ORDER ON DEFENDANT'S APPEAL OF JUDGMENT
appeals the District Court's entry of judgment in the
amount of $2, 456.61 and $55 of costs for rent due, cleaning
and repair of the apartment rented by Plaintiffs to
Defendant. For the fifth year in a row, Defendant signed a
year lease to rent an apartment from Plaintiffs. The lease
agreement states that "only those people listed on the
lease agreement are permitted to inhabit the premises."
Pl. ex. A. The lease term began on August 1, 2015. In January
2016, Defendant found another place to live. He advertised
for two roommates who moved into the apartment without
Plaintiffs' approval. Defendant continued paying rent on
the apartment until May 2016, at which point the apartment
contends that he vacated the apartment because of a mold
problem that was making his wife ill. He claims to have
notified Plaintiffs of the mold prior to the beginning of the
new lease term by phone. Defendant did not provide the
Plaintiffs with written notification of the alleged mold
problem until April 29, 2016.
District Court found in favor of Plaintiff awarding back
rent, late fees, cleaning and repair costs, and costs. The
Court affirms the decision of the District Court.
Standard of Review
aggrieved party may appeal a small claims judgment entered in
the District Court to the Superior Court. M.R.S.C.P. 11(a).
The Superior Court will affirm a small claims judgment unless
the judgment was "arbitrary, capricious or
unreasonable" based on the evidence in the record on
appeal presented as a whole. Manzo v. Reynolds, 477
A.2d 732, 733 (Me. 1984).
has brought this appeal asserting that as a matter of law the
District Court erred by failing to consider his defenses of
the warranty of habitability and constructive eviction in
entering judgment for Plaintiffs. Defendant claims that the
District Court did not consider his testimony concerning his
wife's health concerns and the Plaintiffs' inaction.
Defendant argues that, based upon the record, the judgment
entered by the District Court was arbitrary, capricious and
Court finds that the District Court did consider the
testimony presented and that the decision of the District
Court is based upon evidence in the record. Defendant first
claims that the Court erred in not ruling in his favor due to
his defense of the implied warranty and covenant of
habitability. According to 14 M.R.S. § 6021, a tenant
may bring a claim against his or her landlord where:
A. A condition, which shall be described, endangers or
materially impairs the health or safety of the tenants;
B. The condition was not caused by the tenant or another
person acting under his control;
C. Written notice of the condition without unreasonable
delay, was given to the landlord or to the person who
customarily collects rent on behalf of the landlord;
D. The landlord unreasonably failed under the circumstances
to take prompt, effective steps to repair or ...