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Landlord and Tenant Fact Pattern

LANDLORD-TENANT DISPUTE

The situation is as follows:
Fred and Wilma Flintstone rent a one-bedroom apartment in Bedrock from Fred's former boss Mr. Slate while their home is undergoing repairs after a major earthquake. The lease is signed on 10-13-09 and Fred, his wife Wilma, their daughter Pebbles and there pet Dino move into the apartment on 11-1-09. Fred has been shown a "display model" and has never actually seen the apartment he eventually rents for his family. Upon inspection, Fred notices a large tear in the Bear skin rug in the dining room. In addition, the cook stove has only one burner that works, there is a leaky bathroom faucet and there is something green growing in the bathtub. Fred notifies Mr. Slate who assures Fred the repairs will be made immediately and the growth in the bathtub will be cleaned up. Upon further inspection, Fred discovers that two of the windows are cracked and do not lock. Again he notifies Mr. Slate who promises faithfully to have repairs made. Lastly, the apartment seems to have a perpetual odor that Mr. Slate assures Fred will soon go away.

Shortly after moving into the apartment, Wilma decides to start a small business to make some extra money for the repairs to their home. Wilma's only skill is cooking so she decides to start a catering business. She purchases business cards in the name of 'YABBA-DABBA-DOO Catering" and uses her home address. While most of her work is done at her client's home, Wilma does have her clients frequent her apartment to pick up food and transact business.

Because the stove does not work, Wilma borrows a camp stove from her best friend Betty to prepare her catered food. Unfortunately, during a particularly busy cooking spree, Wilma allows the flames on the camp stove to get out of control and scorches the kitchen wall and sets the installed window blinds on fire.

Wilma's business is a great success and it becomes apparent that the kitchen is simply not big enough. Fred discusses this with his friend Barney who volunteers to bring over his son Bamm Bamm to knockout a wall. Bamm Bamm, not knowing his own strength, knocks out the wall and also does serious damage to the kitchen cabinets.

After the Flintstones have lived in the apartment for three months, one of Wilma's clients notifies her that they have fallen down the apartment stairs and injured their back. Fred and Wilma inspect the stairs and discover there is one broken stair and the handrail is loose. Upon further inspection, Wilma notices that most of the light bulbs in the hallway lights are burned out.

Fred again notifies their landlord, who assures him the repairs to the common areas of the apartment complex will be made quickly. Fred reminds Mr. Slate that the tear in the Bear skin rug still has not been fixed in their apartment, the stove still does not work, the leaky faucet is now worse, the tub is still green and the odor is becoming unbearable. The repairs are never done to either their apartment or the common areas.

In February of 2010, Fred opens his door to find their best friends Barney and Wilma Rubble, and their son Bamm Bamm. They too have suffered damages due to the earthquake. They beg Fred to let them stay for just a short time until their renovations are complete. Fred agrees and the Rubbles move into the apartment.

Two weeks later, while only Pebbles and Bamm Bamm are at home, the landlord, using his passkey, opens the door to the apartment to show it to a prospective renter. Neither Fred nor Wilma was notified of the planned showing of their apartment. Fred is very angry that the landlord has frightened the children.

A few months pass and the Rubbles are still living with them. The apartment is starting to show some wear from too many people in too small a space so Fred and Barney decide to attend the annual meeting of the Loyal Order of Water Buffalo. Because it is to be held in Stoney World, they decide to take their families and make it an extended vacation. (Wilma's business, "YABBA-DABBA-DOO Catering", is doing very well)

Fred sublets the apartment to the Frankenstone family that includes the father, Frank, his wife Hidea, and their two children Atrocia and Little Freaky.

The Frankenstones agree to pay directly to the landlord (in cash) $1200/month. The Frankenstones are to tell Mr. Slate that they are delivering the rent on Fred's behalf while he is out of town. They are not to inform Mr. Slate about the subletting. The Frankenstones also agree to pay the utilities during their sublet.

Mr. Frankenstone is fired from his job at the mortuary and does not pay the rent as promised nor does he pay the utilities. Mr. Slate calls and leaves a message on Fred's answering machine at the apartment demanding payment. The Frankenstones ignore the message. Mr. Slate leaves two more messages over the next 6 weeks. The rent is now 2 months overdue and Mr. Slate is enraged. He goes to the apartment, using his passkey and discovers the apartment in total disarray and disrepair. In addition, there is a notice on the door that the electricity has been turned off and there is spoiling food in the refrigerator.

Mr. Slate calls a moving company and removes all personal property from the apartment and changes the locks. Mr. Slate sells part of Wilma's culinary equipment and Fred's prized bowling ball in lieu of back rent. He throws the rest of their belongings away for spite. In addition, Mr. Slate retains the prior deposit but claims it does not cover all the past due rent and damages.

The Frankenstones return from a long weekend to find the locks have been changed. Frank calls Fred on his cell phone and notifies him of the situation. The Frankenstones then take off, leaving no forwarding address. Fred and the family return from Stoney World to discover him and Wilma have been sued by Mr. Slate. Fred and Wilma file a counterclaim.

ASSIGNMENT:

Using the facts above, the attached lease and your textbook:

1. Assume you are the attorney for Landlord Mr. Slate.
List the grounds under which you would sue the Flintstones and list the arguments you would use to persuade the Judge to rule in your favor. Also list the defenses you would raise to the counterclaim brought by Fred and Wilma.

2. Assume you are the attorney for Tenant Fred and Wilma
List the grounds for bringing the counterclaim and the arguments you would use to persuade the Judge to rule in your favor. Also list the defenses you would raise to the original suit.

3. Now act as Judge and after weighing the evidence make your ruling and list your reasons for that ruling.

Attachments

Solution Preview

First, keep sentences simple and speak in plain language. Remember the outline's start is the assignment itself. Outlined facts may not include points you may discover. The outline includes an introduction, the body with three heading, and a conclusion. Do not forget your cover page and a reference page.

Slate versus Flintstone

(Introduction) The short introduction paragraph simply states the problem that Mr. Slate sues Fred and Wilma Flintstone and that the Flintstones file a counter claim. Tell the audience the paper covers
(1) grounds and arguments from Slates attorney,
(2) the grounds, arguments, and defenses from ...

Solution Summary

Create outline: Come up with arguments for both sides (Landlord and tenant) that could be argued in court according to the Landlord and Tenant Fact Pattern and Landlord and Tenant Lease (attached).

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