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Unformatted text preview: Kulper - Econ 189 Kulper 1 LandlordTenant Relationship • When an owner of a freehold estate allows another person temporary, exclusive possession of the property, the parties have created a landlordtenant relationship. • Three legal areas are combined
– An interest in real property is conveyed. – A lease is a contract. – Negligence law may be involved also.
Kulper - Econ 189 Kulper 2 Lease
• The statute of frauds generally requires that a lease be in writing. • Some shortterm oral contracts may be enforceable, but a written contract is clearer and safer. • A written contract usually includes covenants (promises) from the landlord and the tenant; these details are determined by the parties.
Kulper - Econ 189 Kulper 3 Types of Tenancy
• Any lease for a stated, fixed period is a • • •
tenancy for years. A periodic tenancy is created for a fixed period and then automatically continues for additional periods until either party notifies the other of termination. A tenancy at will has no fixed duration and may be terminated by either party. A tenancy at sufferance occurs when a tenant remains on the premises, against the wishes of the landlord, after the expiration of a true tenancy.
Kulper - Econ 189 Kulper 4 Landlord’s Duties
• The landlord’s first important duty is to deliver possession of the premises.
– The “English rule” obligates the landlord to remove a previous tenant if he does not leave willingly. – The “American rule” (which is actually the minority rule in the United States) allows the new tenant to either evict the old tenant, or collect rent from her.
Kulper - Econ 189 Kulper 5 Quiet Enjoyment
• All tenants are entitled to the right to use • Actual Eviction
the property without the interference of the landlord. • Constructive Eviction – If a landlord prevents the tenant from possessing the premises, he has actually evicted her. – If a landlord substantially interferes with the tenant’s use and enjoyment of the premises, he has constructively evicted her. (modeling agency example)
Kulper - Econ 189 Kulper 6 • A landlord has a duty to deliver the Duty to Maintain Premises premises in a habitable condition and to maintain a habitable condition. • Building codes may require stricter than normal standards for rental property. • The implied warranty of habitability requires that a landlord meet all standards set by the local building code, or that the premises be fit for human habitation. Kulper - Econ 189 Kulper 7 • Rent Abatement – a courtordered reduction in • • •
rent owed. Rent Withholding – the tenant refuses to pay part or all of the rent, in proportion to the defective conditions. Repair and Deduct – the tenant may, in some cases, have the repair made and deduct the cost from the rent. Suit for Damages – in some cases, the tenant may file suit against the landlord.
Kulper - Econ 189 Kulper Tenant Remedies for Defective Conditions 8 Duty to Return Security Deposit
• The landlord must return a security deposit after a tenant • • •
vacates. If any of the deposit is withheld to pay for damage, a written accounting of the damage is required. If the landlord fails to comply, the tenant is entitled to double the deposit amount, and sometimes double or triple damages. (double in CA for “bad faith”) For CA Law (itemize or refund balance in 21 days): http://www.dca.ca.gov/publications/landlordbook/secdeposit.shtml Harris v. Soley – Tenants had mice, cockroaches, dead cat beneath floor, no heat, broken toilet, snow coming through broken skylight, etc.; landlord threatened tenants for not paying, entered apartment and took their possessions as ransom
Kulper - Econ 189 Kulper 9 • Duty to Pay Rent – this is the tenant’s – Apply security deposit to rent. – Sue tenant for nonpayment. – Evict tenant. Tenant’s Duties and Remedies foremost obligation. • Landlord’s Remedies for Nonpayment of Rent: • Landlord’s Duty to Mitigate – most courts require the landlord to try to get a new tenant into the premises when a tenant is evicted, thereby mitigating the damages.
Kulper - Econ 189 Kulper 10 More Duties and Remedies
• Duty to Use Premises for Proper Purposes • Duty Not to Damage Premises
– No gambling, selling drugs, prostitution, disturbing neighbors, etc. – A tenant is liable to the landlord for any significant damage he causes to the property. Kulper - Econ 189 Kulper 11 • Sale of the Property Change in the Parties • Assignment and Sublease – Generally, the sale of leased property does not affect a lease but substitutes one landlord, (purchaser), for another, (seller). – In an assignment, the tenant transfers all his legal rights and duties to a third party (original tenant remains liable without a release). – In a sublease, the original tenant remains responsible for the lease, and the sublessee is responsible to the sublessor (original tenant), not to the landlord.
Kulper - Econ 189 Kulper 12 • Tenant’s Liability Injuries • Landlord’s Liability – A tenant is generally liable for injuries occurring within the leased premises. – The landlord is generally liable for injuries occurring in common areas (such as a sidewalk) where the tenant has no control. – Common law holds the landlord liable for latent defects and negligent repairs. – A landlord can sometimes be held liable for a crime committed on the property. YOU BE THE JUDGE: Dickinson ArmsREO, L.P. v. Campbell – Visitor killed in carjacking at apartment complex, dangerous complex, 184 reported criminal offenses in 3 years . . . Was the landlord liable?
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- Spring '08