Flops & Flats Inc. owns many properties in your town. They have a new business manager who is concerned about some aspects of the way the business has been run. She has come to your office for advice on figuring out the companys legal relationship to the occupants of each property and on whether they should implement a screening process for people who apply to rent.
The properties and occupants are listed below:
A single family dwelling that was converted to apartments in the 1990s. Each apartment has a kitchen and bathroom, Most of the tenants have signed leases but Apartment 3 is occupied by a woman who was once living with her boyfriend who did have a lease, last year he left but she stayed on and continued to pay rent.
A rooming house where rooms are rented by the week and there is a shared kitchen and bathrooms.
A two story structure with an office on the first floor and a one bedroom apartment on the second.
A former church used as a youth hostel. There is one separate floor with a kitchen, bathroom, living room and bedroom used by a hostel staff member as a residence and several other rooms, some with bathrooms and kitchenettes, rented out for terms of days or months. Three people have lived there almost a year.
A small apartment building that is rented to a local college and used by them as housing for students.
A garage that is rented out to a painter to store his equipment and truck in but she believes he may be living there as well since last year when his wife threw him out of their house.
A single family home occupied by a woman who was living there when the property was acquired by the company. There is no written lease.
Prepare a memo for the file on the matter identifying the issues and rules and applying them to the situations to draw conclusions – which in this case means:
For each of the cases identify:
Is this a commercial or residential rental? You may have to examine the parties first to figure this out.
Who is the tenant ( individual or corporation )?
How did the tenancy arise?
What governs the terms of the lease (written or oral)
What potential issues could be raised? Where are the gray areas?
What should F & F do with regard to this tenant to reflect their new better business practices.
Also consider the following and be sure to address them in the appropriate cases:
What does it mean to sublet? to assign? Can anyone do it?
What is the legal difference between roomers, boarders, hotel guests, etc and someone who rents a whole apartment or house for a year.
How does who the actual other party to the lease is (for example a hostel company or a college) effect the character of the lease as residential or commercial?
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