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WOODS v. SWANSON

February 8, 1951

WOODS
v.
SWANSON et al.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: GOURLEY

This is a suit brought by the Housing Expediter against the defendants, Alex Swanson and Teresa Swanson, alleging that overcharges had been made in violation of Section 4(a) of the Emergency Price Control Act of 1942, as amended, 50 U.S.C.A.Appendix, § 901 et seq. and Section 206(a) of the Housing and Rent Act of 1947, as amended, 50 U.S.C.A.Appendix, § 1881 et seq.

Jurisdiction was invoked pursuant to Sections 205(a) and 205(c) of the Emergency Price Control Act, 50 U.S.C.A.Appendix § 925(a) and 925(c) and Section 206(b) of the Housing and Rent Act of 1947, 50 U.S.C.A.Appendix, § 1881 et seq.

 The Expediter demands the issuance of an injunction and an order of restitution to the tenant for the rental overcharges made for the dwelling unit to the tenant. The pertinent facts are as follows:

 The defendants, Alex Swanson and Teresa Swanson, owned a house in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. They rented a room to one Ann Kindrock commencing on or about July 1, 1942 and which she continued to occupy until August of 1948. The maximum legal rent for the room was $ 3.50 per week. During the whole of said period just mentioned, the tenant was charged by the defendants and paid an amount in excess of $ 3.50 per week.

 Question Involved- Is a landlord subject to the provisions of the Rent Control Acts where one or two rooms in a dwelling unit is rented to tenants?

 The burden of establishing that housing accommodations are exempt from rent control is upon the person asserting such exemption. Woods v. Oak Park Chateau Corp., 7 Cir., 179 F.2d 611.

 I am of the firm conviction that the rental of one or two rooms in a private dwelling house was subject to the provisions of the Rent Control Acts during the period involved in this proceeding. 8 F.R. 7332; 8 F.R. 7334; 8 F.R. 10618; 12 F.R. 4331; 12 F.R. 4302; 13 F.R. 1861; 13 F.R. 5001.

 Under the facts in this case the Expediter is entitled to injunctive relief in which the defendants shall be restrained from soliciting or receiving rents in excess of the maximum of legal rents. In addition thereto, the Expediter is entitled to an Order in which the defendants shall be directed to make restitution to the tenant for the overcharges made.

 Restitution is a proper equitable remedy to enforce compliance with the acts as is the injunctive process, neither one is dependent upon the other. Woods v. Wolfe, 3 Cir., 182 F.2d 516.

 The Court makes the following findings of fact and conclusions of law:

 Findings of Fact.

 1. At all times herein mentioned the defendants, Alex Swanson and Teresa Swanson, were landlords of the housing accommodations designated as second floor middle apartment, 1233 Palo Alto Street, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

 2. During the period July 1, 1942 to June 30, 1946 and during the period July 27, 1946 to March 31, 1948, the maximum legal rent for the aforesaid housing accommodation under the aforesaid Acts and Regulations was $ 3.50 per week.


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