Dingle v. Fazio
A court may excuse a tenant from payment of rent, until a housing inspector concludes that the landlord has complied with the responsibility to provide adequate heat. In November 2012, the plaintiff tenant, Herbert Dingle, allegedly complained about inadequate heat. A housing inspector investigated and found that the heat was not adequate. In December 2012, the plaintiff filed a housing code enforcement action. The plaintiff paid $800 to the court. Connecticut General Statutes §47a-7 provides, "A landlord shall . . . maintain in good and safe working order and condition all electrical, plumbing, sanitary, heating, ventilating and other facilities and appliances. . . ." The plaintiff proved, by a fair preponderance of the evidence, that the landlord did not meet his legal responsibilities, and that the premises remain uninhabitable. The lack of heat poses a health or safety hazard. The court granted judgment to the plaintiff and awarded the plaintiff $800. "The defendant landlord," wrote the court, "has not complied with his/her duties under §47a-7." The plaintiff is not required to pay rent, until a housing inspector finds that the heat is adequate.