Appeal from Washtenaw, Ross W. Campbell, J.
McGregor, P. J., and Holbrook and Van Valkenburg,* JJ. All concurred.
1. Landlord and Tenant -- Rent -- Covenant to Repair -- Health Laws -- Appeal and Error -- Moot Question -- Continuing Importance.
Question of whether a landlord's failure to maintain the leased premises in compliance with health and safety laws and his breach of a covenant to repair were defenses to the landlord's suit to regain possession for nonpayment of rent, although possibly moot because of the tenant's vacation of the premises, was decided by an appellate court because the question is one likely to reoccur and the question is important not only to the parties, but to all citizens.
2. Landlord and Tenant -- Rent -- Covenant to Repair -- Compliance With Laws.
A tenant's covenant to pay rent is mutual with the landlord's statutory covenant to keep the premises in reasonable repair and to comply with applicable health and safety laws; in the event of a breach of one of the covenants, the injured party has recourse to the courts (MCLA 554.139).
3. Landlord and Tenant -- Action for Possession -- Defenses.
A tenant may raise any defense as a defense to a landlord's suit to regain possession for nonpayment of rent; a tenant may raise the landlord's failure to keep the premises in reasonable repair and to comply with the applicable health and safety laws as a defense to an action by the landlord to regain possession for nonpayment of rent.
4. Landlord and Tenant -- Action for Possession -- Defenses -- Covenant to Repair -- Health Law.
Summary judgment in a landlord's action for possession of the leased premises for nonpayment of rent was improperly granted where the tenant raised a substantial question of fact as to whether the landlord had kept the premises in reasonable repair and had complied with the applicable health and safety laws, because these duties are proper defenses to the landlord's suit.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: Van Valkenburg
Complaint by Louis Rome against Steven Walker, Michael Durkacs, Frederic Stann, and Robert Begnoche to recover possession of leased property. Plaintiff's motion for summary judgment denied by district court. Plaintiff appealed to circuit court by leave granted. Summary judgment for plaintiff. Defendants appeal by leave granted.
This appeal, carrying a question of first impression in this state, involves an interpretation of certain sections of the so-called tenants' rights legislation enacted in 1968. *fn1
The parties hereto entered into a written lease for a given piece of property in Ann Arbor, Michigan running from ...