Property Keyed to Saxer
Building Monitoring Systems, Inc. v. Paxton
In December 1991, Michael Paxton and Amy Lowder (Defendants) rented an apartment from Building Monitoring Systems, Inc. (Plaintiff), who was in the business of renting out units in its multi-unit apartment building. Soon after taking possession, Defendants notified Plaintiff that the apartment required repairs. Although Plaintiff made some minor repairs, the apartment remained in violation of Health Department regulations. On August 9, 1993, Defendants reported the violations to the Health Department. In turn, the Health Department sent Plaintiff a letter ordering Plaintiff to make repairs by September 7. Instead, Plaintiff served Defendants with an eviction notice. However, Plaintiff reinstated the tenancy when it subsequently accepted Defendants’ rent for October. On October 12, the plaintiffs sent Plaintiff a list of needed repairs and complained again to the Health Department. The day after Plaintiff received notice from the Health Department regarding Defendants’ second complaint, Plaintiff served Defendants with another eviction notice. When Defendants refused to leave, Plaintiff brought this unlawful detainer action. Defendants submitted the defense of retaliatory eviction. The trial court agreed that the eviction was retaliatory but refused to recognize the defense because it had not previously been recognized in this jurisdiction.
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