Is my landlord responsible for one tenant harassing another?

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Is my landlord responsible for one tenant harassing another?

I live in a apartment complex and have lived there for 2 years. In this time I have seen 1neighbor constantly harassing another neighbor. Recently the neighbor has been harassing me and my son. We have complained to the landlord and made police reports but both refuse to do anything. We can be sitting on our porch and not say anything to her and she will start accusing us of things we did not do and calling us derogatory names. What is the landlord’s or local police’s responsibility in this matter?

Asked on August 23, 2010 under Real Estate Law, New York

Answers:

S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 1 year ago | Contributor

In every lease, there is a covenant of quiet enjoyment which means that the tenant cannot be disturbed in his/her use or enjoyment of the premises.  The harassment from the other tenant is a breach of the covenant of quiet enjoyment.  You could sue the landlord for breach of the covenant of quiet enjoyment since the landlord is not taking any action to stop the harassment by either evicting the culprit or taking other measures short of eviction to stop the harassment.  Breach of the covenant of quiet enjoyment is a breach of your lease.

If you include your son in your lawsuit against the landlord and if your son is a minor, you will need to be appointed guardian ad litem to sue on your son's behalf because a minor cannot file a lawsuit.

You might also consider suing the neighbor for invasion of privacy.  Invasion of privacy is a serious and unreasonable interference with your right to be left alone.

 


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