Having a neighbor hanging pictures (must have been 3 dozen!) on concrete walls is at best “torture” and certainly could never be considered “quiet enjoyment”. I wanted to buy the stick-up hangers and hand to them! Our friends were in a different condo complex and had someone removing 2 layers of tile upstairs! They called the owner who was willing to discount their weekly rent based on the horrendous noise which could easily be heard over the phone!
Quiet enjoyment is one of the rights that is given to the property owner and usually conveys to any lessee (renter). Often the words used in legal documents are not very understandable. But how perfect can “Right of Quiet Enjoyment” be? I like to be able to sit on my lanai with my coffee and hear the rhythmic sound of the waves. I like to be able to talk on the phone without having loud sounds drown out my voice. But alas, in reality, quiet enjoyment is subject to a lot of interpretation.
Whether you are a renter, vacationer or owner, you need to understand quiet enjoyment and take it seriously. Most condo associations have rules regarding what hours are appropriate for construction projects. Even the best rules do not say it will be quiet always.
Most court cases on quiet enjoyment tend to be from renters who are suing landlords for either harassment or for things that the landlord has limited control over such as noisy neighbors.
Here are a couple definitions I picked up off a real estate terms website.
- The right of a purchaser, or lessee, not to have his proper use and enjoyment
fettered or substantially interrupted by any act of the vendor, or lessor, or
any lawful act of someone rightfully claiming under or in trust for the vendor,
- One of the covenants that by statutory implication a vendor undertakes to
provide if he sells land as beneficial owner and for valuable
consideration, i.e. he undertakes that “the subject matter shall remain to and
be quietly entered upon … and enjoyed … without any lawful interruption or
disturbance …” Law of Property Act 1925, s. 76, Second Schedule, Part I.
Make sure to review your homeowners or condo association rules thinking about the right of quiet enjoyment. Sometimes the HOA rules seem like they are overbearing but think about the worst case and you understand why they are in place. If they are good, just hope that they are enforceable! If they are not so good, make sure to disclose this to any renters or buy yourself some good earplugs!