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Landlord Spanks Tenant for Overdue Rent, Tenant Sues

By Deanne Katz, Esq. | Last updated on

Stories where a tenant sues a landlord aren't exactly rare, but how many of those stories involve a spanking? We couldn't remember any either.

But that's what happened to a 29-year-old tenant of Ron Kronenberger, the 53-year-old former Citizen of the Year in Waynesville, Ohio. The tenant was forced to drop his pants and was spanked with a belt, according to police reports.

This wasn't a romantic interlude gone wrong. Kronenberger allegedly spanked the man during a dispute over some overdue rent. So how did he get access to the man's bare ... ahem... bottom?

The victim, whose name hasn't been released, went to police shortly after the incident with four small marks on his buttocks, reports the New York Daily News.

He told police that he and Kronenberger got into a argument over $2800 in unpaid rent. Kronenberger reportedly told him "if he was going to act like a child, he would treat him like one."

The tenant complied when Kronenberger allegedly told him that would mean getting spanked with a belt. The tenant claims he was frightened and just wanted to get himself out of the situation.

At that point, police went to speak with Kronenberger to get his side of the story. Turns out, what the young man said was true.

Kronenberger admitted to the spanking, reports Dayton Daily News. As a result, he was charged with misdemeanor assault.

Landlords have several legal options when it comes to tenants who refuse to pay. That includes going through collections, suing in small claims court, and eviction.

What it does not include is physical assault.

But what about the fact that the tenant submitted to the punishment? Can Kronenberger use that in his defense?

Consent can be used as a defense in cases of assault and battery but proving that is tricky.

In this case, it appears that the tenant only consented because of intimidation. If that's true, consent wouldn't be applicable.

Kronenberger's arrest won't have any effect on the overdue rent situation, although he'll probably think twice before "disciplining" a tenant again. We'd suggest this tenant find a new place to live.

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