Upper East Lease Associates, LLC v. Cannon
Secondhand smoke was drifting into a tenant’s apartment from the downstairs unit. The landlord’s attempts to caulk and seal vents did not fix the problem. The tenant stopped paying her rent and moved out after the landlord refused to allow the tenant to move to a new unit. The landlord sued the tenant for violating her lease and the tenant responded with claims (1) that the landlord violated the warranty of habitability; (2) that she was constructively evicted from her unit because she was unable to use and enjoy the premises; and (3) that the landlord breached the covenant of quiet enjoyment. Leases in the apartment building specified that causing secondhand smoke to infiltrate other apartments may constitute a nuisance, a health hazard, and may infringe on the quiet enjoyment of other tenants. The court ruled in favor of the tenant, finding that the landlord failed to meet its obligations, which resulted in a constructive eviction of the tenant. The court ordered the landlord to reduce the tenant’s rent by a total of $2,852 based on a specific percentage each month.