The owner of a mobile-home park in Augusta has been ordered to pay former tenants $4,500 for his failure to repair burst pipes, forcing the tenants to tote water for nine months and to empty toilets by hand for more than half that time.

The payment was ordered by the Maine Supreme Judicial Court, which ruled Tuesday on an appeal filed in a case where Leo and Germaine Belanger sued their landlord, John Mulholland, in Kennebec County.

A superior court ruling Jan. 4 gave Belangers $2,500 for five months they spent without water and a usable toilet. That ruling said Mulholland had breached “the implied warranty of habitability.”

The higher court decided the couple was entitled to the extra money for the four additional months when there was no running water.

The Belangers, who were represented by attorney Judith A. Plano, of Pine Tree Legal Assistance Inc., had lived in a 1960s trailer in the park off Bond Brook Road from 1987 to August 2009.

Mulholland, who was represented by attorney Tammy Ham-Thompson in the appeal, bought the park in 2001 and had his residence at the park entrance.

Court records show Belanger reported that the trailer’s pipes froze and burst in December 2008, and Mulholland offered an abatement on the rent that month and told Belanger to arrange repairs.

The toilet failed in March 2009, but Mulholland told the Belanger he “was on (his) own with that,” according to the court synopsis of the case.

The Belangers bought a mobile home in another park in Augusta and moved out in August 2009.

Plano said Monday that photos show conditions in the prior trailer were horrible. She said the trailer was falling apart, the floor was giving out and there were rats’ nests and mold.

“The couple was in their 70s, and he was hauling water and emptying the toilet by hand and emptying it into the septic tank,” said Plano, adding that the couple paid $500 per month rent every month except the month when Mulholland offered an abatement.

The mobile home park is now gone, she said.

Pasquale Perrino Jr., who represented Mulholland in the superior court case, said Wednesday, “My client is prepared to comply with the decision of the supreme court.”

In the original lawsuit, the Belangers alleged breach of implied warranty and covenant of habitability, negligence, intentional infliction of emotion distress and wrongful retention of security deposit.

The Belangers prevailed on the breach of warranty claim and on the claim involving the security deposit.

The judge found in favor of Mulholland on the other claims.