Exercise 4

Remedies Available to the Tenant

Landlord Tenant Exercise 4Chloe was renting an apartment from Pat, but after a month, the pipes began to leak and the water looked brown. Chloe asked Pat a few times, over a few weeks, to fix these problems, but Pat did nothing. Rent was due on the 1st of the month. On the 7th of the month, Chloe gave Pat a written 7-day notice, detailing the problems and saying that the rental agreement would terminate if Pat did not fix the problems within 7 days from the time of notice. Two days later, the pipes began to leak seriously and water slowly began to seep onto the floor of Chloe ’s apartment. Chloe did not attempt to move her furniture out of the apartment, but she packed some clothes and stayed at a friend’s house. At the end of the 7 days, Chloe terminated the rental agreement and sued Pat for the balance of her prepaid month’s rent and for the cost of her furniture, which was completely ruined by the water. Pat agreed to give Chloe the balance of her last month’s rent, but argued that she shouldn’t have to pay for Chloe’s furniture, because it wouldn’t have been ruined if Chloe had moved it out of her apartment quickly.

How should the judge rule?

A. Pat should have to pay the full amount for Chloe’s furniture.
Sorry, but that's not the correct answer. Please select another.
B. Pat should have to pay a partial amount, at most, for Chloe ’s furniture.
Once again, the correct answer is B. Although a judge could rule that Pat should have to pay the full amount for Chloe’s furniture, there is a duty on the part of the complaining party to mitigate damages, and it seems in this case that Chloe did not mitigate the damage caused to her furniture as she could have. Therefore, the judge could reduce the amount awarded to Chloe to an estimate of what her damages would have been if she had removed her furniture before the water damaged it.