Constructive Eviction can actually be a good thing for a tenant unlike a traditional eviction which can be quite traumatic and leave you stranded without anywhere to go. Constructive Eviction is when the landlord has rented someone a place that is so substandard or unlivable that you are legally considered evicted and the lease no longer applies, leaving you free to move without further obligation.
Some common Constructive Evictions include a landlord that turns off the heat or water or if there’s an environmental health hazard that is not property attended to. In these situations tenants are able to move without fear of legal repercussions, but each instance should be documented as well as your attempts to inform the landlord of the problem and his or her attempts to remedy it, if any were made.
Quite often you’ll hear small claims cases on court television where one tenant changes the locks on another tenant, this too is a form of Constructive Eviction which will leave the remaining tenant entirely responsible for any rent bills and typically will get sued for this action.
If you’re a landlord its important to take care of any complaints your tenants bring to your attention, especially health hazards. And if you have a troublesome tenant it may be tempting to have the heat and water shut off but as soon as you do that you lose your legal upper hand. If you’re a tenant, know that you have the right to leave if your landlord performs a Constructive Eviction and you are no longer tied to the lease.