§ 1220. We now come to the Rights and Liabilities of the Landlord and Tenant in respect of each other; and in the first place, as to the Rights and Liabilities of the Landlord. When a lease is made for years, the lessor is understood to make an implied covenant to the lessee that no person claiming through or under him, or having a superior title to him, shall disturb the lessee in his quiet enjoyment and use of the premises leased.1 And by an agreement to let, the lessor impliedly undertakes that he has a good title to let.2 It is not necessary, however, that the lessee should be ousted in order to constitute a breach of this implied covenant.3 And if a man undertake to demise premises which he has no right to demise, the lessee may maintain an action against him for breach of covenant, if he be prevented from entering the premises.4 If the landlord do any act in violation of his right of quiet possession, as if he grant a prior lease to a third person, it is a breach of his covenant, although no actual disturbance arise therefrom to the lessee.1 So, also, if the lessor covenant that his lessee shall quietly enjoy a certain close, and after-wards set a gate across a lane leading thereto, which is an obstruction, the covenant is broken. The landlord may, however, make use of all the ways appurtenant to the tenement leased in order to view waste or to demand rent, or to remove an obstruction.2 But no such undertaking is implied in respect to the wrongful acts of strangers; and if the lessee be disturbed or evicted by any one having no title, his remedy is against the trespasser, and not the lessor.3
1 Bandy v. Cartwright, 8 Ex. 913; 20 Eng. Law & Eq. 374; although the lease is by parol. Hall v. London Brewery Co., 2 B. & S. 737 (1862). And if a landlord covenants for quiet enjoyment, and an action of trespass is brought against the tenant by some one claiming under the landlord which the tenant unsuccessfully defends, he may recover of the landlord the costs and damages he paid, and also the expenses he incurred in defending the action of trespass. Rolph v. Crouch, Law R. 3 Ex. 44 (1867).
2 Stranks v. St. John, Law R. 2 C. P. 376 (1867). But see Bandy v. Cartwright, supra.
3 Holder v. Taylor, Hob. 12 a; Hacket v. Glover, 10 Mod. 142. 4 Ibid.
§ 1221. It is not necessary, however, that there should be a physical eviction or expulsion by the landlord to operate as a suspension of the tenant's liability to pay rent. But it is sufficient for the tenant to prove that there was an interference with or disturbance of his beneficial enjoyment of the demised premises by the landlord, intentionally committed and injurious in its character.4 So, also, if the lessor interfere to disturb the lessee in the free use of the premises, the lessee may maintain an action of covenant against him.1 But if the lease be made by a tenant for life, the covenant of quiet enjoyment is restricted to his lifetime, and does not extend to the heirs of the remainder after his death.2 If the covenant for quiet enjoyment implied in a lease is broken by fault of the lessor, the tenant may recover the value of the unexpired term less the rent reserved.1
1 Andrews v. Paradise, 8 Mod. 318; Hammond v. Hill, 1 Com. 180; Salman v. Bradshaw, Cro. Jac. 301; 9 Rep. 60; Ludwell v. Newman, 6 T. R. 458.
2 Proud v. Hollis, 1 B. & C. 8.
3 Year-Book, 22 Henry VI. 52 b; 32 Henry VI. 32 b; Andrews' Case, Cro. El. 211; 2 Leon. 101; Tisdale v. Essex, Hob. 31,6; Moore, 861; Iggulden v. May, 9 Ves. 330; Bac. Abr. Covenant, B.; Hayes v. Bicker-staff, Vaugh. 118; Dudley v. Folliott, 3 T. R. 581.
4 Per Sandford, J., in Cohen v. Dupont, 1 Sandf. 201, 264. The court in this case say, " The defendant's principal, Dr. Chase, occupying the second floor of the house, had reserved to himself, in the lease, the privilege of exercising his vocation as a dentist. His business would necessarily lead to many visits to his apartments, and to the more in proportion to his prosperity. It seems that the calls made upon him were in fact numerous; and either because they were disturbed by the constant ringing of the door-bell, or from mischievous or malicious motives, some of the plaintiff's family resorted to the expedient of muffling the bell. This was done frequently, and was continued after the tenant remonstrated with the plaintiff against it, and after the latter, by the exercise of his authority, should have stopped it effectually. The consequence of this conduct was, that persons coming to visit the tenant as a dentist, would pull at the bell, and wait from fifteen to twenty minutes, and half an hour, before effecting an entrance, and sometimes were compelled to leave without succeeding in getting into the house. And, if persisted in, the effect of such conduct would be seriously to impair, if not to destroy, the tenant's professional business.
"In addition to this, and calculated to affect the tenant in the same way, there were a variety of minor offences committed by the plaintiff's family. They littered the stair-carpet with nut-shells, dirt, and other filth, with the sweepings from the story above, and with water spilled upon it, and placed snow-balls in the window-sill, etc, to drip upon the carpet. On one occasion, a placard was put on the stairway to call attention, by his name, to the filthy condition of the tenaut's stairs; such condition being in spite of great efforts on his part to keep it clean. Impertinent and insulting language was addressed by the plaintiff's family to persons visiting the tenant on business; and loud singing and like noises were made on the stairway, calculated to disturb such persons.
"In reference to the tenement as the tenant's dwelling, he, his wife, and his widowed sister were repeatedly and frequently subjected, by the plaintiff and his family, to insulting and abusive language, to hearing obscene noises at their door, and to a variety of similar annoyances, petty in their detail and taken singly, but in the aggregate sufficient to render them very uncomfortable and unhappy.