Recent successes in Landlord / Tenant matters

Many landlord tenant matters are cut and dry and are a matter of not paying rent. Many however are more complicated and involve matters of alleged breaches of contract by both the tenant and the landlord.  Below is a list of recent success stories from our firm.

Residential Tenant fails to pay, but alleges the reason is because the property is inhabitable

Under landlord tenant law, a tenant may withhold rent for portions of the property that are inhabitable. This law requires strict guidelines on how the money may be withheld and notice requirements that must be given.

In this case, the tenant stated to the court that they refused to pay rent because the property was inhabitable due to a vermin infestation. While the tenant was correct, attorneys at MMD&C elicited testimony that the infestation was a result of them taking in multiple stray cats. Moreover, the tenant had changed the locks at the property, and refused the landlord permission to enter and make repairs.  

Through careful testimonial examination, receipts, pictures, and various other exhibits, we were able to show the court that the tenants claim was a scheme, designed to try and secure free housing. The court ruled in our client’s favor, awarding rent owed and possession of the property.

Commercial Tenant fails to pay rent, and is living at the property

Typically, where a tenant pays all back rent owed, they can stop of the eviction process, even after the court has granted possession. This is called a pay to stay order. In order to secure a free and clear eviction, there must be another violation of the lease other than failure to pay rent.

In this case the tenant had rented a space to be used as a car mechanic shop. The tenant had fallen behind on rent but was making sporadic payments here and there in an attempt to persuade the landlord to allow him to stay. After months and months of this, the landlord contacted our firm.

After interviewing the landlord, and reviewing the lease, it was determined that not only was the tenant not paying rent, but he was also living at the property in violation of local ordinances, and the lease. Unfortunately, the municipality could not force him to leave, so it was up to us to see that he be removed from the property.

We filed an eviction, and within ten days we were before the judge, presenting evidence of the rent owed, and that the tenant was improperly using the property. After a hearing the court ruled in our client’s favor, awarding all rent owed, and possession of the property.

The bottom line is that if you have residential or commercial landlord tenant issue, please contact the head of our landlord tenant division Lindsay J. Killian, Esq at 610-891-8806.  She will assess your case and determine what is the best course of action to take to ensure that you receive what you are owed.