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Property II
University of Georgia School of Law
Beck, J. Randy

PROPERTY LAW II, PROFESSOR BECK; SPRING 2011
 
I. LEASEHOLDS: LANDLORDS AND TENANTS
            A. The Leasehold Estates
1. The Term of Years: An estate that lasts for some fixed period of time or for a period computable by a formula that results in a fixed calendar date. Once the term is created it becomes possessory.
a. Something can be a term of years even if it is less than a year as long as it is a fixed duration of time.
b. At common law there is no limit on the number of years permitted but in some jxds it is statutorily limited.
c. Because it states from the outset when it will terminate, no notice of termination is needed to bring the estate to an end.
d. The death of the landlord or tenant has no effect on the duration of the term of years.
2. Periodic Tenancy: A lease for some fixed duration that continues for succeeding periods until either the landlord or tenant gives notice of termination.
            a. Eg. “To A from month to month.” Or “to B from Year to year.”
b. If neither party gives any notice of termination it is assumed that at the end of the period the lease resumes for a new period.
c. They are often created by implication.
d. For any periodic tenancy of less than a year required notice is for the amount of time equal to a period (but must not exceed 6 months). The notice must terminate on the final day of the tenancy, not in the middle of the period.
i. If it is a month to month contract a month’s notice is necessary.
ii. Under common law rules 6 months is necessary to terminate a year-to-year periodic tenancy.
e. The death of the landlord or tenant has no effect on the duration of the periodic tenancy.
f. At common law, the periodic tenancy is limited to whatever the original lease was.  But statutes in every state have limited the periodic tenancy such that the period is the term of the lease or six months, whichever is shorter. 
g. if there is a lease with no specific term but specifies a time monthly when rent is paid most courts will see it as a periodic tenancy and not a tenancy at will.
3. Tenancy at Will: A tenancy of no fixed period that endures so long as both landlord and tenant desire.
            a. A tenancy at will ends when one party terminates it.
            b. It also ends at the death of one of the parties.
            c. Garner v. Gerrish:
i. fixed rent with a clause only allowing the tenant the ability to terminate the lease creates a life tenancy terminable by the tenant and not a tenancy at will.
ii. They decide on contracts that it is good to allow parties to make bargains and be held to them so it is construed literally.
d. The Numerus Clausus says that courts cannot create a new estate but that there is a menu of options that they must fit any estate into. Courts however, commonly disregard this principle.
i. Often the courts just enforce the lease as it is written and don’t bother categorizing.
4. The Tenancy at Sufference: Holdovers: Arises when a tenant remains in possession after termination of the tenancy.
            a. Common law gives landlords two options:
    

U.S.C.A. § 1982.
2. In order for a suit under the FHA to proceed P must show that they sought to get the property, they were rejected and it remained open and they fell in this class (prima facie case).
a. When this happens D must prove that they had a reason for doing what they did. (The burden shifts after the prima facie case is presented.)
b. P then has a burden to prove that D is lying and that the reason that they gave was not a good reason.
3. FHA says that someone cannot refuse to sell or rent property to someone for housing reasons based on race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, or national origin.
            a. Familial status refers to single parents mostly.
b. FHA requires that everyone be treated the same except for the provision that no one be refused because of a handicap. This provision requires that they be treated differently and that special accommodations be made for them.
                        4. The Civil Rights act § 1982 says that:
“All citizens of the United States shall have the same right, in every state and territory, as is enjoyed by white citizens thereof to inherit, purchase, lease, sell, hold, and convey real and personal property.”
            D. Delivery of Possession