Bar Exam (US) Property: Landlord owns a three-story building which is located in the township of...

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Landlord owns a three-story building which is located in the township of Scotch Plains. Landlord leased the building and the surrounding property to Tenant for a term of six years commencing on December 1, 1995 and terminating on November 30, 2001. Their leasehold agreement contained the following provisions: "Tenant covenants to pay the rent of $500 per month on the first day of each month and to keep the building situated upon leased premises in as good repair as it was at the time of said lease until the expiration thereof."

On April 15, 1996 Neighbor, owner of an adjoining parcel of land, was burning leaves and underbrush on his land. There was a high wind blowing in the direction of the land which Landlord leased to Tenant and the wind carried the burning leaves onto Tenant's property. The building caught fire and caused $150,000 in fire damages. Tenant has not occupied the leased premises since the date of the fire because the building was rendered uninhabitable.

NOTE: Scotch Plains is a common law jurisdiction. In addition, the controlling Scotch Plains Statute of Limitations for initiating an action for damages due to negligence is five years from the time the cause of damage occurs.

On May 1, 1996 Landlord brings suit against Tenant asserting breach of contract. Judgment for

AnswerChoose the correct answer.Choose all that apply. Correct Partially correct Incorrect Don't Know

  1. A
    Correct Answer
    Landlord, since a tenant remains liable to pay rent even though as a result of the fire, the property was rendered uninhabitable
  2. B
    Correct Answer
    Landlord, since the covenant to pay rent runs with the land
  3. C
    Correct Answer
    Tenant, as it would be inequitable to enforce the rental provision in the lease because the premises was rendered uninhabitable
  4. D
    Correct Answer
    Tenant, since an increasing number of states have enacted statutes relieving a tenant of his obligation to pay rent where the premises are rendered uninhabitable by fire or other acts of God
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