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Dieffenbach v. McIntyre

    Brief Fact Summary.

    Dieffenbach appealed the judgment of the trial court that required Dieffenbach to transfer physical possession, rather than the right of possession, to his lessee, McIntyre.

    Synopsis of Rule of Law.

    The lessor of real property is required to put the lessee in possession of the property.

    Facts.

    Dieffenbach leased an entire building consisting of four units to McIntyre. At the time McIntyre was supposed to be in legal possession of the premises, tenants still occupied two of the units. McIntyre sued Dieffenbach claiming that the lease entitled her possession to the entire building. The trial court granted judgment to McIntyre.

    Issue.

    Whether a lessor of real property is required to put the lessee in possession of the property?

    Held.

    Yes. Dieffenbach’s failure to put McIntyre in actual possession of the premises violated the lease agreement. The judgment of the trial court is affirmed.

    Points of Law - for Law School Success

    The proper measure of damages recoverable by the tenant, on failure of the landlord to deliver possession of the leased premises, is the difference, if any, between the rental agreed upon and the actual rental value of the property, together with any special damages, incurred in good faith and necessarily expended by the tenant in preparing to occupy the leased premises.

    View Full Point of Law
    Discussion.

    The English rule maintains that a lessee needs to be placed in legal possession of the property, while the American rule maintains that a lessee needs to be placed in physical possession of the property.


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