Monday, October 25, 2004

Today's case-related wackiness: We're reading a Property case on implied warranty of habitability, which is basically the idea that if you rent a residential property that has serious code violations, you can stay and withhold rent in proportion with how badly the violations diminish the value of the property. This replaced constructive eviction, where you could only withhold rent if you also abandoned the premises.

Anyway, the case we have for explaining this involves a horrific slumlord who refused to fix locks, windows, electrical outlets, raw sewage in the basement--just a bad bad bad landlord in every way. The court talks about how in our modern urban society, most rentals are not farmlands (where the old doctrines developed), but urban residential properties with tenants who can't be expected to take on all the maintenance of apartments themselves, etc.

So, you're wondering, where's the wacky part? Well, the modern, urban society they discuss, with slumlords running all over the place, is freakin' Rutland, Vermont circa 1974.

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