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Wade v. Jobe

Supreme Court of Utah
818 P.2d 1006 (1991)


Facts

Jobe (defendant) rented a house from Wade (plaintiff). Soon after taking occupancy, Jobe discovered numerous defects in the house. After a few days, there was no hot water and a foul odor had developed throughout the house. The flame of the water heater had become extinguished by accumulated sewage and water in the basement. Jobe notified the landlord, who, on several occasions, came to pump water from the basement and relight the water heater. These and other problems persisted for several months until Jobe notified the landlord that she would withhold rent until the sewage problem was solved permanently. An inspection determined that the house was unsafe for human occupancy. A second inspection found numerous violations that were substantial health and safety hazards, and the house was to be condemned. Jobe vacated the premises and Wade sued to recover unpaid rent. Jobe counterclaimed to offset the rent owed because of the uninhabitable condition. The trial court awarded Wade all the unpaid rent and dismissed Jobe’s counterclaim because Utah had not formally recognized an implied warranty of habitability. Jobe appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Durham, J.)

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