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Is this even enforceable?

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by Bacchus, Jan 13, 2003.

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  1. Bacchus

    Bacchus Member

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    While looking through newspaper ads for apartments and duplexes, I've come across several that state that firearms are illegal to possess on the premises. I imagine that there would be a clause in the lease somewhere prohibiting firearms.

    I'm not really looking for legal advice, but opinions on the issue.

    First, how would they know?

    Do you think that the policy would be enforceable if the owner found out? Would the owner have grounds to kick out the tenant?

    Would you live there?

    It occurs to me that this is another example of "advertising" that homeowners don't have firearms to defend themselves.

    Anybody else seen this?
     
  2. Betty

    Betty Member

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    I believe the owner can kick the tenant out if the tenant broke the rental contract. They'd have to follow whatever eviction rules there are, like 30 day notice, etc.

    My contract says, "No pets", and yet I eventually brought in fish, two spiders, and two firebelly toads. My landlord actually didn't care, seeing how I'm a painless tenant and I pay on time. And the pets don't poop on the carpet or bother the neighbors. My insurance will take care of any problems if my aquarium explodes.

    My contract didn't say anything about guns. I wouldn't live there if they specifically stated no guns were allowed.

    While apt. hunting, I asked one potential landlord why he didn't allow guns. "Crime, etc." he stated, but quickly backpedaled and changed his mind when I told him I had a carry permit and why. I wasn't going to move in anyway - the apt. was dinky, but it was an interesting discussion that really opened his eyes... and mind.
     
  3. Airwolf

    Airwolf Member

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    First time I've ever heard anything like this. IANAL but I'd think that a property owner could put just about any restriction that they wish in a lease unless it wasn't specifically prohibited by law. It's their private property and they set the terms for it's use (within the law).

    I'd rather take up residence in a cardboard box before I'd allow myself to be subject to disarmament in my own residence.
     
  4. tetchaje1

    tetchaje1 Member

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    In Utah, it is specifically written into the law that landlords and property owners cannot prohibit their tenants from having firearms in their apartments -- this includes college dorms (and is specifically written so).

    Of course, what they don't know cannot hurt you, so I specifically shose not to advertise the fact that I have firearm(s) on the premises.
     
  5. 2nd Amendment

    2nd Amendment member

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    Rental contracts can be interesting things. There's the point that if you signed the contract you then knowingly violated it but some things just simply won't hold up in court if the renter wants to fight it, too. And evictions are problematical in some areas. Getting rid of a renter once he's in can be a nightmare.

    If you leased a place and the landlord tried to toss you for this would you fight it in court? If so you might have a case and might win, but why bother? It'll probably fly since very few gun owners will even take a second look at such a place. I wouldn't.
     
  6. Justin

    Justin Moderator Staff Member

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    The first apartment I lived in at college had a 'no firearms' clause in the lease. I see it as a property rights issue. If a landlord wants to say 'no guns' or 'purple polka-dot shirts on Tuesday' that's their right and their perogative. Though to be completely honest, I'd say that most of what was written into the lease was nothing more than 'CYA' stuff.
     
  7. WilderBill

    WilderBill Member

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    I like to hold to the theory that if it's yours, you can pretty much do as you like with it.
    I wouldn't want to live any place that didn't allow firearms and even more wouldn't want to live in a place that advertised it.
    Living there would be like putting up a sign that says "rob this complex, they'er ALL unarmed, so it's safer".
     
  8. Chris Rhines

    Chris Rhines Member

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    My apartment had a "no firearms" clause in the lease. I told the rental agent that that was not acceptable, and she took the lease into the big bosses' office and came back a minute later with that clause stricken out. Much better.

    Negoitation is your friend.

    - Chris
     
  9. AmericanFreeBird

    AmericanFreeBird Member

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    .:banghead:
     
  10. Glock_PhD

    Glock_PhD Member

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    If you realy want to live in the place I would talk to them and as a previous poster said negotiate. Most thiongs in a lease are not as rock solid as they may originaly appear. I am suprosed by the number of posts that have alredy said that places have not allowed them. The most I have seen is that the only time you may have a firearm outside of your personal apt is when tranfering it to a vehicle.
     
  11. Pendragon

    Pendragon Member

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    In CA - believe it or not, your campsite or your hotel or home or apartment are considered your home while you are there and you can have a gun there.

    I do not think such a rule could hold up in court at all - I think it is just something they think they need to put in there to discourage crime.

    If you ignored it and it became an issue, you could play hardball with them. Renters generally have more rights than landlords.

    You could out lawyer them - ask how they know you have a gun, that it is a real gun, that it is yours and not your friends, you could do all kinds of thing - make them maintain the hell out of the apartment, withold rent because the dishwasher does not do a proper rinse cycle, etc.

    The best policy would just be to stay low profile - you probably have more to worry about from thieves than from nosy landlords.
     
  12. gwalchmai

    gwalchmai Member

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    I'm with Justin. As much as I desire and respect RKBA, I also think property rights are God-given. If the landlord wants a no firearms clause I think they should have the right to put that in the lease. I'll just rent an apartment somewhere else.

    Resp.
    g ;)
     
  13. larryw

    larryw Member

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    I think it depends on your state's definition of private property as it relates to a rental. In CA, I can't dictate much, certainly not prohibiting gun ownership (I wonder if I can require a gun...).

    I put a "no illegal drugs" in my leases simply to cover my assets in the event that a tenant starts doing something stupid, like dealing while occupying my property: local PD loves to seize property to bolster their budget. This may simply be a deep pockets CYA clause in case a burglar is shot or the like.
     
  14. Ed N.

    Ed N. Member

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    I'm an engineer, not a lawyer, but I suspect you'll find that any clause in a contract that violates the law can't be enforced. For example, suppose the landlord had a clause banning you from praying in your apartment. It would never hold up, because the contract can't trump the first amendment.

    Now, most states outside of the PRK and the PRNJ recognize at least SOME RKBA. Even many of the states without CCW would recognize a right to have arms in your home.

    So I suspect few courts (even today) would back him up on banning firearms in your home, depending upon which state you're in. Doesn't matter if the home is leased or not, it's still your home.

    Just my opinion, and worth what you paid for it.
     
  15. Selfdfenz

    Selfdfenz Member

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    Vote with your feet, and patronize a more right minded operation.
    Which is what you are doing.

    S-
     
  16. Poodleshooter

    Poodleshooter Member

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    In Virginia, it is illegal to prohibit possession of firearms by tenants.
     
  17. MBG

    MBG Member

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    In VA, landlords are specifically prohibited from banning firearms.

    Marty
     
  18. illuminatus99

    illuminatus99 Member

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    I've never seen that in WA, my current landlady knows I have guns and knows to give me a call if she needs anything, luckily the police station is right around the corner from here and we have very little crime, I think we've only had one car break-in in the last year, not bad for a 300+ unit complex.
     
  19. Woodchuck

    Woodchuck Member

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    Why would you or anyone want to live an apartment complex where robbers know everone is unarmed. Tell the landlord he is looking at a lawsuit if you rent from him and you get robbed because it is common knowledge that everone living there is unarmed.
     
  20. Blackhawk

    Blackhawk Member In Memoriam

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    Not illegal. A landlord can't enact laws by fiat. He can, however, prohibit guns in a lease agreement, and his only recourse would be to evict you for breach of contract.

    No, I wouldn't live there.
     
  21. Pilgrim

    Pilgrim Member

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    There is a program called the Crime Free Multi-unit Housing program that is pushed by the police in many cities. Its intent is to train landlords and property managers into writing good rental agreements that will allow the landlord or property manager to evict "problem" tenants without much trouble. Since many states, like the PDRK, allow tenants to sue their landlord or property manager for not dealing swiftly with problem tenants, it is to the landlord's advantage to follow the CFMH program guidelines.

    I am on a mailing list of CFMH police officers and I am astounded at some of the things landlords and property managers are expected to do to become "certified" under CFMH. It may very well be this property manager was encouraged by the local PD's CFMH to put a no firearms clause in the rental agreement.
     
  22. roscoe

    roscoe Member

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    Just scratch through the gun provision before signing. You don't even have to say anything.
     
  23. Bob Locke

    Bob Locke Member

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    The owner (landlord) should be allowed to operate his property as he sees fit. He has that right. If the two of you enter into an agreement, then both are bound by it. IOW, if you voluntarily sign a lease that states "no firearms", and then you violate that provision, then you are in the wrong and should be subject to whatever provisions are spelled out in the contract. Your rights would NOT have been violated, because the agreement would be mutually entered into.

    I also find it disturbing that some states place restrictions on rental contracts (such as mentioned in Virginia). That's NOT a good thing, IMO, even though it may promote a more gun-friendly environment. It's a property rights issue, and the owner should have the say not the renter or state.
     
  24. Wildalaska

    Wildalaska member

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    Why the heck would you even consider living in a place thats got such a dumb rule?
     
  25. Matt G

    Matt G Moderator Emeritus

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    Also be careful: if it's operated in any way by H.U.D. (and that doesn't only mean inner city ghetto; there are some nice places that have H.U.D. input), there may well be some Federal restrictions on gun ownership. This came to light most in Chicago, where HUD cops were able to go into tenements to round up guns, "to stop gang violence." Nevermind that they weren't doing much to stop the gangbangers and were only disarming even the innocent tennants!
    :fire: :mad: :cuss: :fire:
     
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