Can a Tenant Break a Lease Due to Noise?

Last Updated: October 10, 2023 by Phil Ahn

A tenant may be able to terminate their lease early due to noise. If the noise is so severe so as to disturb the quiet enjoyment of the premises, the tenant will be able to terminate the lease.

Can a Tenant Break a Lease Due to Noise?

A tenant can break a lease due to noise. The covenant of quiet enjoyment is an implied term in every lease that the tenant shall have quiet and peaceful possession of the leased premises against the lessor. The covenant ensures that the landlord is bound to refrain from action which interrupts the tenant’s beneficial enjoyment. The covenant is implied in both commercial and residential leases. 

What Qualifies as Noise?

Noise can be any unwanted or disturbing sound. Sound becomes unwanted when it either interferes with normal activities such as sleeping, conversation or disrupts or diminishes one’s quality of life.

How Do Tenants Prove Noise?

Tenants can prove noise by recording the continuous disturbing sounds that are interfering with daily normal activities. Furthermore, a tenant might be able to gather evidence through other tenants’ observations or personal encounters with the noise.

How Do Tenants Terminate a Lease Due to Noise?

A tenant can terminate the lease for noise by showing some proof of the disturbing noises, notifying the landlord of the issue, and giving the landlord a chance to repair the issues.

Notifying the Landlord

A tenant must first notify the landlord of the defective conditions, in writing. Depending on the state, the landlord will have a certain period of time to address the issues.

Terminating the Lease

The covenant of quiet enjoyment is an implied term in every lease that the tenant shall have quiet and peaceful possession of the premises.

Constructive eviction occurs when the rental premise becomes so uninhabitable that the tenant is forced to leave. This means it is impossible for the tenant to stay on the premise, and hence is constructively evicted by the landlord.

For a tenant to have a constructive eviction claim, they must show the following:

  • The landlord neglected a duty
  • The place has become uninhabitable
  • The landlord was given notice
  • The tenant left the premises

If the noise is so great that the tenant can no longer live in the premises, they must provide notice to the landlord. After the landlord has been given notice and they fail to remedy the situation, then the tenant will be able to break the lease.