Project proponents don’t like us using the term Constructive Eviction of a Minority Population
and constructive eviction of all Royal Crest residents. Maybe they don’t like it because they’ve only been focused on a bit of revenue instead of the impacts to our friends and neighbors. What is Constructive Eviction?
Constructive Eviction occurs when a landlord does not physically or legally evict a tenant, but takes actions that interfere with the tenant's use and enjoyment of the premises significantly. Constructive eviction can occur as a result of the landlord's breach of the implied covenant of quiet enjoyment if (1) the landlord substantially interferes with the tenant's use and enjoyment of the premises by his actions or failure to act to resolve a problem; (2) the tenant gives the landlord notice of the problem and the landlord fails to respond and resolve the problem; and (3) the tenant vacates the premises in a reasonable amount of time after the landlord fails to resolve the problem.
The developer says the residents can stay. They’ll move them from building to building as they redevelop. Does living on-site in a construction zone with daily noise, construction trucks and dust interfere with the covenant of quiet enjoyment? Will the work interfere with a tenant’s use and enjoyment of their apartment? If smoke and noise from a bar can rise to this level (see below), then 10 years of major construction isn’t going to have a problem meeting that criteria. So, we will call it as we see it, We see this proposal as constructive eviction of a minority population or to avoid this, they'll just raise the rents and push them out which goes against what they've verbally promised. Call it what you want but do the ends justify the means? We say no and will be voting no, too.
In another Massachusetts Supreme Court case, the court held that the noise from a neighborhood bar allowed residents of a nearby building to claim constructive eviction—only because the same landlord owned and rented both properties. Hence, the ability to address the noise issue was within the landlord’s power. Donnelly v. Cohasset Housing Authority
In another case, an appeals court held that cigarette smoke from a neighboring apartment could rise to the level where constructive eviction was appropriate. Blackett v. Olanoff