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Topic: OT: Three unrelated tenants (12 msgs / 283 lines)
1) From: Larry Johnson
Uneducated (in the field of law, anyway) opinion follows. In other
words, reach for the salt:
Ok, your question is, "Is the law against more than 3 unrelated
tenants legal?" Well, yes. If the law was passed using all legal
mechanisms and meeting the local requirements necessary for enactment,
then I would say, yes. Any kind of idea can be made into a law that is
perfectly legal and binding as long as it does not violate rights
granted by the constitution.
The usual reasoning behind such a law has to do with "quality of life"
issues, wherein the single-family neighbors don't want a house next
door with 10 college guys (and their 10 cars) sprawled all over the
place. I live in a college town and I've seen why they feel that way
more than once.  Even in a non-college town, the people most likely to
want to live that way (don't yell - I said "most likely") are the very
people Mr. and Mrs. Goodneighbor don't want to live near. And again,
I've seen why more than once.
All that said, I don't agree with that kind of law - the "big broom"
law that sweeps the good people out with the bad. If people don't want
to live next door to a parking lot, then limit the number of cars that
can be parked, or how they may be parked etc (the way they do in my
neighborhood). If you don't want loud parties next door, enact and
enforce noise ordinances. If the appearance of the property is the
issue, enact and enforce standards for that. You see my point, I hope.
But the answer to your original question, "Can they do that?" is more
than likely, "Yep, they sure can."
On 3/3/08, MSMB  wrote:
Larry J
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2) From: Seth Grandeau
I have seen "no overnight parking" used the same way.  Homeowner with a 2
car driveway has no problem, but group of college kids renting a house is a
different story.  It is definitely NOT for street cleaning!  The funny side
effect is ocassionally you get neighbors who pave over their yards and rent
out parking spaces.  There's a quality of life improvement for you!
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3) From: Rich
Where these city ordinances, or more likely a zoning ordinance, run up a 
tree is when someone rents a small apartment and then moves in their 
entire extended family.  Thus far exceeding the expected number of 
inhabitants and cars in the street.
When this type of ordinance is intelligently challenged it will fold 
like a cheap suit.
I would think that as this goes to property rights and property use that 
there is a large volume of case law to rely on when fighting it.
You are correct in stating that the best approach is to control the 
objectionable behavior and not the number of occupants.  The only limit 
on occupants should be based on reasonable health concerns.
Larry Johnson wrote:
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4) From: Rich
Once upon a time I lived in Moriches and that city had an ordinance that 
said you could not work on a vehicle unless it was in a garage.  The 
drive was not OK.  Most houses did not have a garage, there were a few 
carports though.  The intent was to prevent the 57 Ford up on blocks 
with the doors and wheels off.  They only enforced it when there was a 
dead vehicle in the drive or street.  Selective enforcement.
Seth Grandeau wrote:
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5) From: John Brown
the number of occupants can tax the sanitation system that comes with 
the home.   and lots of other problems.
all of this impacts the quality of life for the neighbors.  while you 
collect the rent.  and go on about your life blithely unaware or uncaring.
Rich wrote:
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6) From: MSMB
This has been exactly my point.  Neighborhoods should be concerned about
their deterioration; the deterioration of property.  6 people living in 1200
square feet will surely run the place down. Even a well intentioned landlord
with 50 properties will have trouble keeping up with the work. But 3 people
living in a home that is 2700 square feet is the waste of an urban resource.
What we are really dealing with is the ecology of neighborhoods.  The
restrictions on me invites over construction (and more often than not, in my
opinion, it is over construction of buildings that are put up nearly over
night and not well constructed; lacking in character) which ultimately can
have negative economic effects (remember that the great depression had to do
with over construction; in my college town, if the increase in student
population that is not anticipated does not materialize there could be lots
of corporate landlords going broke and letting their buildings run down).
In my case, with a house that large and restricted to 3 people, with rising
costs, I will probably be forced to sell; how many 3 people groups can
afford a place that big?  At a certain point it makes sense for me to sell
the house and put my money into things like preferred stocks which are now
making up to 8%.  But to whom will I sell?  It will be to the large,
absentee corporate landlord who is buying up land in my neighborhood.  I
could have sold several times already. The nice old beveled wood that I
recently paid $5000 to paint will turned into vinyl siding; the cheapest
appliances will be installed; nice old hardwood floors will be painted
instead of sanded and refinished; that large corporate landlord could easily
be one who "looks the other way"  and allows 5 people to move in.  There
should be some standard for measuring how many people per square foot will
result in a deterioration of a property, and I would be quite happy to live
with that.  In my neighborhood particularly, where my house is one of the
largest, not many properties would be affected. Right now my property is

7) From: Rich
There is no difference between a family of 4 or 5 and a rental with a 
total of 4 or 5.  The ordinance is capricious and discriminatory. You 
count the bedrooms and that sets the reasonable limit and that becomes 
the basis of the code.  If a family shows up with two parents and 3 
in-laws and 5 children for a 3 BR rental it becomes a no go based on the 
city code and it is enforceable in court.  The Greenville, SC ordinance 
that sparked this original post is just wrong.  The only reason it has 
not been hauled into court is that all of the people who have been 
busted under the ordinance did not know how to fight it and win or just 
paid th bribe (fine) and pressed on.
I sent this response to another individual off list.  This has been 
slightly edited to obtain a "G" rating, I hope.  The intended meaning is 
still intact.
You are indeed correct.  Your right to utilize your property is bing 
infringed.  You are taking an economic hit that you should not have to 
take.  You have standing in the eyes of the law.
MSMB wrote:
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8) From: John Brown
and here all this time i thought it was  buying of stocks by using 
underfunded margins.  plus the war reparations  of Europe.  the break up 
of Nations after the War .  example the Germen Empire, the Russian 
Empire, the Austro Hungarian Empire and lets not forget the Ottoman 
Empire.  and here in the good old USA the loss of revenue the experiment 
with Government control of people the Volstead Act  did. and of course 
lots of other factors i have thankfully forgotten.
then there is one other thing one should maybe ask.  where does your 
property rights end?  a quarter inch from my nose?
get with your neighbors find out what thy think, if you are all one the 
same page on this go to the city council with it  get an zoning 
exemption.  maybe it will be the end of the story
MSMB wrote:
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9) From: John Brown
a renter will almost never be the same as the owner occupier.  
especially for the neighbors
Rich wrote:
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10) From: Dave Kvindlog
This OT has certainly collected a lot of interest.  Opinions abound.  Must
be the coffee.  Typical of coffee houses -- even virtual ones.
I'm curious...you meant to post this to another list, but which list
actually gave you better feedback?
Dave Kvindlog
Cedar Rapids, Iowa
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11) From: MSMB
It is hard to say... except that the discussion has been livelier here. And
the atmosphere --as in a coffee house-- so much better.

12) From: Dave Kvindlog
On 3/5/08, MSMB  wrote:
It's all these coffee junkies hopped up on caffeine...
Dave Kvindlog
Cedar Rapids, Iowa
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