COVID-19 Update: How We Are Serving and Protecting Our Clients

Articles Posted in Real Estate

By Lane V. Erickson, Attorney

As reported by the New York Post, a tenant of a famed Bowery flophouse has been banned from suing his landlord.  Roland Davis, 65, had already sued the Whitehouse Hotel at 338-340 Bowery 23 times in seven years, losing every time, when Manhattan Judge Kelly O’Neill took the unusual step of barring him from pursuing any more litigation against its past and current owners.

“I am both relieved and excited, not just for me, but for the fact the courts are willing to recognize that nobody should be permitted to use the system as a weapon,” said Meyer Muschel, a former owner of the building who had been sued.

By Lane V. Erickson, Attorney

Whenever a “Reasonable Modification” has been made to a property rented to a tenant, the issue of restoring the property comes up.  In most instances, the landlord has a right to “restore” or to have the tenant restore the premises to the condition they were in before the modification occurred.

So the question arises, it is legal for a landlord to require a tenant to sign a “Restoration Agreement” when a modification is made.  The answer to this questions is controlled by language in the Fair Housing Act itself.  According to the applicable section of the Fair Housing Act:

By Lane V. Erickson, Attorney

Not all tenants, or potential tenants, are healthy.  Many have physical disabilities or handicaps that limit their mobility or ability to function normally.  Discriminating against a tenant or potential tenant because of a disability is prohibited by both state and federal law.  However, I’ve had many landlord clients who are concerned about what they are required to do when a tenant or potential tenant makes a request for a reasonable modification.

A reasonable modification is a structural change made to existing premises, occupied or to be occupied by a person with a disability, in order to afford such person full enjoyment of the premises.  Reasonable modifications can include structural changes to interiors and exteriors of dwellings and to common and public use areas.  People with disabilities can ask for reasonable modification.

By Lane V. Erickson, Attorney

Landlords often have potential tenants or current tenants who are or become disabled physically or otherwise.  When this occurs, the Fair Housing Act requires a landlord to make a reasonable accommodation for the tenant in most circumstances. My landlord clients often ask me what a Reasonable Accommodation is.

Turning again to the federal Fair Housing Act and its interpretation by both HUD and the Federal Department of Justice, the following was set forth on May 17, 2004, as an official statement concerning what constitutes a Reasonable Accommodation:

By Lane V. Erickson, Attorney

A reasonable accommodation, when it comes to landlord and tenant relationships, occurs when there is a change in rules, policies, practices, or services so that a person with a disability will have an equal opportunity to use and enjoy a dwelling unit or common space.  A landlord is required to do everything it can to assist a disabled tenant.  However, the landlord is not required to make changes that would fundamentally alter the program or create an undue financial and/or administrative burden on the business of being a landlord.  Reasonable accommodations might be necessary at all stages of the landlord-tenant relationship process, including providing an application; providing actual tenancy, or to prevent eviction.

Concerning the ADA and Fair Housing requirements regarding animals, on April 25, 2013, HUD issued Official Notice FHEO-2013-0 which contained the following statements:

By T.J. Budge

The Director of the Idaho Department of Water Resources recently issued an Order Designating the Eastern Snake Plain Aquifer Ground Water Management Area (“ESPA GWMA”) on November 2, 2016. The Director said his objective in forming the ESPA GWMA is to “bring all of the water users into the fold – cities, water districts and others – who may be affecting aquifer levels through their consumptive use.” (IDWR Press Release No. 2016-18.)

The formation of the ESPA GWMA comes on the heels of the monumental ESPA Settlement Agreement between the Surface Water Coalition (SWC) and Idaho Ground Water Appropriators, Inc. (IGWA). That Agreement resolved more than a decade of contentious litigation between surface water and groundwater users by requiring groundwater users to reduce their water use in order to achieve an agreed-upon aquifer recovery goal for the ESPA. However, about ten percent of the groundwater users who divert water from the ESPA are not represented by IGWA and are not participating in recovering the ESPA. The designation of the ESPA GWMA is designed to require these outliers to contribute toward efforts to recover the aquifer.

By Lane V. Erickson, Attorney

It is unfortunate but true that landlords often aren’t familiar with their responsibilities when it comes to renting to families with children. Many times, landlords don’t even know that families with children enjoy a protected status under federal housing discrimination laws. In addition to the protections against standard discrimination the federal Fair Housing Act (FHA) also protects the familial relationship. In other words, the FHA protects persons from being discriminated against because they are members in a family.

Unless a building or community qualifies as housing for older persons (is occupied by persons aged 62 or older or has received such designation from the HUD Secretary) a landlord may not discriminate against a potential tenant based on familial status. Essentially, a landlord may not deny housing to a family in which is comprised in part of one or more children who are under 18 and who live with:

By Lane V. Erickson, Attorney

Generally, owners and occupiers of land or residential premises in Idaho will be under a duty of ordinary care under the circumstances towards invitees who come upon their leased premises.  Essentially this means that the tenant is required to keep a place safe for all who come upon the property. However, this doesn’t eliminate the requirements of the landlord or owner of the property to also keep the place safe. Some additional areas of risk and risk management that come up within the landlord tenant relations include the following, as illustrated by the applicable case or statutes:

UTILITY CHARGES OR RENT INCREASES

By Lane V. Erickson, attorney

Most often when people hear about the landlord tenant relationship they focus on the obligations of the tenant. It’s important to understand that the landlord also has obligations. Most of these obligations are set forth in plain language in a written lease agreement. However there are some additional legal requirements that every landlord has in Idaho that are created by their by Statute or by case luck. Here are some of those basic obligations:

DUTY TO SUPPLY POSSESSION

By Lane V. Erickson, attorney

I’ve spent nearly two decades representing landlords in all aspects of the landlord and tenant relationship. Over time I became a landlord myself. I often have landlord clients that want to know what their rights are when the tenant fails to meet their obligations under the lease agreement. The purpose of this post is to provide a summary of those rights.

It is important to understand that a Landlord may terminate a lease after complying with all of the procedural requirements of I.C. § 6-303. Whenever the right of reentry is given to a tenant in a lease, reentry may be made at any time after the right has accrued, upon three (3) days’ notice. I.C. § 55-210.

Contact Information