PROPERTY (Section 1)
Spring Semester 2013

Landlord and Tenant — Leasehold Estates vs. Nonpossessory Interests; Types of Leasehold Estates
Reading Assignment: Pages 400-417

In addition to the assigned reading, you might find it useful to look at five CALI lessons that Professor Jim Smith (University of Georgia) has written.  These include:  (1) Landlord and Tenant:  An Introductory Lesson; (2) Landlord and Tenant: Tenancy for Years; (3) Landlord and Tenant: Periodic Tenancy; (4) Landlord and Tenant: Tenancy at Will; (5) Landlord and Tenant: Tenancy at Sufferance. All are available on the CALI CD-Rom or on the CALI website at

1. Should the students in Cook be viewed as "tenants" for purposes of University Plaza having to pay interest on the students' security deposits? What should we think that the legislature intended when it used the word "tenants" in the statute? What is the policy behind the Illinois statute that's being interpreted by the court in the Cook case? Do you think that policy is applicable in the context of this "private dorm"?

2. Suppose that Andy was living in University Plaza and was thrown out of the building by the building manager based upon a false report of rule violations (a student reported Andy was having a loud party and serving alcohol; in fact, it was Scott that had the party). Assume that University Plaza's standard agreement with student residents allows them to be removed for violations of building rules. In that situation, should Andy be treated as a "tenant," for purposes of being able to obtain a judicial order allowing him back into a room in the building? Would the analysis in the Cook case permit such an argument?

3. The common law recognized four types of tenancies: (a) a tenancy for years, (b) a periodic tenancy, (c) a tenancy at will, and (d) a tenancy at sufferance. In the Selk v. David Properties, Mr. Selk, at different times, was one of each of the four types? At what points was he a tenant for years? A periodic tenant? A tenant at will? A tenant at sufferance?

4. The court in Selk concludes that Mr. Selk's conduct in the case was sufficient to bind him to an implied periodic tenancy at a rent of $300/month. What's the court's basis for this conclusion? If you were arguing the case for Mr. Selk, what other explanation could you offer for Mr. Selk's conduct? To what extent is the court's analysis consistent with what you learned in Contracts class about contract formation?

5. What if David Properties' letter to Mr. Selk had said, "Your continuing to reside herein shall subject you to rent for the premises at the rate of $1,500 per month." Would (or should) the court have applied the same analysis to hold Mr. Selk liable for $1,500/month for the period he remained in possession after receiving the letter?

6. L and T orally agreed that L would lease a building to T for a term of 5 years at $1,500/month in rent starting on January 1, 2007. They had orally agreed to sign L's standard commercial form lease, but never did. T went into possession and began paying rent on January 1, 2007. T continued paying rent every month, and L kept accepting it. On December 31, 2011, T moved out, believing the 5-year term was complete. Can L sue T to collect rent for January 2012? Why or why not? What defense might T raise if L files suit to collect rent for January 2012?

7. In advising a tenant, would you ever consciously advise a tenant to hold over? Why or why not? What information would be relevant to the content of your advice?

8. Consider the Lawyering Problem on pages 415-416. What risks does the proposed language present to LRP? What changes would you propose to this language?