If a landlord has a major water leak and needs to tearout the floor and part of an outer wall, can he evict a tenant without compensation for the inconvenience?

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If a landlord has a major water leak and needs to tearout the floor and part of an outer wall, can he evict a tenant without compensation for the inconvenience?

The tenant has a child under the age of 2 years.

Asked on June 21, 2015 under Real Estate Law, Illinois

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

If the unit is rendered uninhabitable and the leak was not due to the landlord's fault, then he most likely can terminate the tenancy and require the tenant to leave and not pay compensation for it--though he also can't try to collect money/rent from them for any periods of time after the termination of tenancy. The landlord cannot rent an uninhabitable unit to a tenant, and is not penalized for something not his fault; the tenancy simply ends.

But if the leak was in anyway the landlord's fault (e.g. due to improper maintenance or construction) or the landlord knew about the upcoming work at the time the tenant rented but not tell the tenant, in those cases, the tenant would likely be due compensation (in an amount to be determind by the court) for either causing the condition and breach of the lease or for having committed fraud (lied) during the rental process.


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