In early 2009, Mr. B was living in a rented home badly in need of repair. The house had no hot water, no heat, broken windows and leaking pipes. In February, the landlord filed suit to evict Mr. B and his two children for failure to pay rent. The truth is that the landlord had refused his timely tender of rent because he did not want to make repairs on the property. Instead, he told Mr. B that he either had to make the repairs himself or he would be evicted, in clear violation of his legal responsibilities under Ohio landlord tenant law.
The landlord sued for eviction and back rent. Mr. B. voluntarily moved because there was no heat or hot water, but the landlord pursued a claim for back rent. Chad Ziepfel (Taft Stettinius & Hollister) agreed to take the case at the request of the VLP. He filed a counter-claim for rent abatement, arguing that the property was not worth the amount that had been charged in rent. After a trial, Magistrate Bernat ruled that the landlord had to return all of the rent that had been paid over a five month period in the amount of $6,000.00. The landlord paid all that was ordered.
Without Chad’s help, Mr. B and his children might still be living in squalor and paying an unscrupulous landlord more money than the place was worth. With Chad’s help, Mr. B. and his children now have some money to help them start over in better housing.