Leo rents an apartment from Donna for 900 per month, both parties signing a lease. After six months, Leo complains about defects, including bugs, inadequate heat, and window leaks. He asks Donna to fix the problems, but she responds that the heat is fine and that Leo caused the insects and leaks. Leo begins to send in only 700 for the monthly rent. Donna repeatedly phones Leo, asking for the remaining rent. When he refuses to pay, she waits until he leaves for the day, then has a moving company place his belongings in storage. She changes the locks, making it impossible for him to re-enter. Leo sues. What is the likely outcome?
Daily Archives: September 12, 2021
Loren Andreo leased retail space in his shopping plaza to Tropical Isle Pet Shop for five years at a monthly rent of $2,100. Tropical Isle vacated the premises 18 months early, turned in the key to Andreo, and acknowledged liability for the unpaid rent. Andreo placed a “for rent” sign in the store window and spoke to a commercial real estate broker about the space. But, for nine months, he did not enter into a formal listing agreement with the broker, or take any other steps to rent the space. With approximately nine months remaining on the unused part of Tropical’s lease, Andreo did finally hire a commercial broker. He also sued Tropical for 18 months’ rent. Comment.
In 1966, Arketex Ceramic Corp. sold land in rural Indiana to Malcolm Aukerman. The deed described the southern boundary as the section line between sections 11 and 14 of the land. Farther south than this section line stood a dilapidated fence running east to west. Aukerman and Arketex both believed that this fence was the actual southern boundary of his new land, though in fact it lay on Arketex’s property. Aukerman installed a new electrified fence, cleared the land on “his” side of the new fence, and began to graze cattle there. In 1974, Harold Clark bought the land that bordered Aukerman’s fence, assuming that the fence was the correct boundary. In 1989, Clark had his land surveyed and discovered that the true property line lay north of….
Frank Deluca and his son David owned the Sportsman’s Pub on Fountain Street in Providence, Rhode Island. The Delucas applied to the city for a license to employ topless dancers in the pub. Did the city have the power to deny the Delucas’ request? Argument for the Delucas: Our pub is perfectly legal. Further, no law in Rhode Island prohibits topless dancing. We are morally and legally entitled to present this entertainment. The city should not use some phony moralizing to deny customers what they want. Argument for Providence: This section of Providence is zoned to prohibit topless dancing, just as it is zoned to bar manufacturing. There are other parts of town where the Delucas can open one of their sleazy clubs if they want to, but….
Lisa Preece rented an apartment from Turman Realty, paying a $300 security deposit. Georgia law states: “Any landlord who fails to return any part of a security deposit which is required to be returned to a tenant pursuant to this article shall be liable to the tenant in the amount of three times the sum improperly withheld plus reasonable attorney’s fees.” When Preece moved out, Turman did not return her security deposit, and she sued for triple damages plus attorney’s fees, totaling $1,800. Turman offered evidence that its failure to return the deposit was inadvertent and that it had procedures reasonably designed to avoid such errors. Is Preece entitled to triple damages? Attorney’s fees?
The Estates is a suburb outside of Los Angeles. Local zoning ordinances require that lots be “at least 1 acre in size.” Al owns a 1-acre lot in The Estates which has never been developed. He needs cash and wants to sell the property. Al finds a potential buyer who offers him 100,000 for the acre. But he also finds a pair of interested buyers who each offer him 75,000 for half of his acre. Al is furious that he cannot divide his acre and sell it to two buyers. “I need that extra 50,000,” he rants. “It’s my land, and I should be able to do what I want with it!” Do you sympathize with Al, or do you think the zoning restriction is reasonable?
Donny Delt and Sammy Sigma are students and roommates. They lease a house in a neighborhood near campus. Few students live on the block. The students do not have large parties, but they often have friends over at night. The friends sometimes play high-volume music in their cars and sometimes speak loudly when going to and from their cars. Also, departing late-night guests often leave beer cans and fast-food wrappers in the street. Neighbors complain about being awakened in the wee hours of the morning. They are considering filing a nuisance lawsuit against Donny and Sammy. Would such an action be reasonable? Do you think Donny and Sammy are creating a nuisance? If so, why? If not, where is the line— what amount of late-night noise does amount….
During the Great Recession, home foreclosures hit an all-time high. In many instances, banks ended up as landlords and property managers, a job for which they were ill-prepared. As a result, many homes were abandoned for long periods. Some people who knew a little bit about adverse possession decided to take advantage of this ancient common law doctrine: They shamelessly occupied vacant homes, claiming them as their own, changing locks, and purchasing electricity. The new residents argued that they were not hurting anyone and acting within the bounds of the law. In response, some states lengthened the time period necessary for adverse possession. Examine the squatters’ ethics. What do you think of their behavior? Does your opinion vary if the squatters were the home’s former owners? What if….
Lonny Joe owned two rare 1955 Ford Thunderbird automobiles, one red and one green, both in mint condition. He stored the cars in his garage. His friend Stephanie wanted to use the red car in a music video, so Lonny Joe rented it to her for two days, for $300 per day. When she returned the red car, Lonny Joe discovered a long scratch along one side. That same day, he noticed a long scratch along the side of the green car. He sued Stephanie for harm to the red car. Lonny Joe sued an electrician for damage to the green car, claiming that the scratch occurred while the electrician was fixing a heater in the garage. Explain the different burdens of proof in the two cases.
During her second year at the Juilliard School of Music in New York City, Ann Rylands had a chance to borrow for one month a rare Guadagnini violin made in 1768. She returned the violin to the owner in Philadelphia, but then she telephoned her father to ask if he would buy it for her. He borrowed money from his pension fund and paid the owner. Ann traveled to Philadelphia to pick up the violin. She had exclusive possession of the violin for the next 20 years, using it in her professional career. Unfortunately, she became an alcoholic, and during one period when she was in a treatment center, she entrusted the violin to her mother for safekeeping. At about that time, her father died. When Ann was….