Landlord Tenant Law Flashcards Preview

Property II > Landlord Tenant Law > Flashcards

Flashcards in Landlord Tenant Law Deck (48):
1

As a general rule, landlords have a strong right to exclude and may refuse to rent to a person based on a good faith reason, a frivolous reason, or no reason at all
BUT the right to exclude is limited by:

Federal and state statutes and local ordinances that prohibit certain types of discrimination (example: Fair Housing Act)
Eviction for retaliatory purposes
State statutes requiring “good faith” for eviction

2

Applies only to the sale or rental of “dwellings”
It is unlawful to:
Refuse to sell or rent a dwelling to any person based on race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, or national origin
Discriminate against any person in the terms and conditions of a sale or rental of a dwelling based on the protected categories
Make, publish or advertise any preference, limitation or discrimination based on the protected categories
Discriminate in the sale or rental because of a handicap of the buyer or tenant
Refuse to make reasonable modifications to the premises to accommodate a handicapped tenant

FHA

3

does not apply to any single-family house sold or rented by the owner provided the owner:
Does not hold title to more than 3 single-family houses, and
Does not use in any manner the rental facilities or rental services of a real estate broker
Also exempt under the FHA:
Religious organizations
Dormitories, fraternities, and sororities
Senior housing
“Rooming houses”: rooms or units in dwellings which contain living quarters occupied or intended to be occupied by no more than 4 families living independently of each other, if the owner actually resides in one of the living quarters

FHA Exemptions

4

All citizens of the United States shall have the same right, in every State and Territory, as is enjoyed by white citizens thereof to inherit, purchase, lease, sell, hold, and convey real and personal property.

Civil Rights Act

5

Fair Housing Act covers 7 types of discrimination but only applies to

selling, renting, or advertising a dwelling

6

_______ ______ ____ covers only racial discrimination but is not limited to dwellings
Applies to more types of conduct (including inheriting, holding, and conveying property, but not advertising)
Applies to all types of property (“real and personal property”)

Civil Rights Act

7

that he is a member of a protected class and Defendants knew or suspected that he was;
that he applied for and was qualified to rent the property in question;
that Defendants rejected his application; and
that the property remained available thereafter.

Proving Discrimination Elements

8

Plaintiff only needs to present enough evidence to show that there is a ________ _____.

disputed fact

9

Fair Housing Act prohibits discrimination in renting based on

race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, or national origin

10

Fixed duration which is agreed upon in advance
Does not have to be for years; can be for a number of months
Once the term ends, the right of possession automatically terminates
Frequently used in commercial leases and residential leases

Tenancy for years (a/k/a term of years tenancy)

11

Automatically renewed for successive periods unless the landlord or tenant terminates by giving advance notice
State statutes govern how much notice must be given
Can be year-to-year, month-to-month, week-to-week
Frequently used in residential leases

Periodic tenancy

12

No fixed end
The tenancy continues until one party terminates
State statutes govern how much notice must be given; it is usually equal to the frequency of rent payments (monthly, yearly, etc.)
Automatically terminates upon either party’s death, tenant’s abandonment, or landlord’s sale of the property
Usually arises when there is no written lease

Tenancy at will

13


Label given to a holdover tenant who remains in the premises beyond the term of his lease
Created when a tenant who rightfully took possession of the premises continues beyond the term of his lease
State statutes govern how the estate is terminated and whether rent may be increased

Tenancy at sufferance

14

If a lease does not meet the criteria of a term of years or a periodic tenancy, and if the tenant is not a “holdover”, the lease MUST be a _____ __ ______

Tenancy at will

15

Where a deed is not ambiguous, __________ evidence may not be used to show the intent of the parties

extrinsic

16

T has sufficient legal and equitable remedies (T can sue to evict the former tenant)
LL should not be held accountable for the wrongful act of a third party
English rule might prevent LL from leasing the premises until the prior tenant has moved out
this would lead to increased rent to all tenants to account for the lost rent for the “downtime” between tenants

American Rule

Landlord Obligation to Deliver

17

Serves the reasonable expectations of the parties
LL is in a better position to know if the prior tenant is vacating on time
LL has access to the evidence needed to determine and prove that the prior tenant should be evicted
T bargained for space, not for a lawsuit to evict the prior tenant
If T has to evict the prior tenant, it is an increased cost to T that T did not factor into the amount T was willing to pay in rent

English Rule

Landlord Obligation to Deliver

18

Promise by LL that LL will not wrongfully interfere with T’s possession of the premises
Actual eviction (obviously) violates the covenant
Actions short of actual eviction can also substantially interfere with T’s possession

Covenant of Quiet Enjoyment

19

In the absence of an express clause, the covenant of quiet enjoyment is ________ in every lease

implied

20

LL’s breach of the covenant of quiet enjoyment may lead to a claim by T of __________ ________

constructive eviction

21

Active interference with T’s possession or interference that results from LL’s inaction in the face of a legal duty to act, and
Interference that is attributable to LL, LL’s agent, or a paramount title holder, and
After timely notice and a reasonable opportunity to correct the problem, T must vacate the premises

Elements needed to show a breach of the covenant of quiet enjoyment resulting in a constructive eviction:

22

Wrongful conduct by LL that substantially interferes with T’s use and enjoyment of the premises

Constructive Eviction

23

There must be substantial interference with the tenant’s use and enjoyment of the premises, and
The tenant must vacate the premises within a reasonable time

All jurisdictions require that in order to claim constructive eviction:

24


The interference need not totally prevent use of the premises, but a minor interference is insufficient
The key is whether a reasonable person would see the interference as so serious that the leased premises cannot be used in a normal manner for the intended purpose

substantial interference

25

Depriving the tenant of even one inch of the premises constitutes a breach of the covenant of quiet enjoyment and relieves the tenant from all obligations to pay rent

One Inch Rule:

26

Traditional rule is that a landlord’s actual eviction of the tenant extinguishes the tenant’s entire liability for future rent, whether the eviction was total or partial

Partial Actual Eviction

27

Premise: LL is obligated to maintain the premises in a “habitable” condition fit for human occupation

Implied Warranty of Habitability

28

is implied in every residential lease (regardless of whether it is expressly stated)

cannot be waived by the tenant

If a lease contains a provision stating that the tenant waives the IWH, the provision is void as against public policy

IWH

29

T must notify LL of the defects (preferably in writing)
T must allow LL a reasonable time to cure
Unlike constructive eviction, T is not required to vacate the premises
T has a choice of several remedies

To invoke the IWH:

30

Termination of the lease
Withholding rent
In most jurisdictions, T may withhold all rent, even for a partial breach of the IWH
Breach of the IWH is a defense to eviction for failure to pay rent
Sue for damages
T may remain in the premises or vacate
Courts differ on the appropriate measure of damages
Repair and deduct
Injunction or specific performance

Remedies for IWH

31

The determination of whether a dwelling is “habitable” depends on the facts of each case
The IWH does not require the LL to maintain the premises in perfect condition
Minor code violations or other minor defects do not automatically constitute a breach of the IWH
Compliance with codes constitutes a prima facie case of LL’s compliance with his duty to provide habitable premises
Code violations are not necessary to establish a breach so long as the defect has an impact on the health or safety of a tenant
It is possible for a LL to be in compliance with codes but still breach the IWH (e.g., mold)

Standards for Determining Whether the IWH Has Been Breached

32

LL must maintain “______ _____ ________” and ensure that the premises are fit for human occupation

bare living requirements

33

The LL’s failure to act or failure to remedy a problem substantially interferes with T’s use and enjoyment of the premises, and
The condition is a substantial threat to the health or safety of the occupants, or the premises cannot be used for its normal purpose as a residence

The IWH has been breached where:

34

The original LL and the original T have ______ __ _____


privity of estate
Each party has rights and duties under property law regardless of contract law
These rights and duties are those that “run with the land” – also called the “real covenants” (this includes most terms of a lease)

35

The original LL and the original T also have ______ __ ________

privity of contract
Each party has rights and duties under contract law

36

Term of the lease
Conditions on the use of the premises
Obligation of T to pay rent
Obligation of LL to make repairs and provide services

Real Covenants:

37

Obligation to pay the other party’s attorneys’ fees if litigation occurs
Payments for equipment or other personal property

Personal Covenants:

38

An _________ occurs whenever a tenant transfers the right of possession to all or a portion of the premises for the full time remaining on the term of the lease

assignment

39

A _________ is created whenever a tenant transfers the right of possession to all or a portion of the premises for a time that is less than the full time remaining on the term of the lease

sublease

40

In an ________, the assignee does have rights and duties vis-a-vis the LL

assignment

41

In a ___________, the sublessee does not have rights and duties vis-a-vis the LL

sublease

42

That LL may prohibit assignment or subleasing altogether, or
That LL permit assignment or subleasing with LL’s consent, or
Be silent on the issue of assignment and subleasing (in which case the default rule applies, meaning T is free to assign or sublease without obtaining LL’s consent)

LL Consent to assign or sublease in lease agreement

43

Reasonableness
“Tenant shall not assign this Lease or sublet Tenant’s interest in the premises, in whole or in part, without Landlord’s consent, which consent shall not be unreasonably withheld, conditioned or delayed”
Sole discretion
“Tenant shall not assign this Lease or sublet Tenant’s interest in the premises, in whole or in part, without Landlord’s consent, which consent may be withheld in Landlord’s sole and absolute discretion”
No standard stated
“Tenant shall not assign this Lease or sublet Tenant’s interest in the premises, in whole or in part, without Landlord’s consent”
Consent is required but the clause is silent as to the standard to be used by landlord

Three Standards of LL consent

44

Modern trend / minority rule - reasonableness
Where a lease does not specify the standard to be applied, LL may withhold consent to a proposed assignment or sublease only if LL has a commercially reasonable objection to the proposed assignment or sublease

Rule for LL Consent to assignment/sublease

45

Majority rule – sole discretion
Where a lease does not specify the standard to be applied, LL may withhold consent in LL’s sole discretion, even if it is arbitrary and not commercially reasonable

Rule for LL Consent to assignment/sublease

46

When LL and T mutually agree to terminate the lease prior to the expiration date

Surrender

47

When T vacates the premises without justification and without the intention of returning and T defaults in the payment of rent

Abandonment

48

When LL seeks to retake possession of the premises due to a default by T

Eviction