Is it considered harassment if your landlords nearly attack you but take turns restraining each other from doing so?

Get Legal Help Today

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

Is it considered harassment if your landlords nearly attack you but take turns restraining each other from doing so?

Landlords have shown their disdain towards their 1st floor tenants shortly after they moved in. However, this is the first time where they both became very aggressive and nearly attacked their tenants because they were doing laundry at 9:30 pm. They used profanity, called them names, and demonstrated that they are ready for an attack but were restrained from doing so (they bizarrely took turns demonstrating they would attack and then restrained each other). At the end of the dispute, they threatened to evict their tenants. Do the tenants have the right to file harassment charges against them?

Asked on December 27, 2011 under Real Estate Law, New Jersey

Answers:

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

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

The landlords could be sued for assault for nearly attacking you.  Assault does not require any physical contact.  Assault is intentionally placing one in reasonable apprehension of an immediate battery.  Battery is the physical contact.  If you reasonably believed you were going to be attacked, that is sufficient to sue for assault.  Assault is civil (lawsuit) and also criminal, but it is unlikely the police will take any action under these facts.  The civil case is separate from the criminal case.

As for harassment of the tenants, you could sue the landlord for breach of the covenant of quiet enjoyment which means the tenant cannot be disturbed in his/her use and enjoyment of the premises.

If you are evicted for something that is not a breach of the lease, you could sue the landlord for retaliatory eviction.  Retaliatory eviction  is when the landlord retaliates against a tenant by evicting the tenant for something that is not a breach of the lease.


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 AttorneyPages.com 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.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption