might attempt to get you into legal trouble is by claiming you are performing an illegal constructive eviction, which can be a tough claim to respond to because you can be accused of performing a constructive eviction for actions you take, but also for actions you do not take. The most common actions that could trigger a constructive eviction claim include:

  • Refusing to make necessary repairs;
  • Turning the heat off during winter;
  • Refusing to address environmental hazards;
  • Shutting off the water supply;
  • Preventing a tenant to access the building;
  • Refusing to address security concerns;
  • Harassing or physically threatening a tenant; and
  • Failing to respond to complaints about intolerable odors, noise, or unsafe living conditions;

What Can Landlords Do to Avoid Constructive Eviction Claims?

The best way to deal with constructive eviction claims is, paradoxically, making sure you never have to deal with them. In other words, when it comes to eviction claims, taking steps to avoid receiving them is the best defense strategy.

Some of the steps you can take include:

  • Once you become aware of a problem in your building, make the necessary repairs as soon as possible.
  • If a particular problem is unfixable – making the building unlivable – then let your tenants out of the lease.
  • Work with your tenants, negotiate, and reach agreements. This is usually better than engaging in a dispute.
  • If a particular problem with the building will take a long time to fix, lower the rent for as long as the problem persists.

Responding to a Constructive Eviction Claim

Constructive eviction claims are not always explicitly conflictive, as most tenants do not want to engage in a legal battle – they simply want their landlords to take actions to ensure their buildings are livable. In other words, you might receive a constructive eviction claim and not realize that is what you are receiving because a notice sent to you by one of your tenants may not include the term “constructive eviction.” As a general rule, if you receive a notice from one of your tenants informing you that there is an issue you should promptly address it. Of course, you should refer to the lease agreement to determine whether you are responsible for resolving the issue your tenant is complaining about under the terms of the lease. If the problem is your responsibility and not the tenant’s, you should promptly take steps to evaluate and fix it.

Do not let an issue with a tenant turn into a battle. Find out how experienced Florida Real Estate Attorneys can help you protect your business. Get in touch with Jurado & Farshchian today by calling (305) 921-0440 or schedule a consultation by emailing

Jennie’s current practice focuses on residential and commercial real estate transactions. She specializes in drafting, reviewing and negotiating leases, purchase contracts, deeds, and other real estate-related documents; handling title issues; and representing lenders, buyers and sellers in the conveyance of commercial and residential real estate. She also counsels and represents individuals, foreign investors, and small to mid-sized businesses on matters pertaining to corporate formation, contract preparation and negotiation, estate planning, and business/investor immigration. Call for a Consultation (305) 901-5628.