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LAVERNE BROCKETT v. ROBERT E. CARNES AND CLARA CARNES (04/10/79)

submitted: April 10, 1979.

LAVERNE BROCKETT, ALSO KNOWN AS AND FORMERLY KNOWN AS LAVERNE YANOSKO, APPELLANT,
v.
ROBERT E. CARNES AND CLARA CARNES, HIS WIFE



No. 1278 April Term, 1978, Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Westmoreland County, Civil Action-Law, at No. 2228 of 1976.

COUNSEL

Ronald Backer, Pittsburgh, for appellant.

James S. Silvis, Greensburg, for appellees.

Cercone, President Judge, and Wieand and Hoffman, JJ.

Author: Hoffman

[ 273 Pa. Super. Page 35]

Appellant (lessee) contends that the lower court erred in granting appellees' (lessors') preliminary objections in the nature of a demurrer because a provision in their lease providing that the "[l]essors shall be liable for exterior

[ 273 Pa. Super. Page 36]

    maintenance and extraordinary maintenance" required the lessors to rebuild the premises after they had been destroyed by fire.*fn1 We disagree and, accordingly, affirm the order of the lower court.

Because the lower court sustained the lessors' preliminary objections in the nature of a demurrer to the lessee's complaint, "[f]or purposes of appellate review, we must regard the allegations in [the lessee's] complaint as true and accord them all the inferences reasonably deducible therefrom." National Building Leasing, Inc. v. Byler, 252 Pa. Super. 370, 372, 381 A.2d 963, 964 (1977). The lessee's complaint reveals the following: On November 1, 1966, the parties entered into a lease "for all that certain street floor of the premises situated at 1501 Broad Street, South Greensburg, Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania known as the Buckhorn Bar and Grill . . . ." On August 10, 1974, the leased premises were destroyed by fire. The premises had been fully insured by the lessors. A rider accompanying the lease contained a provision stating: "[Lessee] shall be responsible for inside repairs and ordinary maintenance. Lessors shall be liable for exterior maintenance and extraordinary maintenance." The lessee sought damages for the lessors' alleged breach of this provision of the lease by not rebuilding the premises.

The lessors filed preliminary objections in the nature of a demurrer, alleging that the lessors were not obligated to

[ 273 Pa. Super. Page 37]

    rebuild the damaged premises. The lower court granted the preliminary objections, and this appeal followed.

It is well-settled that "[i]n the absence of an express agreement there is no implied obligation on the landlord to repair demised premises . . . ." Moore v. Weber, 71 Pa. 429, 432 (1872). "It has always been considered that where, in a lease there is an express and unconditional agreement to repair and keep in repair, the tenant is bound to do so, although the premises be destroyed by fire or other accident . . . ." Hoy v. Holt, 91 Pa. 88, 90 (1879). See also Spires v. Hanover Fire Insurance Co., ...


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