Law School Discussion

Quick property question

Quick property question
« on: May 05, 2008, 03:28:54 PM »
Can you sue a sublessee for private nuisance or must you sue the property owner?  I can't find the answer to this question online.


Re: Quick property question
« Reply #1 on: May 05, 2008, 09:52:20 PM »
Thats a very good question. Well, the landlord can eject/evict the sublessee from his property, he just lacks "legal" privity for suing him for his property interest, that is, backrent.

I guess to argue by analogy, he should be able to sue the sublessee if he is creating a nuisance, I mean if he can evict him, then I don't see why he can't "sue" him. Maybe not in law though, but definately in equity. BUT likely even in Law, the rule of Keeble v. Hickerngill is "whenever the acts of another malicously harm a property interest, a cause of action lies in all cases." Trespass on the case II, indirect damages to property. So, there is a power to "sue" in both dimensions of the word.

if its a poor answer sorry, I did my best. MG

Re: Quick property question
« Reply #2 on: May 06, 2008, 05:37:09 AM »
It would depend on which party is responsible the private nuisance, but in most j/d you would sue both anyway, unless it is a commercial lease.  If it is caused by a condition on the premises that is the landlord's responsibility to remedy then he would be the responsible party to the action.  But if it is casued by an activity of the sublessee then the suit would be brought against the sublessee.  For example if the sublessee keeps piling trash outside the premises and it is causing flies or smell that is substantially interefering with the neighbors use and enjoyment then they are liable.  But if the furnace is bad and thick smoke keeps wafting to the neighbors house then that is usually the landlord's responsibility as part of the implied warranty of habitability.  However if the lease stipulates what the sublesse is responsbile for the furnace maintainence that would be a factor in the suit. However, in many jurisdictions also the landlord is solely responsible for keeping the premises in compliance with all codes and ordinances, and allowing it to get to the point that it is causing a nuisance is a strong case for negligence on his part.