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Judge rules in students' favor against landlord

A local landlord has to pay four Ohio University students more than $3,500 in damages after a judge ruled in the students’ favor last month.

Brad Brewer, Benjamin Greenberg, Andrew Janosik and Corey Callahan filed a lawsuit against their landlord, John Wharton, of University Off-Campus Housing, in February.

The students claimed Wharton entered the 70 N. High St. house they were renting and started renovations on the basement without informing them.

The students returned from winter break to find their belongings from the basement moved onto the first floor and the door to the basement boarded shut.

Athens County Court of Common Pleas Judge Michael Ward decided in the students’ favor Oct. 18, according to court documents.

Ward found that Wharton violated the terms of the lease by not giving the residence 24-hour notice before he entered the house and prohibiting their use of the basement.

The students also claimed that their heat was shut off several times because of Wharton replacing the furnace. Also, a power surge from the construction equipment broke their microwave, coffee maker and fan, according to court documents.

Ward decided that Wharton must pay $3,697 in damages to the students and an addition $244.25 to Greenberg, who replaced the damaged appliances.

Wharton must also pay a $500 fine unless he completes the Ohio Real Estate Law class at OU on Nov. 27.


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