In April of 1969, landlord Joseph Marini (plaintiff) entered into a one-year lease agreement with tenant Alice Ireland (defendant) for the rental of an apartment in Camden, New Jersey. The lease provided that the use of the premises was restricted to "dwelling." The lease did not include an express covenant for Marini to make repairs. In June of 1969, Ireland allegedly discovered a leaky toilet in the apartment and tried to inform Marini of the issue but was unsuccessful. Ireland hired a plumber to fix the issue and withheld the amount of the repairs from her rent to Marini. Marini demanded that Ireland pay him the full rent, but Ireland refused. Marini sued Ireland to recover the rent and for possession of the apartment, arguing that he had no duty to repair the toilet. The trial court found in Marini's favor and held that he was entitled to the unpaid rent and to evict Ireland from the apartment. The New Jersey Appellate Division stayed the eviction pending appeal, and the New Jersey Supreme Court reviewed the case.