Larry, the landlord, and Roger, the tenant, both have legal rights and responsibilities with regard to renting or leasing of habitations, land or premises as provided for in the uniform residential landlord and tenant act. The act serves to not only protect the interests and rights of landlords but also those of tenants mainly because there have to be regulatory frameworks underlying the industry. It was also established to base rental agreement and the relationship between landlords and tenants on contract law rather than the common law (Melone & Kames, 2008).
Therefore, the rights of the tenant inform the responsibilities of the landlord and the rights of the landlords also inform the responsibilities of the tenant. As such, in the interests of protecting his right to receive payment in terms of rent on renting out his house, the landlord has a responsibility of making disclosures to potential or perspective tenants the criteria they utilize to inform their willingness to agree to a deal. The criteria Larry uses to enter into an agreement with a tenant is a long-term tenant who is good and pays their rent on time, and Roger lives up to his expectation as presented in the case.
The law requires that Larry disclose such information, and also includes information regarding the condition of the house that would affect the safety of the occupants as well as their health, the rent due as well as the period for paying the rent, any other rules that would have an effect on the use of the premise by the tenant. Upon inspection of the premise, Roger noticed signs of wear on the exterior of the building prompting him to ask about roof leaks in the house in which Larry made a disclosure negating the fact. Other disclosures that protect both the rights of the tenant as well as those of the landlord include a notice regarding the owner and people authorized to make decisions regarding the premise, the mailing address of the landlord as well as the requirement to disclose any information regarding updates on the addresses and ownership of the premise.
Roger, the tenant, is obligated to disclose his mailing address as well as a contact person to act as the next of kin in the event of death. Due to the correspondence between Larry and Roger, both provided disclosures as stipulated in the law in regard to contact information. The landlord is also obligated by the law to maintain the apartment in a habitable condition through making the necessary repairs, and this includes having functional weather protection and waterproofing on both all walls, doors, and windows as well as the roof. The tenant has an obligation under the law to pay rent due to the landlord as well as comply fully with the conditions set out in the tenancy agreement and codes with regard to health, building, fire and housing.
In the case of the roof leak damage which Roger reported to Larry on a number of occasions, Larry, the landlord had legal obligation to mitigate the damages. This is because it is the non-negotiable duty of Larry to maintain the premise in a habitable condition. Roger may argue that Larry, the landlord, had failed in failing to disclose the real information concerning leaks on the roof. This he would base on the wear observed on the exterior of the premise on cursory inspection. However, there are no legal grounds on which this can be proven because Larry can argue that no previous tenant had reported any leaks. However, the landlord is under obligation to mitigate the damage because it interferes with the premise as well as the health of the occupant (Wilkie, 2006).
Notice was given the second time after the rains came and some of the property belonging to the tenant were destroyed due to the leak which had become bigger. As such, the law stipulates that the landlord is required to remedy a noncompliance with regard to the failing to repair the roof in the first instance because the leak interferes with the safety and health of Roger. Therefore, the law required that Larry fix the roof as soon as possible practically and also in a period not exceeding five days after the notice of noncompliance is issued. However, Larry does not comply with the notice of noncompliance issued and this therefore means that Roger is entitled to mitigation by the landlord for the leak. The tenant and landlord act also provides regulations regarding the knowledge and notice of a fact and in this case, it can be correctly determined that Larry has actual knowledge of the fact that there is a leak. This therefore informs the reasoning that he has been noncompliant in the issue. The law stipulates that someone has knowledge of a fact when one has actual knowledge of it, when one has received notice of the fact and also when there is a reason that informs the knowledge of the existence of the fact (Wilkie, 2006).
In this regard, Larry knows for a fact that there is a leak and this is due to the notification made to him through the report made by Roger in the first instance. This is followed by another request and also a notice which also serves as the notice of noncompliance with regard to the leak and the answer of Larry regarding raining and pouring shows that he acknowledges the fact thus there is reason to state that he has knowledge of the fact. It was also mailed to the landlord and properly addressed to him under the stipulations provided in the act. Therefore, there is sufficient reason to support the view that Larry has the legal responsibility of mitigating damage caused by the leak since he was aware of the fact. However, regarding the damage caused by the bat on the drywall and the socket, Larry is under no obligation to mitigate even though Roger argues that it was a result of the noncompliance exhibited by the landlord. This is because the landlord-tenant act stipulates that it is beyond the obligations of the landlord duty to carry out any necessary repairs and services to damages on premises that are a direct result of the tenant’s negligent and intentional acts.
The law states that the tenant should not destroy or damage any section of property negligently or intentionally and without the landlord’s consent. In this case, the negligent act of throwing a bat to the wall resulted in damage to the property and hence the landlord is not obligated to mitigate such damage. Whereas Roger may argue that it his action was the direct result of the inability of the landlord to fix the damage to the roof, such a position has no legal backing and the damage is the direct result of a bat thrown to the wall rather than of a leak. This then gives credence to the legal position of the landlord’s duty and obligation to repair the leak which destroyed the tenant’s personal items as well as furniture because the law requires the mitigation of factors affecting the habitation of premises by tenants. Therefore, Roger has a legal duty to mitigate the damage caused by his action that caused the destruction of part of the wall and a socket on the premise whereas Larry is under the obligation to mitigate damages caused by the roof leak and his noncompliance after issuance of notice.
Larry, the landlord, has no legal grounds to evict the tenant because he has complied with the rules set out in the tenancy agreement. Termination of the of the tenancy in this instance would be regarded as retaliation which is prohibited under the landlord-tenant act. The law stipulates that terminating periodic tenancy by a landlord is conduct that can be considered retaliatory in the event that the landlord engages in such conduct after the being reported of violations (Taylor, 2010). This is because, in the case of Roger’s tenancy, its termination would be regarded as veiled retaliation due to complaints made to the landlord with regard to noncompliance under the landlord-tenant act.
The law protects the tenant in such a scenario because the Rogers has been described as a good householder that pays rent on time and lives well with the neighbors as pertaining the other rules imposed by the landlord. Therefore, Larry would be liable for retaliation were he to evict Roger from the apartment. The law stipulates that the landlord would be considered liable for retaliation in the event that the tenant complained of a violation on the part of the landlord’s responsibility which was not caused by the tenant nor his family or guests. The conduct of Roger as a tenant when reporting the violation was also reasonable and made not only once but followed with further requests within reasonable periods. His conduct was also in no way harassing the landlord when making his requests, and there are no actions by the tenant nor his guests and family with regard to violating the premise. The landlord is also legally obligated to provide a thirty days’ notice for the termination of a tenancy, and in this regard, Larry has not given Roger any notice with regard to the termination of his tenancy. Therefore, Larry has no legal grounds to evict Roger.
Larry can argue that the damage caused to the wall and the socket serve as grounds to evict Roger from the premise since it was caused by the tenant. However, this argument has no legal backing when the facts of the case are taken into consideration which includes noncompliance of the landlord over a period in a violation which has an effect on the safety as well as the health of the occupant of the premise. Furthermore, this is a violation which the tenant is obligated to repair and service and hence has no bearing on legal grounds to evict Roger because the law stipulates that such damages arising out of negligence require mitigation by the tenants rather than the landlord.
Melone, A. P., & Karnes, A. (2008). The American legal system: Perspectives, politics, processes, and policies. Rowman & Littlefield.
Taylor, J. N. (2010). A Treatise on the American Law of Landlord and Tenant. Little, Brown.
Wilkie, M., Cole, G., Luxton, P., & Morgan, J. (2006). Landlord and tenant law. Palgrave Macmillan.
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