The conceptual basis for permitting landlords to thus pre-condition the quiet possession covenant is that such a precondition is simply analogous to a parallel principle and potential trap for the unwary tenant - in the doctrine of constructive eviction, the principle of "election of remedies.
305 East 63rd Street Associates, where a commercial tenant (a) filed an answer in an L&T proceeding, defending its refusal to pay rent based on constructive eviction, and (b) then, the next day, filed a Supreme Court action for damages for constructive eviction.
When a tenant asserts a partial or total constructive eviction as a defense to the non-payment or rent, the tenant's refusal to pay rent constitutes an election of remedies, and the tenant has no claim for damages.
Recently, the strictness of the constructive eviction doctrine has been eased in one respect: the Court has recognized a tenant defense of partial constructive eviction, where a discrete portion of the premises is rendered untenantable, and is vacated by tenant.
In view of the theoretical basis of the constructive eviction doctrine, i.