What does this mean? Do we still owe past rent. do we have to leave ect.?

UPDATED: Jun 11, 2009

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What does this mean? Do we still owe past rent. do we have to leave ect.?

The denial of electrical power to the house constituted constructive eviction. It justified the tenants’ not paying the full rent, because the fair value of the residence without electricity would necessarily amount to less than the $450 per month the lease provided for renting the house with electricity.After hearing the evidence offered at the trial of this action for possession of the defendants’ residence, therefore, the court orders the entry of judgment for thedefendants based on constructive eviction.

Asked on June 11, 2009 under Real Estate Law, Iowa


M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 13 years ago | Contributor

Constructive eviction is when a premises (your house) becomes unfit or unsuitable for occupancy in whole or in part due to some disturbance by the landlord.  Denial of electrical power counts. I think that you are quoting from the order of the court.  It said that you were justified in not paying the full amount of the rent. You won so if the landlord was suing you for the remainder of the rent it appears that the court said you did not owe it.  As for leaving, yes, if a tenant chooses to pursue the constructive eviction avenue they usually surrender possession of the premises.  The lease then becomes null and void.  However, since the entire information on the proceeding is not here to read I would suggest that you see a lawyer as to your next step.     

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