Nesson v. Adams

Decision Date19 June 1912
Citation212 Mass. 429,99 N.E. 93
PartiesNESSON v. ADAMS. SAME v. COOK.
CourtUnited States State Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts Supreme Court

OPINION TEXT STARTS HERE

Exceptions from Superior Court, Middlesex County; Wm. Cushing Wait, Judge.

Actions by Israel Nesson against Charles F. Adams and against John B. Cook. There was a verdict for defendant in each action, and plaintiff brings exceptions. Overruled.

The letter of defendant Adams, referred to in the opinion, was, as testified to by Adams, sent to plaintiff at a time when a check was sent to pay rent, and contained a protest against the condition of the premises. Planitiff denied receiving the letter, and the court allowed a copy to be introduced in evidence.

Geo. W. Reed, of Boston, for plaintiff.

Henry W. Beal, of Boston, for defendants.

DE COURCY, J.

These are two actions for rent under leases, and were tried together as the facts were substantially alike. The main question argued is whether the evidence warranted the jury in finding an eviction by the plaintiff lessor, operating as a defense.

[1] It is not contended that the tenants were expelled by the assertion of a paramount title, and by process of law, in accordance with the original and technical meaning of an eviction. 16 Cyc. 820. Nor were they physically turned out of possession of the leased premises. But it is contended that the acts of the plaintiff resulted in a substantial interference with the defendant's right of possession or enjoyment amounting to an eviction, as the term is used at the present time, and that his acts indicated an intention that they should no longer continue to occupy the leased premises.

[2] The suites of rooms occupied by the defendants were in an apartment house in Cambridge named the ‘Regent,’ and they had paid the accrued rent up to the time they moved out. Under the terms of each lease the plaintiff covenanted to light and to keep neat and clean the common stairs of the building, to heat the leased premises and supply them with hot and cold water and elevator service. There was evidence that the elevator was not run regularly and was shut down for days at a time; that the elevatorin the plaintiff's adjoining and connecting building, the Majestic, was sometimes used by the defendants, and then they reached their suites by walking through the corridor in the latter building; that frequently it was impossible to get any elevator service in either the Regent or the Majestic, because there was no elevator man present, and they were compelled to use the stairway; that the plaintiff failed to light the common stairs, the landings adjacent thereto, and the corridor through which the...

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