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PATTON v. UNITED STATES

November 30, 1955

Malia Irene PATTON, Plaintiff,
v.
The UNITED STATES of America, Defendant



The opinion of the court was delivered by: MARSH

1. Malia Irene Patton, plaintiff, is sole owner of the property located at 140 The Boulevard Street, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Prior to 1951, the said property was owned by Ernest F. M. Patton and Malia Irene Patton as tenants by the entireties. Ernest F. M. Patton died on February 22, 1954.

2. Plaintiff, acting in her own behalf and as attorney-in-fact for Ernest F. M. Patton, executed an agreement with the National Housing Agency, an agency of the United States of America, dated November 29, 1943, whereby the said Pattons leased the property aforesaid to the United States of America for a period of seven years, beginning December 8, 1943 and ending December 7, 1950.

 3. The lease was on the printed form prepared by the Federal Housing Administration. The lease provided for the payment of an annual rental of $ 40, plus assumption of a monthly mortgage payment of $ 65 during the term of the lease.

 5. Pursuant to the aforesaid lease, certain plans and specifications were submitted to the plaintiff for her approval in connection with the conversion of the property aforesaid into a two-family dwelling.

 6. The Pattons consented to the conversion as set forth in the plans and specifications.

 7. The conversion of the property was performed in accordance with the said plans and specifications, plus minor reasonable variations, and considerable repair; the work was completed in the Fall of 1944. Additional contracts were awarded as latent defects were found during the course of the conversion.

 8. After the property was converted, subtenants were put in possession of the first floor apartment at a rental of $ 65 per month and the second-third floor apartment at a rental of $ 68 per month, and during the term of the lease, the United States, as lessee sublet the newly created accommodations to various tenants.

 9. The lease contained the following covenant with respect to maintenance of the premises:

 '9. The Government, during the term of this lease, shall take good care of the Premises, and may make any and all repairs, both interior and exterior, necessary to keep the Premises in good order, condition, and repair, without the consent or approval of the Lessor. Upon the surrender of the Premises by the Government, it shall redecorate and or repaint the vacant portion of the interior thereof.'

 10. The plaintiff and her husband occupied the first floor apartment as subtenants of defendant from the Fall of 1948 to the termination of the lease, during which time Mr. Patton, his son, and son-in-law made extensive repairs, but the cost thereof was not proved.

 11. On December 7, 1950 the defendant vacated the demised premises and the plaintiff and her husband accepted possession as of that date.

 12. At the time of the execution of the lease, the dwelling on the premises was an eleven-room brick structure with front and rear porches. A 2-car garage was located in the rear adjacent to an alley which extended from The Boulevard Street to another alley which ran along the rear of the property. The house and garage were built about the year 1910 and had been acquired by the Pattons in 1930.

 13. At the commencement of the lease, the dwelling was in good structural condition, but it needed paint on the exterior and considerable repair on the interior ...


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