A man entered into a lease for an apartment with a landlord. The lease stated that the term was month-to-month
Legal and Ethical Environment of Business: Lesson 05 – Discussion:
A man entered into a lease for an apartment with a landlord. The lease stated that the term was month-to-month. After one month, the man while taking a shower, noticed the drywall crumbling. Under the drywall was a buildup of harmful mold. Rather than informing the landlord, the man simply sealed off the bathroom area. He continued to reside in the apartment two months without paying rent. When pressed for the rent, the man said that he was withholding the rent because the apartment was uninhabitable. Further, the man went to the city health and licensing department and complained about hazardous mold condition which constituted a code violations that the landlord failed to correct. After an inspection, the agency cited the landlord for the presence of mold, and ordered him to clear up the violation. After the inspection, the landlord brought an eviction action against the man and obtained a judgment against him for eviction.
• Will the eviction order hold up under the stated facts?
• Was the man right to withhold the rent?
• What arguments, if any, may the landlord raise to avoid paying the code violations?
• Under the circumstances, what is the most likely ruling of the court?
• What ethical issues are raised in this case?
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