Can you sue a landlord for civil damages if a tenant in the rental house causes physical or property damage to the neighbors?

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Can you sue a landlord for civil damages if a tenant in the rental house causes physical or property damage to the neighbors?

The landlord has been made aware that his tenants are terriozing the street.

Asked on March 29, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Kansas

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

IF you are also a tenant of the landlord, and if after notice of the situation, he is continuing to allow your fellow tenant to breach your right to quiet enjoyment of your rental premises, you may be able to either sue the landlord for compensatory damage (for breach of your covenant of quiet enjoyment) and/or terminate the lease without penalty (on the theory you have been "constructively evicted").

However, that's if you are a tenant of his. If you are not his tenant, then if the landlord himself is not participating in "terrorizing the street," you have no grounds to sue him--the landlord is not liable to third parties for his tenant's wrongful or criminal acts. You may, of course, sue the person(s) doing this; seek a protective order; and/or contact the police about them.


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