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, 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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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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Monday, February 15, 2016

What Happens at an Eviction Hearing?

by Timothy H. Baland, Esq.

Landlords often ask me what happens at an eviction hearing in Minnesota. The simple answer is that one of four things can happen, depending on what the landlord wants to happen and whether or not the tenant shows up.

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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, November 19, 2015

Corporate Landlords Must Be Represented by Attorney in District Court

by Timothy H. Baland, Esq.

In a published decision issued on Monday, November 9, 2015, the Minnesota Court of Appeals ruled that corporate landlords—including limited partnerships—must be represented by a licensed attorney in district court.

A15-0496: Hinckley Square Associates, Respondent, vs. Leah D. Cervene, Appellant.

On appeal from a judgment ordering her eviction, appellant Leah Cervene argues that the district court erred in denying her motion to dismiss the complaint because respondent-landlord Hinckley Square Associates ("Hinckley Square") is a limited partnership and did not appear through licensed counsel in district court.

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Monday, October 19, 2015

The Warranty of Habitability: No Longer Waivable in Colorado

by David Uhlig, Esq.

Most landlords have a vague knowledge of the implied warranty of habitability but don't have firm understanding of what it actually means for them or their tenants. Originally an implied warranty in the truest sense: i.e., one implied by precedent handed down by courts, today the implied warranty of habitability is defined by statute in 49 of the 50 US states.

Colorado became the 2nd to last state to adopt a statutory implied warranty of habitability in 2008. On first blush, this may seem like old news but I frequently talk with landlords and even other attorneys who are unaware of the addition to Colorado's landlord-tenant statute.

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Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Ohio Supreme Court Makes It Clear: Landlords Must Keep Common Areas Safe and Sanitary

by Matthew W. Onest, Esq.

One of the more pressing and perplexing issues facing landlords throughout the United States is the scope and reach of their duties to keep rental premises in a safe and sanitary condition. A landlord must grapple with how far his or her duties extend with regard to his or her tenants. However, a landlord must also grapple with whether those same duties extend to the guests of his or her tenants. In 2014, the Ohio Supreme Court sought to answer these questions as they relate to Ohio landlords.

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Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Lease Terms May Not Waive Requirements of Security Deposit Statute

by Henry Luepke, Esq.

A client called recently requesting that I review a proposed lease agreement that a leasing agent had submitted for signature to the client's daughter. The daughter would be moving back to St. Louis in a few weeks and wanted to secure a place to stay in a neighborhood close to her mother. The proposed lease was for the perfect location.

The form of lease, however, was less than perfect.

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Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Security Deposit Potential Pitfalls

by Sabin R. Maxwell, Esq.

The initial security deposit charged at the outset of the tenancy seems at first glance a straightforward transaction. However, under New Hampshire law, there are certain pitfalls that the landlord must keep in mind relative to charges to the tenant that go beyond base rent.

 

Excessive Security Deposit

The easiest trap for a landlord to fall into relative to typical charges passed onto the tenant is charging for items not intuitively understood as part of a security deposit. One common example is a "pet deposit." In New Hampshire, "security deposit" is defined very broadly by statute as "all funds in excess of the monthly rent which are transferred from the tenant to the landlord for any purpose." RSA 540-A:5, II.

Thus, the default position is that any charge beyond base rent, regardless of whether charged at the outset of the tenancy or during tenancy, is considered part of the security deposit.

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