Tenants turn tables, file their own suit against landlord

CHARLES TOWN - Tenants of a Harper's Ferry rental home have filed a suit against their landlord, claiming he breached their contract by not providing a sufficient living atmosphere and tried to have them evicted.

John and Michele Stevens filed the suit Jan. 16 against Justin Stone. In December 2006, the Stevens were renting a house from Stone for $1,300 a month. The lawsuit claims that Stone renovated the house without a building permit and did not provide a working heating system.

Also, the suit states that Stone has kept trash in a pond on the property since the Stevens moved into the home.

On Dec. 27, 2006, Stone filed a suit against the Stevens, claiming they were behind in rent and had refused to pay it. Also, Stone claimed the trash in the yard belonged to the Stevens.

The countersuit from the Stevens states that they tried to pay rent, but Stone would not accept it because he wanted to have them evicted so he would not have to provide heat and make the property livable.

The Stevens are seeking the dismissal of the petition filed by Stone, statutory damages for at least $8,000, compensatory damages, punitive damages for at least $50,000, a temporary restraining order against Stone and all other court costs.

Jefferson Circiut Court case number 07-C-10

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