Tenant cannot sue landlord over unsafe condition of apartment
Although a landlord owes a statutory duty to provide the tenant with a "reasonably safe" apartment, that duty is apparently eliminated if the apartment is owned and rented by a governmental entity. In Brooks v. The Detroit Housing Commission, the plaintiff sued her landlord, the Housing Commission, claiming that the apartment she rented had become mold-infested and had injured her health when the Commission failed to act to remedy the situation. The appellate court ruled that the Commission enjoyed govermental immunity with respect to its operation of the apartment complex and therefore could not be held responsible for any injuries caused by its negligence or the negligence of its employees.The Court also pointed out that while the parties' rental contract required the Commission to comply with appropriate safety regulations, which it allegedly failed to do, "a personal injury claim cannot be pursued under the contract, based on a negligent violation of a contractual obligation:" instead the injured party to the contract can only pursue a tort or personal injury remedy. Since the Commission is immune from "torts" or negligence theories, the tenant who was explicitly promised a reasonably safe apartment has no remedy for the governmental entity-landlord's breach of contract and tort duties. Does this seem like a sound public policy?