Leaseholds

Town can alter zoning law retroactively to prohibit Airbnb use

The Massachusetts Land Court has ruled that a town may amend its zoning ordinance to prohibit Airbnb use and that retroactive application of the new law to those who established Airbnb use before it was passed is lawful. The owner had no right to have the prior Airbnb use "grandfathered in" as a prior nonconforming use under state statutes. Styller v. Aylward, 2018 Mass. LCR LEXIS 194 (Mass. Land Ct. 2018). Read more about Town can alter zoning law retroactively to prohibit Airbnb use

Tenant can be evicted for allowing adult son to live with her

 

A court has held that a tenant can be evicted for allowing her adult son to live with her when his name was not on the lease along with hers, making him an unlawful occupant. Atlantic Tambone Mgmt. v. Mejia, 2017 WL 4181374 (Mass. Dist. Ct. App. Div. 2017). The reason for the eviction also rested on the fact that the son had stolen a... Read more about Tenant can be evicted for allowing adult son to live with her

Section 8 (housing voucher) tenants cannot be evicted without cause even if their lease term has expired and the landlord has opted out of the housing assistance program

The Third Circuit has ruled that the federal statute, 42 U.S.C. §1437f(t)(1)(B), that gives Section 8 (housing voucher) tenants the right to "remain in their housing developments, even after their landlord has opted out of the federal housing assistance program," gives them the right to stay unless just cause can be shown to evict have the right to remain even if the lease term has expired. Hayes v. Harvey, 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 24848 (3d... Read more about Section 8 (housing voucher) tenants cannot be evicted without cause even if their lease term has expired and the landlord has opted out of the housing assistance program

Commercial landlord can mitigate damages by selling the property rather than reletting it

When the tenant breached the lease, the landlord had a duty to mitigate damages. That usually means making reasonable efforts to find a replacement tenant. However, the Nebraska Supreme Court has held that a commerical landlord fulfilled the duty to mitigate damages by seeking to sell the property rather than re-rent it. Hand Cut Steaks Acquisitions, Inc. v. Lone Star Steakhouse & Saloon of Nebraska, Inc., 905 N.W.2d 644 (Neb. 2018). The landlord's rejection of offers to rent the property did not violate his duty to mitigate damages given his reasonable efforts to sell the property. That... Read more about Commercial landlord can mitigate damages by selling the property rather than reletting it

Lease cannot transfer landlord's right to receive rents to his daughter after his death because it is a testamentary transfer that does not comply with the formalities needed to create a will

The MIssissippi Supreme Court held that a lease provision cannot transfer the landlord's power to receive rents to his daughter after his death because that effectuates a testamentary transfer that must comply with the statute of wills to be valid, including all formalities such as two witnesses. Estate of Greer v. Ball, 218 So. 3d 1136 (Miss. 2017). Read more about Lease cannot transfer landlord's right to receive rents to his daughter after his death because it is a testamentary transfer that does not comply with the formalities needed to create a will

New York City and San Francisco vote to guarantee lawyers for some or all tenants facing eviction

New York City was the first city to guarantee lawyers to most low-income tenants facing eviction. Ashley Dejean, New York Becomes First City to Guarantee Lawyers to Tenants Facing Eviction, Mother Jones, Aug. 11, 2017.. When fully in force, the law will provide legal services to tenatns...

Read more about New York City and San Francisco vote to guarantee lawyers for some or all tenants facing eviction

Short term rentals (such as Airbnb) held not to violate a covenant prohibiting "commercial use" contrary to rulings of some other courts

Courts disagree about whether covenants prohibiting "commercial use" of real property apply to short term rentals like Airbnb. While some courts have said that such rentals do constitute commercial use, see, others have found the use not to be commercial but residential in nature. The Arkansas Supreme Court joined the courts that find Airbnb to be a residential rather than a commercial use of property....

Read more about Short term rentals (such as Airbnb) held not to violate a covenant prohibiting "commercial use" contrary to rulings of some other courts

Landlord does not commit disability discrimination when refusing to allow a tenant to keep an aggressive dog

The Fair Housing Act requires landlords to avoid discrimination because of disability and to reasonably accommodate the needs of tenants by changing policies or practices to enable access to housing by persons with disabilities. However, accommodation is not required if it will pose a "direct threat" to the health or safety of others. This means that a landlord with a "no pets" policy must allow a tenant to keep an assistance animal unless doing so would...

Read more about Landlord does not commit disability discrimination when refusing to allow a tenant to keep an aggressive dog

Can an owner or inhabitant of real property give police the right to search property when a co-owner or coinhabitant objects?

The Appeals Court of Massachusetts held that the police could search a closed suitcase in a common closet of a bedroom when given permission to do so by the defendant's coinhabitant. Commonwealth v. Hernandez,93 Mass. App. Ct. 172, 2018 Mass. App. LEXIS 48 (Mass. App. Ct. 2018). This ruling was based on traditional...

Read more about Can an owner or inhabitant of real property give police the right to search property when a co-owner or coinhabitant objects?