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Reste Reality Corp. v. Cooper

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Reste Realty Corp. v. Cooper, Supreme Court of NJ, 1969 Was there constructive eviction? Issue Reasoning
2) Conditions of premises o Nothing to indicate that the inspection would have given or did give her notice before the first lease. o Condition known or should have been known to L who was under a duty to disclose latent defects. (Inequitable application of caveat emptor to charge her with knowledge) o She relied on the managers promises to fix before signing second lease.

Rule
A covenant of quiet enjoyment is implied in a lease. (old law: express agreement of quiet enjoyment was required)

Facts
T rented part of the basement floor from L for a 5 yr term. It turned out that every time it rained, water from the adjacent driveway ran off into T’s offices. Every time this happened, T notified the building manager who took immediate steps to remove the water. The problem was so bad that after heavy rain storms there was as much as 2 inches of water in various places. The L was aware of the recurrent flooding and promised to remedy the water problem by resurfacing the driveway. In reliance on this promise, one year into the lease, T made a new 5-yr lease agreement for the entire floor. Both lease agreements stated that “T examined the premises, and accepted them and their then condition”. Both leases contained and express agreement quiet enjoyment) After the surf a single driveway the situation got a little bit better but then worsened again. The building manager continued to be responsive and remove the water. But after he died, T’s complaints were ignored. The straw that broke the camel’s back came when 5 inches of water accumulated and a meeting of sales reps from four states had to be moved to an inn. T gave notice and vacated the building 10 days later. L’s successor brought this suit to recover rent for the unexpired term of T’s lease.

Examples of constructive eviction: o failure to supply heat o Main waste pipe clogged for so long causing offensive odors and danger to health o knowingly permit another part of premises to be used for lewd purposes making the premises unfit for occupancy by respectable family o plumbing emit strong and unhealthy odors There was sufficient interference to justify T’s departure and to relieve her from the obligation to pay further rent. 1) permanent does not mean hundred percent of the time. Reject Stewart: covenants in a lease are mutually dependent. 3) vacation is a drastic course. There was a co-author to building manager accompanied with promises and hope for relief. Try court found that under the circumstances vacationed was with a reasonable time - no waiver.

Constructive eviction: o Any act or omission o By L, agent, someone with superior title o which o renders the premises substantially unsuitable for the purpose for which they are leased, or o seriously interferes with the beneficial enjoyment of the premises o is a breach of the covenant of quiet enjoyment o and constitutes a constructive eviction. When a landlord causes a substantial interference with the enjoyment and use, with the tenant may claim constructive eviction. T’s right to claim constructive eviction would be lost if he does not vacate the premises within a reasonable time after the right comes into existence. o Reasonable time depends on circumstances o must be sympathetic toward T’s plight

Held Procedure P argues D argues

Tried court said: conditions were intolerable and so substantially deprived T of to use of the premises as to constitute constructive eviction 1) 2) 3) the condition was not a permanent interference with they use the enjoyment; therefore no constructive eviction T knew, especially before signing the second lease, the condition of the premises. She inspected the premises and accepted them as is. She waved to constructive eviction because she remained on the premises for an unreasonable period of time


				
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