Articles Posted in Landlord - Tenant

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Freddie Mac is a privately-owned, publicly-chartered financial services corporation, 12 U.S.C. 1452, created to provide stability in the secondary residential mortgage market. Piszel began working as the CFO of Freddie Mac in 2006. Piszel with a signing bonus of $5 million in Freddie Mac restricted stock units that would vest over four years, an annual salary of $650,000, and performance-based incentive compensation of $3 million a year in restricted stock. If terminated without cause, Piszel would receive a lump-sum cash payment of double his annual salary and certain restricted stock units would continue to vest. In 2008, facing Freddie Mac's potential collapse, Congress passed the Housing and Economic Recovery Act,12 U.S.C. 4511, establishing the FHFA as Freddie Mac's new primary regulator, with authority to disaffirm any contract, after which damages for the breach would be limited to “actual direct compensatory damages.” The Act contained a limit on “golden parachutes.” Piszel alleges that he was terminated without cause and Freddie Mac “refused to provide him with any of the benefits to which he was contractually entitled.” The Claims Court dismissed his allegations of an unconstitutional taking. The Federal Circuit affirmed, noting that Piszel’s breach of contract claim remains intact despite the legislation, particularly in light of Piszel’s assertion that his contract called for “deferred compensation,” rather than a golden parachute. View "Piszel v. United States" on Justia Law

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Normandy Apartments, Ltd. owned and managed a low-income rental housing project where tenants’ rents were federally subsidized under the Section 8 project-based program. In 2004, Normandy and the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) entered into a contract (the HAP contract) wherein HUD agreed to pay rental housing assistance to Normandy. Normandy and HUD renewed the contract annually until 2004. The named parties and signatories of the 2004 HAP contract were the Oklahoma Housing Finance Authority and Normandy. In 2007, HUD notified Normandy that its assistance payments would be terminated because Normandy defaulted on the HAP contract by repeatedly failing to maintain the apartments. In 2010, Normandy filed suit against the government in the United States Court of Federal Claims asserting a breach of the 2004 HAP Contract and requesting damages. The Claims Court dismissed the case for lack of subject matter jurisdiction. Normandy then filed an amended complaint asserting a takings claim against the government. The Claims Court granted summary judgment in favor of the government. The Federal Circuit affirmed, holding (1) the Claims Court correctly dismissed Normandy’s breach of contract claim for lack of jurisdiction because the United States was not a party to the 2004 HAP contract; and (2) HUD’s conduct did not constitute a regulatory taking. View "Normandy Apartments, Ltd. v. United States" on Justia Law

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In the 1950s and ’60s, to encourage private developers to construct, own, and manage housing projects for low- and moderate-income families, the government insured mortgages on those projects in exchange for provisions, such as a 40-year mortgage term, an agreement to maintain affordability restrictions for the duration of the mortgage, and prepayment limitations or prohibitions. The Emergency Low Income Housing Preservation Act of 1987 and the Low-Income Housing Preservation and Resident Homeownership Act of 1990 instituted a process to request the right to prepay mortgages. There were substantive restrictions on HUD granting prepayment requests, limiting its discretion, 12 U.S.C. 4108(a)). Prepayment is one step toward renting at market prices. The Acts permit HUD to grant incentives rather than permission to prepay. Owners claimed that the Acts constituted an as-applied taking. The Claims Court granted the government’s motions: for summary judgment that the takings claims for some properties were unripe for failure to exhaust administrative remedies; for summary judgment that no taking occurred for properties for which mortgages did not include a prepayment right; and for summary judgment of collateral estoppel as to one owner. The Federal Circuit affirmed as to ripeness and prepayment, but reversed as to collateral estoppel. View "Biafora v. United States" on Justia Law

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The Federal Grant and Cooperative Agreement Act, 31 U.S.C. 6301, states that an executive agency must use: “a procurement contract . . . when . . . the principal purpose … is to acquire … property or services for the direct benefit or use” of the government and must adhere to the Competition in Contracting Act and the Federal Acquisition Regulation However, an “agency shall use a cooperative agreement . . . when . . . the principal purpose … is to transfer a thing of value … to carry out a public purpose of support or stimulation … instead of acquiring . . . property or service” and can avoid procurement laws. Under Section 8 of the Housing Act, HUD provides rental assistance, including entering Housing Assistance Program (HAP) contracts and paying subsidies directly to private landlords. A 1974 amendment gave HUD the option of entering an Annual Contributions Contract (ACC) with a Public Housing Agency (PHA), which would enter into HAP contracts with owners and pay subsidies with HUD funds. In 1983, HUD’s authority was amended. HUD could administer existing HAP contracts, and enter into new HAP contracts for existing Section 8 dwellings by engaging a PHA if possible, 42 U.S.C. 1437f(b)(1). Later, HUD began outsourcing services and initiated a competition to award a performance-based ACC to a PHA in each state, with the PHA to assume “all contractual rights and responsibilities of HUD.” After making an award, HUD chose to re-compete, seeking greater savings, expressly referring to “cooperative agreements,” outside the scope of procurement law. The Government Accountability Office agreed with protestors that the awards were procurement contracts. HUD disregarded that recommendation. The Claims Court denied a request to set aside the award. The Federal Circuit reversed, finding that the awards are procurement contracts, not cooperative agreements. View "CMS Contract Mgmt. Servs. v. United States" on Justia Law