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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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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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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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 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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Monday, August 10, 2015

More Than a Pet: Emotional Support Animals in Rental Properties

by Steven J. Krueger, Esq.

Most people are familiar with service animals—generally exemplified by a service dog assisting an individual with a disability. Only service dogs, miniature horses, and monkeys are recognized as service animals under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

Wisconsin law prohibits a public place to deny entrance to a person with a disability accompanied by a service animal. Additionally, under Wisconsin housing law, if an individual's vision, hearing, or mobility is impaired, it is discrimination for a landlord to refuse to rent or sell housing to the individual, evict the individual, require extra compensation as a condition of continued residence, or harass the individual because she keeps a service animal that is specially trained to lead or assist her.

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