Quiet Enjoyment – renovations and redevelopment of commercial property

August 13, 2014

in Property

Property: Unit Titles Act 2010As New Zealand recovers from the Global Financial Crisis and more financing is focused towards redeveloping and revitalising older commercial properties around the cities, it is obvious from the number of scaffolding that litters the cities that the potential for a breach of a tenant’s right to quiet enjoyment in various commercial properties around the cities is increased.

The breach of quiet enjoyment refers to a substantial disruption of the tenant’s enjoyment of its leased premises.  That could be an act or omission by the landlord or its representatives that prevents the tenant to exercise and to use the rights granted to it, with respect to the premises.  This covenant was previously implied at common law.  However it is now implied into leases by the Property Law Act 2007.

A well discussed court decision illustrating how landlords can breach the covenants of quiet enjoyment was outlined approximately 10 years ago.  In Fujiyama Teppanyaki Japanese Restaurant Limited v Morgan (2003) the Lessor was permitted under the lease to undertake works on the building but an injunction stopping the works was nevertheless granted by the court.

In that case, the tenant was faced with the usual disturbances associated with development and renovation works to the building where it was situated. However the tenant also had its premises flooded, and its entrance and footpath obstructed by the landlord’s contractors, so that it was unable to open for business on a number of occasions.

Some other examples of landlord’s interference amounting to a breach of quiet enjoyment include:

  • Intimidation of the tenant
  • Subsidence by working minerals under the premises
  • Scaffolding adjacent to the premises
  • Unlawful re-entry
  • Excessive noise

It is also worth noting that as well as the protection from physical interference, the covenant for quiet enjoyment overlaps with another legal principal called non-derogation from grant.  The non-derogation from grant principal includes protection from economic interference.

The tenant’s remedy for the breach of quiet enjoyment can include an injunction to stop the landlord’s interference and monetary damages.

If you require any advice or further information on the matters dealt with in this publication please contact the lawyer at Farry and Co. who normally advises you, or alternatively contact:

Steven Lee


09 379 0055 or 03 477 8870


The information contained in this publication is intended as a guide only.  It does not constitute legal advice and should not be relied upon as such.  Professional advice should be sought before applying any of the information to particular circumstances.  While every reasonable care has been taken in the preparation of this publication, Farry and Co. does not accept liability for any errors it may contain. 

Previous post:

Next post: