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Hilder v. St. Peter
Vermont Supreme Court
144 Vt. 150, 478 A.2d 202 (1984)
Hilder (plaintiff) rented an apartment owned by the St. Peters (defendants) and lived there with her three children and newborn grandson. There were many problems with the apartment, including a broken kitchen window, no functioning lock on the front door, a non-functioning toilet, inoperative light fixtures, water leakage, falling plaster and leaking sewage. Hilder complained to St. Peter about each of these problems as she discovered them. St. Peter almost always promised he would fix the problem but never did. Often, Hilder would fix the problem herself at her own expense. Throughout the fourteen months she and her family lived there, Hilder paid the rent as it came due. When Hilder moved out, she sued the St. Peters for breach of the warranty of habitability. The trial court ruled in Hilder’s favor and awarded $4,945, which included $3,445, representing the entire amount of rent paid over the fourteen months. St. Peter appealed, arguing that the damages were incorrectly calculated.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Billings, C.J.)
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