Articles Posted in Landlord - Tenant

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On February 10, 2014, Landlord Bobby Turner provided his tenant, Lesley Shinkle, with written notice to vacate the premises. Eight days later, Turner filed a forcible detainer complaint against Shinkle. When the matter came before the district court on February 27, 2014, for the "inquisition" required by KRS 383.220, Shinkle moved to dismiss the complaint because Turner had failed to provide the one month's notice required by KRS 383.195 for terminating the tenancy. In recognition of the statutory deficiency, the district court deferred its consideration of Shinkle's motion and continued the inquisition until March 13, thus allowing one month to elapse from the date Shinkle first received the written notice to vacate. In the interim, Shinkle filed a formal written motion to dismiss arguing that Turner had no statutory right to commence a forcible detainer action prior to the expiration of the one-month statutory notice provision. At the March 13 inquisition, the district court denied Shinkle's motion to dismiss, reasoning that the one month statutory notice period had by then been satisfied. The court entered its verdict and judgment finding Shinkle guilty of forcible detainer. Shinkle appealed and the Circuit Court affirmed. The Court of Appeals denied Shinkle's motion for discretionary review. The Supreme Court reversed and remanded, finding that by filing his forcible detainer complaint only eight days after giving Shinkle notice to vacate, Turner was claiming a right to immediate possession that he did not lawfully have. The statutory elements of a forcible detainer were not yet met since Turner had, at that time, no presently enforceable right of possession. "As required by KRS 383.195, a landlord must give the tenant at least one month's written notice to vacate, and until that period expires, no forcible detainer is being committed." The complaint filed prior to the existence of the cause of action should have been dismissed pursuant to the motion properly raising the issue. View "Shinkle v. Turner" on Justia Law

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Under Kentucky's dog-bite liability statutes, the owner of a dog is strictly liable for damages caused by the dog. This case presented the questions whether a landlord can be liable under the statutory scheme's broad definition of "owner" and whether that liability can extend to injuries caused by a tenant's dog off the leased premises. In this case the attack occurred across the street from the rented property. The trial court granted summary judgment for the landlords under Ireland v. Raymond, which held that a landlord's liability for attacks by a tenant's dog does not extend to attacks that occur off the leased premises. The court of appeals affirmed, also relying on Ireland. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) a landlord can be an "owner" of a tenant's dog for the purposes of liability under certain circumstances; (2) any such liability extends only to injuries caused on or immediately adjacent to the premises; and (3) for that reason, the landlord in this case was not liable under the statutes. View "Benningfield v. Zinsmeister" on Justia Law