American Dream in Flux: The Endangered Right to Lease a Home

Real Property, Trust and Estate Law Journal, Vol. 49, No. 2, 2014

98 Pages Posted: 19 Feb 2015

See all articles by Andrea J. Boyack

Andrea J. Boyack

Washburn University - School of Law

Date Written: 2014

Abstract

Homeownership in the US is on the decline and the percentage of the population that rents their residence is growing. Renters present a distinct demographic compared to owners, and most of the more vulnerable segments of society rent their homes. But the law prohibits renting a home in some neighborhoods. Occasionally, zoning provisions hamper the ability of would-be tenants and would-be landlords to rent. More typically, however, community restrictive covenants are what block rentals. Zoning prohibitions on rentals have been attacked as violations of property rights. But in condominiums and other privately governed neighborhoods, segregation of renters from owner occupants has been continually upheld by the courts and has been consistently promoted as policy by government and quasi government entities. These policies and legal structures harm not only the rights of would-be landlords but also would-be tenants in such communities. Community rental restrictive covenants perpetuate broader social harms as well. It is time to rethink the desirability of these restrictions, even in the "private" context of neighborhood covenants.‚Äč

Suggested Citation

Boyack, Andrea J., American Dream in Flux: The Endangered Right to Lease a Home (2014). Real Property, Trust and Estate Law Journal, Vol. 49, No. 2, 2014. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2566982

Andrea J. Boyack (Contact Author)

Washburn University - School of Law ( email )

1700 College Avenue
Topeka, KS 66621
United States

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