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Judge Elizabeth Tao

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Landlord sought rent for the subject premises for nearly $13,000 through Feb. 2017 in this summary nonpayment proceeding. Tenant did not dispute the amount due, but sought a rent abatement, as her defense, alleging landlord breached the warranty of habitability as there was a foul odor coming from her kitchen almost immediately after she moved into the premises in Jan. 2014. As the condition was not corrected, she commenced and HP action and the court found landlord liable for civil penalties resulting from a failure to correct the odor issue in a timely manner. Tenant moved to restore the matter in June 2016 as the odor persisted, and a complaint made in Jan. 2017 to Environmental Health Division of DHMH—which determined a foul odor in the kitchen. The court found tenant satisfied her burden in establishing entitlement to an abatement due to landlord’s breach of warranty of habitability as it was made aware of the odor since 2014, but failed to make a diligent effort to investigate and remedy the cause until the end of 2016. It ruled this diminished tenant’s ability to enjoy the full use of the apartment, and while certain efforts were made to correct the conditions, they were insufficient, thus, tenant was granted an abatement and landlord awarded a final judgment of over $8,400.

Judge Elizabeth Tao

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Landlord sought rent for the subject premises for nearly $13,000 through Feb. 2017 in this summary nonpayment proceeding. Tenant did not dispute the amount due, but sought a rent abatement, as her defense, alleging landlord breached the warranty of habitability as there was a foul odor coming from her kitchen almost immediately after she moved into the premises in Jan. 2014. As the condition was not corrected, she commenced and HP action and the court found landlord liable for civil penalties resulting from a failure to correct the odor issue in a timely manner. Tenant moved to restore the matter in June 2016 as the odor persisted, and a complaint made in Jan. 2017 to Environmental Health Division of DHMH—which determined a foul odor in the kitchen. The court found tenant satisfied her burden in establishing entitlement to an abatement due to landlord’s breach of warranty of habitability as it was made aware of the odor since 2014, but failed to make a diligent effort to investigate and remedy the cause until the end of 2016. It ruled this diminished tenant’s ability to enjoy the full use of the apartment, and while certain efforts were made to correct the conditions, they were insufficient, thus, tenant was granted an abatement and landlord awarded a final judgment of over $8,400.