AEM320 week12 - B Law - Week 12 I. Property Owner's Duties:...

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B Law - Week 12 I . Property Owner’s Duties : a. Inspect property (factual question, e.g. how often, how thorough). b. Maintain property in good condition (also factual). c. Repair known defects promptly. d. See Galindo v. Town of Clarkstown - A big storm, high winds, and hurricane conditions in NY state. A man checks over his property to inspect damage. He sees a tree on another piece of property leaning dangerously. The man calls the town of Clarkstown to inform them of the situation. Time passes and the city has still taken no action. Ironically and tragically the husband of the property owner’s housekeeper dies when the same tree falls on his car while he waits for his wife in the driveway. The court rules that the property owner is NOT liable because, although he knew of the danger, he had no control over the tree that caused the injury. Note that the dissent believed the owner SHOULD be liable because he knew of the danger and failed to warn and he also did not take adequate steps to notify the town [only one phone call] when he testified he thought the tree would fall on his property. e. What about the sidewalk in front of your house? Sidewalks are usually part of a right of way, but certain duties may fall upon the property owner (such as clearing snow). II. Landlord liability A. Who controls the premises? What knowledge does the Landlord possess? 1. Landlord in Control i. The landlord must exercise reasonable care. ii. Common areas: the landlord will be liable when: a. They had notice of a defect and had time to repair. b. They should have discovered and repaired the defect. c. They are responsible for negligent construction originally. 2. Tenant in possession i. The general rule is that the landlord is not responsible for the areas controlled by the tenant ii. Exceptions: 1. Hidden defects that the landlord knew about or defects that the landlord should have known about, where it was not possible for the tenant to discover. 2. Breach of a lease provision, such as where a lease states that the landlord will maintain certain aspects of the property and they fail to do so. 3. Breach of Warranty of Habitability- this is an implied promise that almost always applies to residential leases and promises that the premises will be habitable. In New York it must be a “healthful and safe living unit”. For example, the landlord does not have to provide air conditioning, but if it is there, it must be working properly. In some states, this has been
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embodied into statute [see NY Real Prop. L235-b]. This warranty applies only to residential premises. i. See Tucker v. Hayford , Case 50-2, text at 1041 4. Violation of statutory requirements. III. Third Party Acts A. The general rule at common law is that a land owner is not liable but there are exceptions. B. Exceptions:
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AEM320 week12 - B Law - Week 12 I. Property Owner's Duties:...

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