Thursday, January 5, 2017

Landlords Rejoice

by Lydia Quarles, Esq.

Every state has its own landlord/tenant statutes which govern the relationship between landlords and their tenants. Depending upon the makeup of a state legislature at any given time, landlord/tenant statutes can be unbiased, biased toward the tenant, or biased in favor of the landlord.

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Thursday, November 17, 2016

AirBnB and Other Short Term Guest Situations Under California Law

by Eric Olson, Esq.

Short term rentals, whether arranged through services such as AirBnB or similar services or privately, such as through craigslist have become an issue with landlords. Whether the local jurisdiction has some sort of prohibition or regulation of these transactions, landlords may wish to be able to control tenants' usage of their (sometimes rent-controlled) apartments to turn part of a tranquil building into a commercial enterprise.

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Monday, July 25, 2016

Inspection Program vs. the Fourth Amendment: What Will Prevail?

by Kelly Schwab, Esq.

Various local municipalities and cities throughout the State of Wisconsin are sparking controversy among landlords and tenants with their proposed rental inspection programs. The landlords are facing serious financial burdens as a result of these programs, and despite the programs' intent to make housing conditions better for tenants, tenants are concerned about the cities and municipalities interfering with their constitutional rights.

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Monday, July 18, 2016

Sexual Harassment Can Occur in Commercial Land Transactions

by Eric Nord, Esq.

In a case of first impression, the Montana Supreme Court determined that a commercial tenant could prevail against a landlord on a claim of sexual harassment.

In Bates v. Neva, 2014 MT 336, 2014 MT 336, a commercial tenant brought an action against her landlord claiming that the landlord stopped making necessary repairs to the building when the tenant rebuked his sexual advances. Originally, a hearing officer denied the tenant's claim that the landlord's conduct violated the Montana Human Rights Act (MHRA), but the Human Rights Commission reversed. When the landlord petitioned for judicial review to the local district court, the court vacated the Commission's decision and reinstated the hearing officer's decision. Finally, the tenant appealed to the Supreme Court.

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Monday, June 13, 2016

Can I Accept Rent After I Serve an Eviction Notice on a Tenant?

by Brittany M. Pace, Esq.

Landlords are often confronted with the issue of whether they can accept rent from a tenant after the landlord serves the tenant with a three-day eviction notice. The answer depends on the answer to a few other questions.

Let's break down these questions so you can be sure you are getting your rent money from the tenant the right way without waiving any of the rights you have as a landlord to evict a tenant in default.

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Monday, April 18, 2016

HUD Seeks to End Discrimination Against Tenants with Criminal Records

by Evan L. Loeffler, Esq.

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) published guidelines in April 2016 for the proper consideration of applicants' criminal records when considering them for housing. HUD notes that because a disproportionate amount of people with criminal records are minorities, a blanket policy of refusing to rent to anyone with a criminal history may violate the Fair Housing Act.

The memo is not law in itself, but it interprets how the law may apply to certain situations. As with any new guideline, the legal ramifications will develop on a case-by-case basis as matters are heard in court and the guidance is considered.

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Thursday, March 10, 2016

Emotional and Evaluative Elements of Mediation

by Philip J. Glick, Esq.

When one mediates a dispute, it may surprise the mediator that the parties may be unwilling to objectively look at the case. Indeed, an intelligent person can choose to stick to a position that ignores obvious reality, possibly even in the face of advice of counsel to the contrary.

Why does this happen? I think it is a kind of pleasure principal at work. Indeed, it is immensely pleasing to justify one's actions, even where serious risk is created. One bathes in the glow of his or her own goodness and righteousness while the other side is perceived as trying to avoid responsibility and is guilty of legal, economic and moral wrong. It's like a theatrical production, with casting, choreography, and publicity all by the party who refuses to see the truth.

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Wednesday, January 20, 2016

The Abandoned Property Dilemma: New Jersey Landlord-Tenant FAQs

by C. Gavin Oppermann, Esq.

An oft neglected issue at the termination of a tenancy: What is the proper way to handle a tenant's personal belongings after they have turned over possession?

New Jersey has established strict rules (with minor exceptions for commercial tenancies) under N.J.S.A. 2A: 18-72 et seq. (hereinafter "the Act") on what the duties of a landlord are with respect to tenants belongings after termination of the tenancy.

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Thursday, December 17, 2015

Landlords' Guide to the Eviction Process in North Carolina

by Peter D. Isakoff, Esq.

As a landlord, taking a tenant to court can be a confusing and daunting process. A common reason landlords take tenants to court is when tenants default on leases by not paying rent. North Carolina law, specifically N.C. General Statute Chapter 42, provides a detailed, multi-step process for these types of cases in North Carolina.[1] The law spells out what must be done to legally remove residential tenants in North Carolina and prohibits landlords from using self-help.

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Thursday, November 12, 2015

Regaining Possession of Residential Properties in Tenant Bankruptcies

by David L. Bury, Jr., Esq.

In this economy, even if it's no longer at its worst, residential landlords are finding themselves and their property tied-up in bankruptcy and subject to the Bankruptcy Code's special, and often confusing, treatment for leases.

On December 3rd, I'll present the bankruptcy piece of Sterling's Landlord-Tenant Law seminar in Columbus, Georgia.

As a preview, I'll touch on in this blog post two important exceptions to the "automatic stay" that Congress added in 2005 for residential leases under Section 362(b) of the Bankruptcy Code:

1. prepetition judgments for possession and
2. endangerment and drug use.

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