Justia Landlord - Tenant Opinion Summaries

Articles Posted in Zoning, Planning & Land Use
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Spanish Court Condominium Association filed a complaint under the Forcible Entry and Detainer Act, 735 ILCS 5/9-101, against Carlson, a unit owners, who allegedly had failed to pay monthly assessments for six months. Carlson admitted that she had not paid her assessments, but denied that she owed those assessments, alleging that she incurred water damage to her unit because Spanish Court failed to properly maintain the roof directly above her unit. She asserted “Breach of Covenants” and “Set-Off” for failure to maintain the roof and that Spanish Court failed to repair or replace her toilet, which was rendered inoperable during the investigation of a water leak in an adjoining unit. The trial court granted Spanish Court’s motion to strike the affirmative defenses and entered an agreed order awarding possession of Carlson’s unit to Spanish Court, and a money judgment for unpaid assessments. The appellate court vacated and remanded for reinstatement of Carlson’s affirmative defenses relating to the roof. The appellate court analogized to a landlord/tenant situation, viewing the obligation to pay assessments, and the obligation to repair and maintain the common elements, as mutually exchanged promises. The Illinois Supreme Court reversed, holding that the failure to repair is not germane to the forcible proceeding.View "Spanish Court Two Condo. Ass'n v. Carlson" on Justia Law

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Connor Group owns and manages about 15,000 rental units throughout the U.S., including about 1,900 in the Dayton area. Its rental agent posted an ad on Craigslist: 599/1br – Great Bachelor Pad! (Centerville) … Our one bedroom apartments are a great bachelor pad for any single man looking to hook up. This apartment includes a large bedroom, walk in closet, patio, gourmet kitchen, washer dryer hook up and so much more.... A fair-housing organization sued, charging violation of the Fair Housing Act’s section 3604(c) and Ohio’s Revised Code section 4112.02(H)(7), claiming that the bachelor pad ad was facially discriminatory to families and women. The court provided a jury instruction that “The question is not whether the particular advertisement discourages some potential renters from applying … but whether such discouragement is the product of any discriminatory statement or indication in the advertisement. If an ordinary reader who is a member of a protected class would be discouraged from answering the advertisement because of some discriminatory statement or indication contained therein, then the fair housing laws have been violated.” The trial court ruled in favor of the landlord. The Sixth Circuit reversed and remanded for a new trial based on the erroneous instruction. View "Miami Valley Fair Hous. Ctr., Inc. v. Connor Grp." on Justia Law

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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

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Steven and Lauren Siwinski, homeowners in the town of Ogden Dunes, rented their home despite receiving a cease and desist letter advising them that that rentals were prohibited by the town zoning ordinances. The town filed suit against the Siwinskis for violating town ordinances. Both parties moved for summary judgment, and the trial court granted the town's motion for summary judgment and injunctive relief. The trial court entered judgment in favor of the town in the amount of $40,000. The court of appeals reversed and remanded with instructions that the trial court enter summary judgment in favor of the Siwinskis. On transfer, the Supreme Court affirmed the trial court's granting of summary judgment in favor of the town, holding that the Siwinskis impermissibly rented their dwelling in violation of the town's ordinances. The Court then held that the fine for violating this ordinance should not have exceeded $32,500. Remanded. View "Siwinski v. Town of Ogden Dunes" on Justia Law

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In district court, appellants were held liable for violating the Town of Levantâs Article 1010 land use ordinance by allowing a third partyâs mobile home to be moved onto and remain on their land after receiving multiple notices of the violation. At issue was whether appellants could be held responsible for a violation caused by a third party and whether there was evidence that they played a role in leaving the mobile home on their property. The Court affirmed, holding that (1) under the four-factor analysis outlined in Town of Boothbay v. Jenness, the landowners were responsible for land use violations committed on their property, and (2) there was sufficient evidence that the appellants had notice of the violation and the ability and opportunity to correct the violation but failed to do so.