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

UPDATED: Mar 29, 2012

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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


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 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.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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