Treble Damages and the Landlord from Hell


Are you having problems with your landlord timely completing necessary repairs? You may find the case of Nexus Real Estate v. Erickson, 2017 Pa. Super. 180 of interest. In that case, the landlord’s property manager made numerous assurances that repairs would be performed and either performed no repairs at all or performed inadequate repairs. This failure left the tenant without heat for an entire winter, without air conditioning for an entire summer, and with a roof which leaked for months causing visible mold to grow and causing the tenant to cough.  Also, during a construction project at the apartment building, the tenant’s water was turned off at least 25 times. Eventually, the tenant started paying his rent into an escrow account and the property manager then sued him for unpaid rent.  The tenant responded by suing the property manager and the landlord, bringing claims pursuant to the Pennsylvania Unfair Trade Practices and Consumer Protection Law and breach of the warranty of habitability. The lawsuits were consolidated for a non-jury trial and the Court awarded the tenant $32,150 in damages consisting of $29,250 for violations of the Pennsylvania Unfair Trade Practices and Consumer Protection Law , which was a tripling of the $9,750 he had paid in rent, and $2,900 in attorney fees.

The moral of the story? If you are dealing with a landlord from Hell, consider consulting an attorney concerning remedies under the  Pennsylvania Unfair Trade Practices and Consumer Protection Law .