Justia Landlord - Tenant Opinion Summaries

Articles Posted in US Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit
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Plaintiffs filed suit against the City, alleging that the Rental Property Registration and Inspection Ordinance violated their constitutional rights, breached their consent decree with the City, and violated the Fair Housing Act. The Ordinance implemented uniform residential rental property registration, and a regular inspection program that is phased in accordance with the history of code violations on each property, requiring all rental properties in the City to register with the Permits and Inspections Division before leasing to tenants. The district court denied a preliminary injunction and dismissed plaintiffs' claims.The Eighth Circuit affirmed, concluding that the Ordinance does not violate Metro Omaha's constitutional rights to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures under the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments. Applying the Nebraska Supreme Court's rules of construction, the court concluded that the plain text of the Ordinance does not authorize warrantless inspections of properties if consent is withheld. Furthermore, pre-compliance review before inspections does not apply here where inspections are permitted only if there is consent, a warrant, or court order. Finally, by withholding consent, property owners are not subject to criminal liability or prohibited from renting their property.The court also concluded that the Ordinance is not unconstitutionally vague in violation of the Fifth Amendment. The court explained that the Ordinance provides adequate notice of the proscribed conduct and does not lend itself to arbitrary enforcement. The court further concluded that Metro Omaha fails to plausibly plead a breach of the consent decree, and that the Ordinance does not violate the Fair Housing Act. View "Metropolitan Omaha Property Owners Ass'n v. City of Omaha, Nebraska" on Justia Law

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The Eighth Circuit affirmed the district court's grant of judgment on the pleadings to the city in an action brought by landlord after the city revoked his rental-dwelling license. The court held that Ellis v. City of Minneapolis, 860 F.3d 1106, 1109 (8th Cir. 2017), was controlling in this case, and that landlord failed to allege a plausible claim to relief under the Fair Housing Act. Giving landlord's complaint the honest, fair assessment he invites, the court was left with the inescapable conclusion that his claim was indeed about the city's alleged hyper-enforcement of its housing code against for-profit landlords, which was essentially the same allegation that this court considered and rejected in Ellis. View "Khan v. City of Minneapolis" on Justia Law

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The Eighth Circuit affirmed an adverse order by the FAA's Office of Dispute Resolution for Acquisition (ODRA) regarding property Southern leased to the Administration. Southern subsequently sold the property and surrounding land to Prairie Land, assigning its lease with the FAA to Prairie Land. After the FAA refused to vacate the premises, Prairie Land initiated a contract dispute with the ODRA.The court held that the FAA's continued occupancy of the property was permitted, and the ODRA did not err by concluding that the holdover provisions permitted the FAA to holdover on the property until either a new lease was agreed upon or it acquired the property in fee. Therefore, the FAA was fully within its rights to continue possessing the property. View "Prairie Land Holdings, LLC v. FAA" on Justia Law

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The Eighth Circuit affirmed summary judgment for tenant in a suit filed by landlord for breach of a terminated lease agreement and waste under Iowa law. The court held that, under section 26.01 of the lease agreement, the sole remedy was lease termination. Therefore, landlord could not recover the alleged contract damages. Furthermore, landlord's claim for waste failed because the parties expressly contracted for that liability in sections 6.06 and 26.01 of the lease. View "Davenport Chester, LLC v. Abrams Properties, Inc." on Justia Law