Justia Ohio Supreme Court Opinion Summaries

Articles Posted in Landlord - Tenant
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The Supreme Court reversed the judgment of the court of appeals concluding that B.E.B. Properties reserved the right to receive future rental payments for leased land underneath a cell tower when it conveyed the property, holding that the deed did not contain such a reservation.B.E.B. Properties leased a portion of commercial property it owned to a cellular telephone company, and a cellular tower was erected on the site. B.E.B. subsequently sold the property to Keith Baker and Joseph Cyvas. Thereafter, two of the general partners in B.E.B. sold their interests in the partnership to Bruce and Sheila Bird, who believed this transaction included the assignment of the right to receive rental payments for the tower. When LRC Realty, Inc. acquired the property it sought a declaratory judgment that it was entitled to the annual rental payments. The trial court granted summary judgment for LRC Realty. The court of appeals reversed, concluding that the Birds were entitled to rental payments based on the language contained in the deed transferring the property from B.E.B. to Baker and Cyvas. The Supreme Court reversed, holding (1) absent a reservation in the deed conveying the property, the right to receive rents runs with the land; and (2) the deed here did not create such a reservation. View "LRC Realty, Inc. v. B.E.B. Properties" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the court of appeals denying Appellant's petition for a writ of prohibition to bar East Cleveland Municipal Court Judge William Dawson from continuing to preside over Euclid Lake Properties, LLC. v. Tri Eagle Fuels, LLC, East Cleveland M.C. case No. 17CVG01000, holding that jurisdiction was not patently and unambiguously lacking in the municipal court.Lessee signed a commercial lease to rent certain property from Lessor for fifteen years. After Lessor alleged that Lessee was in default of the lease and served Lessee with a notice to vacate the premises Lessee filed suit alleging that Lessor, in fact, had breached the lease. Before Lessor filed an answer it filed a forcible-entry-and-detainer (FE&D) action against Lessee. The case was assigned to Judge Dawson. Lessee filed an original action for a writ of prohibition alleging that Judge Dawson lacked jurisdiction to proceed in the municipal court case based on the jurisdictional priority rule. The court of appeals denied the writ of prohibition. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that Judge Dawson was not deprived of jurisdiction over the FE&D action. View "State ex rel. Tri Eagle Fuels, LLC v. Dawson" on Justia Law

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Notestine, a nonprofit corporation with 26 U.S.C. 501(c)(3) status as a charitable institution, owns the 11-unit residential rental property developed as low-income housing under 12 U.S.C. 1701q. Construction costs were $1.5 million. The federal capital advance was $1.3 million. The “project rental assistance” contract requires tenants to be at least 62 years old and have income under 50 percent of the area median. Rent is tied to tenant income at $407 per month, including utilities, with any overage payable to HUD. Tenants pay up to 30 percent of their adjusted gross income on rent, with HUD subsidizing any difference. Capital Advance Program Use and Regulatory Agreements were recorded on title, in effect at least 40 years from 2013, unless released by HUD. An auditor valued the property at $811,120 for 2013, a Logan County reappraisal year. Notestine sought a reduction, arguing that the building's value was $165,000, based on actual rent and expenses. The Board of Tax Appeals adopted the opinion of Notestine’s appraiser, who valued the property at $75,000. The Supreme Court of Ohio affirmed. Although market rents and expenses constitute a “rule” when valuing low-income government housing generally, that rule is presumptive, not conclusive. In this case, the rents are minimal, and federal subsidization is strictly controlled by HUD-imposed restrictions on the accumulation of surpluses. There is no evidence that any adjustment from contract rent to market rent would eliminate the “affirmative value” of government subsidies. View "Notestine Manor, Inc. v. Logan County Board of Revision" on Justia Law

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In 2004 and 2007, two fires broke out in two separate buildings of the Village Green Apartments. Plaintiffs, tenants of the apartment complex, filed suit against the apartment complex’s landlords, claiming that the buildings had been negligently constructed. The landlords were found liable. The jury awarded compensatory damages of $582,146, punitive damages of $2,000,000, and attorney fees of $1,040,000. The court of appeals affirmed. The Supreme court affirmed with respect to all issues except the award of punitive damages, holding (1) the amount of punitive damages exceeded the limit prescribed by Ohio Rev. Code 2315.21(D)(2)(a); (2) the trial court did not abuse its discretion in allowing the issue of punitive damages to go to the jury; and (3) the trial court did not abuse its discretion in allowing the jury to determine that the landlords had failed to comply with Ohio Rev. Code 5321.04 for failure to correct defects occurring in electrical wiring. View "Sivit v. Village Green of Beachwood, L.P." on Justia Law