A tenant is not relieved entirely of an obligation to pay rent by an actual, partial eviction unless the eviction is from a substantial portion of the premises and in determining the question of substantiality, a trial court must consider the extent of the interference with the tenant's use and enjoyment of a property.
In exercising its master lease rights, a sublessor removed a partition and enlarged its storage area. By doing so, the sublessor partially blocked off a sliding glass door opening previously installed by the sublessee in a space covered by the master lease. When the sublessee defaulted in rent payment, the sublessor brought a detainer action, seeking possession of the premises, termination of the sublease and recovery of the unpaid rent. The trial court found for sublessor, holding that although sublessor's enlargement of the storage space was not consented to by the sublessee, it did not amount to a partial, actual eviction of sublessee and was not a defense to the unlawful detainer action, contrary to sublessee's contention.
Was there ample evidence to support the court's finding that the sublessee was not evicted from a substantial and significant portion of the demised premises?
The court affirmed the trial court's judgment because there was ample evidence to support its finding that sublessee was not evicted from a substantial and significant portion of the demised premises. The court noted that by the sublessee's conduct did not consider the eviction substantial or significant.