Justia Landlord - Tenant Opinion SummariesArticles Posted in Real Estate Law
Baygold Assoc., Inc. v Congregation Yetev Lev of Monsey, Inc.
This case involved Baygold's lease with MPH, the owner of the premises, for a ten-year term. Baygold, with the consent of MPH, thereafter subleased the premises to its affiliate, Monsey Park. Monsey Park, with MPH's permission, subsequently sub-leased the premises to a non-affiliate, Orzel. At issue was whether the Appellate Division erred in holding that the out-of-possession tenant, Baygold, was not entitled to equitable relief excusing its failure to timely exercise its option to renew a commercial lease with the landlord, MPH. The court concluded that the Appellate Division properly held that Baygold failed to meet the second prong of the J.N.A. Realty v Cross Bay Chelsea test where, among other things, Baygold nor any of its affiliates was a tenant in possession of the premises at the time of the failure to comply with the lease provision; nor can it be said that Baygold, having proffered from its sublease with Orzel since 1985 while having expended no monies or improvements, would incur a "substantial loss" should the lease not be renewed. Finally, the court rejected Baygold's assertion that it was entitled to equitable relief.View "Baygold Assoc., Inc. v Congregation Yetev Lev of Monsey, Inc." on Justia Law
Meadowland Apartments v. Schumacher
Heidi Schumacher signed a renewed lease with Meadowland Apartments. Meadowland later filed an eviction action against Schumacher, alleging that she was in material non-compliance with the lease because Schumacher kept a disruptive dog in her apartment. The magistrate court found that Schumacher's conduct constituted sufficient grounds for termination of the lease. The circuit court affirmed. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the magistrate court (1) did not abuse its discretion in denying Schumacher's motion for a continuance, as Schumacher was given a reasonable opportunity to secure evidence on her behalf; (2) did not abuse its discretion in considering evidence of incidents that occurred prior to the term of Schumacher's most recent lease with Meadowland; and (3) did not err in finding that Meadowland provided reasonable accommodations for Schumacher's disability as required under the Fair Housing Amendments Act.View "Meadowland Apartments v. Schumacher" on Justia Law
Ashford Partners, Ltd. v. ECO Resources, Inc.
This was an appeal from a judgment awarding tenant damages for a landlord's breach of a construction-related duty under a build-to-suit lease agreement. The tenant sued asserting that the landlord's failure to adhere to construction plans resulted in a substandard building, diminishing the value of its leasehold. On appeal, the court agreed with the landlord that the cost of repair was the appropriate measure under the circumstances of the case. Because under the appropriate measure, there was no evidence that the tenant had been damaged, the court reversed.View "Ashford Partners, Ltd. v. ECO Resources, Inc." on Justia Law
Ims v. Audette
Trustee sought an order allowing him to remove the life tenant (Defendant) from property owned by the trust. The probate court issued an order in conformity with Trustee's petition after Defendant was defaulted for failing to appear. Defendant filed a complaint in superior court purportedly appealing from the decision of the probate court. The trial justice concluded that Defendant had failed to comply with the requirements for filing a claim of appeal from the probate court and granted Trustee's motion to dismiss. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the superior court lacked jurisdiction to entertain Defendant's appeal for failure to comply with every relevant provision of the statute governing appeals from the probate court, and therefore, the superior court did not err in its judgment.View "Ims v. Audette" on Justia Law
Redco Constr. v. Profile Props., LLC
Landlord leased commercial real property to Tenant. Landlord granted Tenant permission to renovate the property on the condition that Tenant would pay for the renovations. Tenant thereafter contracted with Contractor to perform the work. When Tenant defaulted on its payments to Contractor, Contractor filed a lien against Landlord's property. Contractor thereafter filed a complaint against Landlord and Tenant, asserting various claims and seeking to foreclose on its lien. The district court granted Landlord's motion for summary judgment, concluding that, pursuant to Wyoming's lien statutes, a valid mechanic's lien did not exist because Landlord did not agree to pay for the renovations to the property and that Tenant was not acting as Landlord's agent in contracting for the improvements. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) the district court correctly interpreted Wyo. Stat. Ann. 29-2-105(a)(ii) to require a finding of agency between the landlord and tenant before a mechanic's lien may attach to the landlord's property for work performed at the tenant's behest; and (2) in this case, that relationship did not exist.View "Redco Constr. v. Profile Props., LLC " on Justia Law
Eastside Exhibition Corp. v 210 E. 86th St. Corp.
This case arose when defendant, landlord, without giving notice to or receiving permission from plaintiff, entered the demised premises at issue and installed cross-bracing between two existing steel support columns on both of plaintiff's leased floors causing a change in the flow of patron foot traffic on the first floor and slight diminution of the second floor waiting area. At issue was whether a minimal and inconsequential retaking of space that had been leased to a commercial tenant constituted an actual partial eviction relieving the tenant from all obligation to pay rent. The court concluded, under the circumstances of the case, where such inference by a landlord was small and had no demonstrable effect on the tenant's use and enjoyment of the space, total rent abatement was not warranted.View "Eastside Exhibition Corp. v 210 E. 86th St. Corp." on Justia Law
Alliant Techsystems, Inc. v. Salt Lake Bd. of Equalization
At issue in this appeal was the Privilege Tax Statute, which provides that an entity may be taxed on the privilege of beneficially using or possessing property in connection with a for-profit business when the owner of that property is exempt from taxation. But the tax may not be imposed unless the entity using or possessing the exempt property has "exclusive possession" of that property. Alliant Techsystems (ATK) challenged the imposition of a privilege tax on its use of government property. The district court granted summary judgment against ATK, concluding that ATK had "exclusive possession" of federal government property because there was no evidence that anyone other than the government, the landowner, had any possession, use, management or control of the property. The Supreme Court reversed, holding (1) under the Statute, "exclusive possession" means exclusive as to all parties, including the property owner, and thus, exclusive possession exists when an entity has the present right to occupy and control property akin to that of an owner or lessee; and (2) because the record indicated disputed material facts regarding ATK's authority to control the government property, summary judgment was inappropriate in this case.View "Alliant Techsystems, Inc. v. Salt Lake Bd. of Equalization" on Justia Law
McCaughtry v. City of Red Wing
The City of Red Wing enacted an ordinance requiring inspections of rental property before landlords could obtain operating licenses and allowing the City to conduct inspections by application for and judicial approval of an administrative warrant in the absence of landlord or tenant consent. Appellants in this case were nine landlords and two tenants who refused to consent to inspections of their properties and successfully challenged three separate applications for administrative warrants. At the same time Appellants opposed the City's application, they filed a separate declaratory judgment action seeking to have the rental inspection ordinance declared unconstitutional. The court of appeals affirmed the district court's dismissal of the declaratory judgment action for lack of standing, concluding that Appellants had not alleged an injury that was actual or imminent. The Supreme Court reversed, concluding that the challenge to the constitutionality of the rental inspection ordinance presented a justiciable controversy. Remanded.View "McCaughtry v. City of Red Wing" on Justia Law
Benintendi v. Hein
The Heins rented a house from Julia Benintendi and the Perkerwicz family (hereinafter B&P). B&P alleged the Heins caused considerable damage to the property when they vacated the premises. The Heins countered that B&P unlawfully retained their security deposit and refused to reimburse the Heins for home and lawn improvements. B&P sued and obtained a default judgment. The district court subsequently set aside the default judgment and held a jury trial. B&P were awarded damages but not attorney fees or costs. The Supreme Court affirmed in part and reversed and remanded in part, holding (1) the district court did not abuse its discretion in denying attorney fees to both parties; (2) the district court incorrectly required each party to bear its own costs because, as the prevailing party, B&P was entitled to its costs under Mont. Code Ann. 25-10-101; and (3) the district court did not manifestly abuse its discretion in setting aside the default judgment because it had good cause to do so. View "Benintendi v. Hein" on Justia Law
Belanger v. Mulholland
The Belangers rented a trailer from John Mulholland. The Belangers informed Mulholland about problems with their running water and toilet, but no repairs were made. When the Belangers were eventually evicted from their trailer, they had lived there without running water for nine months and without a functioning toilet for five months. The Belangers sued Mulholland for breach of the implied warranty of habitability. The trial court ruled in favor of the Belangers and awarded the Belangers five months' rent. The Belangers appealed, contending that they were entitled to damages for an additional four-month period when they lacked running water but still had a functioning toilet. The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment as modified, holding that the Belangers were entitled to damages for an additional four months because, by itself, the lack of running water in the Belangers' trailer for four months rendered the trailer unfit for human habitation.View "Belanger v. Mulholland" on Justia Law