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STAPLETON v. HORTON (03/20/57)

March 20, 1957

STAPLETON
v.
HORTON, APPELLANT.



Appeal, No. 229, April T., 1956, from judgment of Court of Common Pleas of Washington County, Aug. T., 1955, No. 294, in case of H.J. Stapleton et ux. v. Harry Horton. Judgment reversed and new trial granted.

COUNSEL

Charles C. Keller, with him Peacock, Keller & Yohe, for appellant.

William C. Porter, with him Docktor & Porter, for appellees.

Before Rhodes, P.j., Hirt, Gunther, Wright, Woodside, Ervin, and Carr, JJ.

Author: Woodside

[ 183 Pa. Super. Page 199]

OPINION BY WOODSIDE, J.

This case turns on whether a tenant under a month to month lease is required to give notice of his intention to vacate the premises when nothing relating to notice is contained in the lease agreement.

[ 183 Pa. Super. Page 200]

The plaintiffs filed an action in assumpsit to recover rent from the defendant. After trial before a jury they obtained a verdict in the sum of $1400. The defendant appealed from the entry of the judgment in the above sum, and the refusal of the court below to grant his motion for a new trial.

The plaintiffs entered into an oral agreement with the defendant, an automobile dealer, leasing to him their building in the Borough of West Brownsville, for use as a body and paint shop, at a rental of $150 per month, increased to $175 per month when certain additional space in the building became available to the tenant. It is agreed that the lease was for a tenancy of month to month.

Either late in October or early in November 1954, the tenant moved his property out of the leased building, and sometime early in October discontinued all further use of it. The defendant claimed that at about the time of removing his property, he turned over a set of keys to the plaintiffs, and through his brother notified the plaintiffs that he was vacating the premises. This the landlords denied, claiming that they had received no notice that the defendant intended to vacate the premises, and had not received the keys to the premises until May 7, 1955. They claim that they were unable to take possession of the premises before receiving the keys. They sued and recovered a judgment for rent at the rate of $175 per month for the months of November to June, inclusive.

The defendant contended that he had been forced to vacate the premises because the landlords had failed to make certain repairs which they had agreed to make. There was evidence that the tenant complained that the roof leaked and the heaters were ...


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