A recent case from Division I Washington Court of Appeals addressed both a landlord’s duties of repair and maintenance and the Covenant of Quiet Enjoyment in commercial leases. Votiv, Inc. v. Bay Vista Owner LLC, No. 78289-4-I, 2019 WL 4419446 (Wash. Ct. App., Sept. 16, 2019).
The Plaintiff in that case leased an office space in a mixed-use residential/office/commercial building in Seattle. Although the ownership groups of the various portions of the building were each separate, the entire building was managed by defendant Bay Vista Owner LLC (“BVO”), that was also the Plaintiff’s landlord.
There was a need to replace a deteriorating roof membrane to repair water intrusion into the building. The work involved significant demolition on the roof surface over the premises that Votiv, Inc. (“Votiv”), a music/media company, leased on the top floor. The repair work was done primarily during business hours causing significant disturbance to Votiv’s business operations.
Votiv sued BVO and other defendants for, among other things, nuisance, breach of lease, constructive eviction, and breach of the covenant of quiet enjoyment. The trial court denied Votiv’s claim for injunctive relief and granted summary judgment to the Defendants.