What Can I Do About Drug Users Outside the Office Space I Rent?
A tenant has an implied right to the peaceful and quiet enjoyment of the premises. It would be a matter of subjective determination for the court to determine whether the congregating persons are disturbing enough to be considered to be depriving the tenant of the intended use of the premises. Some of the factors, among others, that the court may consider include whether there have been police reports of crimes involving the congregating individuals and break-ins in the area, whether they are congregating on the patio or a public area, and whether the patio is part of the leased property, and whether you are deprived of the use of the patio.
A tenant's right to quiet enjoyment is impaired when the landlord blocks the tenant's access to the premises or changes some essential aspect of the premises so substantially as to render the property unsuitable for the purposes for which it is leased. It may be possible to claim a material breach of the lease by the landlord if you have provided written notice of the condition and there has been a failure to take action to remedy the situation in a reasonable time, resulting in inability to use the patio or a threat of danger due to criminal activity.
In legal terminology, a nuisance is a substantial interference with the right to use and enjoy land, which may be intentional, negligent or ultrahazardous in origin, and must be a result of defendant's activity. Nuisances can include noxious smells, noise, burning, misdirection of water onto other property, illegal gambling, unauthorized collections of rusting autos, indecent signs and pictures on businesses and many other activities.
If a nuisance interferes with another person's quiet or peaceful or pleasant use of his/her property, it may be the basis for a lawsuit for damages and/or an injunction ordering the person or entity causing the nuisance to stop or limit the activity (such as closing down an activity in the evening).
Injunctive relief consists of a court order called an injunction, requiring an individual to do or not do a specific action. It must be proven that without the injunction, harm will occur which cannot be remedied by money damages. To issue a preliminary injunction, the courts typically require proof that
(1) the movant has a ‘strong’ likelihood of success on the merits;
(2) the movant would otherwise suffer irreparable injury;
(3) the issuance of a preliminary injunction wouldn't cause substantial harm to others; and
(4) the public interest would be served by issuance of a preliminary injunction.
There are various strategies for dealing with offending neighbors. Some of these include:
-Discussing the problem with or writing a letter to the offending neighbor
-Calling the police/sheriff's office to file a complaint
-Asking the landlord or neighborhood body to remedy the situation
-Filing a lawsuit for breach of peaceful enjoyment, infliction of emotional distress, nuisance, harassment, etc.
-Talk to a councilperson about passing a local ordinance