How quiet enjoyment clauses may affect a commercial lease

Commercial leases are filled with “legalese” due to the nature of the contracts. Before business owners sign this type of document, they need to have a fair idea of what the clauses in the Tennessee lease contract are, and what rights and responsibilities belong to both landlord and tenant.

One clause typically included in commercial leases that can lead to confusion is the quiet enjoyment clause.

Definition of quiet enjoyment

According to Harvard Law School, the tenant has the right to “quietly” enjoy the premises from delivery until the lease term ends. The tenant should not do anything to disturb other tenants’ or occupants’ rights to enjoy the property, and the landlord should ensure that the tenant is also undisturbed.

Disturbances prohibited by this clause may include matters that interrupt business, such as damage to the building, or even repairs conducted in a way that unnecessarily cause the closure of the business.

Limitations of quiet enjoyment

As FindLaw points out, other clauses within the lease can limit the quiet enjoyment clause. For example, the landlord may include a clause that expressly gives him or her the right to undertake major renovations on the property. The language of this clause may nullify the tenant’s right to claim a breach of contract, even though the renovation materially interferes with the business.

One sentence within a seemingly unrelated clause may be enough to invalidate a tenant’s right to quiet enjoyment. This underlines the importance of reading the contract as a whole rather than as a collection of clauses that each speak to different rights and responsibilities.

FindLaw Network
FindLaw Network