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Thread: Firearms in Apartments

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    Regular Member richarcm's Avatar
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    Firearms in Apartments

    Can an apartment prohibit firearms completely from their premises? I just assumed that once you paid a rent or a mortgage that the property was considered yours privately until you failed to make payments or your lease ended.

    I left work early yesterday to sign a lease, was reading it carefully, and stumbled upon "FIREARMS ARE PROHIBITED ON THE PREMISES". I put the paperwork down and told the leasing office manager that I would need to come back later. I wanted to exclaim my disappointment but thought it might be best to not yet say anything to them.

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    § 55-248.9. Prohibited provisions in rental agreements.
    A. A rental agreement shall not contain provisions that the tenant:
    6. Agrees as a condition of tenancy in public housing to a prohibition or restriction of any
    lawful possession of a firearm within individual dwelling units unless required by federal
    law or regulation; or

    http://www.dhcd.virginia.gov/Homeles...t_Handbook.pdf
    I am responsible for my writing, not your understanding of it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by richarcm View Post
    Can an apartment prohibit firearms completely from their premises? I just assumed that once you paid a rent or a mortgage that the property was considered yours privately until you failed to make payments or your lease ended.

    I left work early yesterday to sign a lease, was reading it carefully, and stumbled upon "FIREARMS ARE PROHIBITED ON THE PREMISES". I put the paperwork down and told the leasing office manager that I would need to come back later. I wanted to exclaim my disappointment but thought it might be best to not yet say anything to them.
    There is a thread with somewhat related info here:
    http://forum.opencarry.org/forums/sh...mon-area-thing

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    I'd like to point out that IF you haven't already signed the lease, and you've decided that you otherwise want the apartment, you might not want to point out the "error of their ways" until AFTER you've finalized your lease. Landlords have from time to time found creative reasons to not approve a lease when they've decided that they really don't want someone as a tenant.
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    "The strongest reason for people to retain the right to keep and bear arms, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government." Thomas Jefferson

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    Regular Member TFred's Avatar
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    This issue has come up from time to time over the years, and I don't think there is a good answer for gun owners.

    The code cited above has a pesky little clause, "in public housing", which, while not explicitly defined, is indirectly defined in the Definitions section of the same area of code by this phrase: "However, where an application is being made for a dwelling unit which is a public housing unit or other housing unit subject to regulation by the Department of Housing and Urban Development"

    It is my personal opinion that unless the apartment is "subject to regulation by the Department of Housing and Urban Development," the landlord is free to set such a condition.

    I'm certainly not a lawyer, and it would make an interesting case for renters' rights, but until someone comes up with additional information, I believe that is the status for now.

    BTW, the other thread was about carrying in common areas, not outright prohibition from the premises.

    TFred

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    The only union of firearm and rental in Virginia law

    https://law.justia.com/lawsearch?que...inia&year=2011
    I am responsible for my writing, not your understanding of it.

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    Moderator / Administrator Grapeshot's Avatar
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    I hold that unless the lease includes a "no guns" clause, that neither the landlord nor his agent may change that via rules & regulations. One is entitled to free access to and from their rental unit AND quite enjoyment thereof in accordance with the lease terms. Your apt/house is your castle - you make the rules.

    They may control/prevent carrying guns in the common area, subject to the above.

    Previously mentioned "public housing" has special rules. The Viginia Tenant/Landlord Act does not directly address the issue.
    You will not rise to the occasion; you will fall back on your level of training.” Archilochus, 650 BC

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    Campaign Veteran marshaul's Avatar
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    I have mixed feelings about this. It is established that a landlord who elects to lease his property may not longer retain the same degree of control as he does over property which he does not lease. He may not, for instance, simply enter onto the property without notice. These are considered an inherent aspect to leasing property, and the landlord's rights are not necessarily implicated because the decision to lease a property out is voluntary. I see no reason why this shouldn't apply to the RKBA at least in a basic sense.

    When I lived on Treasure Island, I signed (and "violated") a lease which prohibited me from possessing a firearm. I didn't feel the tiniest bit wrong doing so. However, the property was owned by the City and County of San Francisco. Furthermore, CA has a law similar to the above Virginia law, but which the city claimed applied only to subsidized housing. Finally, the city and the leasing agency (the John Stewart Company) were later successfully sued by the NRA over an identical clause in the lease for a similarly-situated property within the city proper, rending that clause unenforceable (something I predicted when I signed the lease). Needless to say that is different from the private property situation in many respects.

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    Regular Member richarcm's Avatar
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    Couldn't a bank make similar rules until it no longer possesses some percentage of your house or even automobile?

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    Accomplished Advocate peter nap's Avatar
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    The answer will only be found in court Richarm!

    The Public Housing law was the direct result of the City of Richmond attempting to ban guns in the projects...but Virginia is a weak legislative state so that may or may not be a consideration if it were used to further a situation like yours.

    The hard, cold reality is that you don't have to sign the lease or live there, but if you do, there is a very real possibility they may enforce it. If they try to and you fight it, plan on tens of thousands of dollars in attorneys fees, at least one appeal and not having your lease renewed when it expires.

    It's like buying a house in a place with a Homeowners Association. You give up certain rights for the Purdy lawn next door.

    No Guns, no money may just be at play here!

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    Regular Member SouthernBoy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by richarcm View Post
    Couldn't a bank make similar rules until it no longer possesses some percentage of your house or even automobile?
    No.
    In the final seconds of your life, just before your killer is about to dispatch you to that great eternal darkness, what would you rather have in your hand? A cell phone or a gun?

    Si vis pacem, para bellum.

    America First!

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    Moderator / Administrator Grapeshot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by richarcm View Post
    Couldn't a bank make similar rules until it no longer possesses some percentage of your house or even automobile?
    Quote Originally Posted by SouthernBoy View Post
    No.
    Restrictive covenants can and are routinely placed in deeds. While banks/lending institutes are not typically the grantee (normally being in the position of trustee) they could in some circumstances be in an ownership position at the time of transfer.

    I do not know of any situation that would allow the Deed of Trust to inject such restrictions independent of the deed.

    We say that when "own" the property when we sign the closing papers. Actually the lender owns the real estate and is holding it in trust pending satisfaction of the terms. The trustee (holder of the Deed of Trust) is the entity that insures compliance.

    Automobile transfers and other personal property conveyance is much different - don't see how a restriction could be so imposed. When you purchase a vehicle you do own/control it when the transfer papers are fully executed.
    You will not rise to the occasion; you will fall back on your level of training.” Archilochus, 650 BC

    Old and treacherous will beat young and skilled every time. Yata hey.

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    Regular Member SouthernBoy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grapeshot View Post
    Restrictive covenants can and are routinely placed in deeds. While banks/lending institutes are not typically the grantee (normally being in the position of trustee) they could in some circumstances be in an ownership position at the time of transfer.

    I do not know of any situation that would allow the Deed of Trust to inject such restrictions independent of the deed.

    We say that when "own" the property when we sign the closing papers. Actually the lender owns the real estate and is holding it in trust pending satisfaction of the terms. The trustee (holder of the Deed of Trust) is the entity that insures compliance.

    Automobile transfers and other personal property conveyance is much different - don't see how a restriction could be so imposed. When you purchase a vehicle you do own/control it when the transfer papers are fully executed.
    Not entirely. Unless you hold the Statement of Origin. With a real estate property, if you hold Allodial title, you actually do own the property.

    I don't see how either an HOA or a bank could possible dictate to a purchaser that they cannot have firearms on their property. I just don't believe there is anything in law that would support this. Of course INAL so I can't say for certain that this is the case, but I would be willing to bet money that it is. And HOA [i]may[/] be able to restrict firearms in common areas, but not on your property.... and certainly not within your property. As for a bank, I think that's a non-issue.

    But as I mentioned, INAL so I will say that at my age, nothing surprises me much any more.
    In the final seconds of your life, just before your killer is about to dispatch you to that great eternal darkness, what would you rather have in your hand? A cell phone or a gun?

    Si vis pacem, para bellum.

    America First!

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    Moderator / Administrator Grapeshot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SouthernBoy View Post
    Not entirely. Unless you hold the Statement of Origin. With a real estate property, if you hold Allodial title, you actually do own the property.

    I don't see how either an HOA or a bank could possible dictate to a purchaser that they cannot have firearms on their property. I just don't believe there is anything in law that would support this. Of course INAL so I can't say for certain that this is the case, but I would be willing to bet money that it is. And HOA [i]may[/] be able to restrict firearms in common areas, but not on your property.... and certainly not within your property. As for a bank, I think that's a non-issue.

    But as I mentioned, INAL so I will say that at my age, nothing surprises me much any more.
    Don't see the application of Allodial title here - refers primarily to property taxes and eminent domain.

    Insofar as HOA think about flag restrictions, fences, color of paint, window coverings, trash containers, architectural design, ad nasium.
    You will not rise to the occasion; you will fall back on your level of training.” Archilochus, 650 BC

    Old and treacherous will beat young and skilled every time. Yata hey.

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    Regular Member TFred's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SouthernBoy View Post
    Not entirely. Unless you hold the Statement of Origin. With a real estate property, if you hold Allodial title, you actually do own the property.
    I wasn't aware that there was ANY Allodial property in Virginia. Is that not the case?

    TFred

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    Campaign Veteran marshaul's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TFred View Post
    I wasn't aware that there was ANY Allodial property in Virginia. Is that not the case?

    TFred
    I, too, was under this impression. Unless there are any precolonial grants whose status was never updated.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TFred View Post
    I wasn't aware that there was ANY Allodial property in Virginia. Is that not the case?

    TFred
    Yeah. Its on file in the Hall of Records of the Powhatan.



    (Yes, that was a slur on the so-called Founders who presumed to do away with allodial title, the same guys who told such whoppers as "consent of the governed" and "we the people" while fully intending to govern every single person, whether they consented or not, whether they voted in support or not.)
    I'll make you an offer: I will argue and fight for all of your rights, if you will do the same for me. That is the only way freedom can work. We have to respect all rights, all the time--and strive to win the rights of the other guy as much as for ourselves.

    If I am equal to another, how can I legitimately govern him without his express individual consent?

    There is no human being on earth I hate so much I would actually vote to inflict government upon him.

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    Regular Member SouthernBoy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grapeshot View Post
    Don't see the application of Allodial title here - refers primarily to property taxes and eminent domain.

    Insofar as HOA think about flag restrictions, fences, color of paint, window coverings, trash containers, architectural design, ad nasium.
    Yes in the more restrictive developments, HOA Nazis can get carried away, no doubt about it. But I don't think they can restrict you from having firearms on/within your property nor your right to carry them on your walks and your daily routines. I think they can restrict them from their managed common areas, such as club houses and pools. HOA's are a funny breed. And worse can be the management companies they hire to manage the common areas and restrictive covenants. Little Nazis feeling their oats.

    Question. You mentioned window coverings. I assume you meant those outside of the windows as opposed to inside the home. I remember a development back in the 70's that even dictated what color someone could paint their powder room. Now that was crazy. The development was in McLean, VA and was townhouses. Nuts.
    Last edited by SouthernBoy; 05-27-2013 at 08:03 AM.
    In the final seconds of your life, just before your killer is about to dispatch you to that great eternal darkness, what would you rather have in your hand? A cell phone or a gun?

    Si vis pacem, para bellum.

    America First!

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    Moderator / Administrator Grapeshot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SouthernBoy View Post
    Yes in the more restrictive developments, HOA Nazis can get carried away, no doubt about it. But I don't think they can restrict you from having firearms on/within your property nor your right to carry them on your walks and your daily routines. I think they can restrict them from their managed common areas, such as club houses and pools. HOA's are a funny breed. And worse can be the management companies they hire to manage the common areas and restrictive covenants. Little Nazis feeling their oats.

    Question. You mentioned window coverings. I assume you meant those outside of the windows as opposed to inside the home. I remember a development back in the 70's that even dictated what color someone could paint their powder room. Now that was crazy. The development was in McLean, VA and was townhouses. Nuts.
    Nope - meant curtains, drapes, blinds, shades, etc. Colored/patterned drapes had to be lined with white fabric or white foam backing. These being visible from the outside, the desire was to create a "standard" of white exposed to the outside world.
    You will not rise to the occasion; you will fall back on your level of training.” Archilochus, 650 BC

    Old and treacherous will beat young and skilled every time. Yata hey.

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    Regular Member SouthernBoy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grapeshot View Post
    Nope - meant curtains, drapes, blinds, shades, etc. Colored/patterned drapes had to be lined with white fabric or white foam backing. These being visible from the outside, the desire was to create a "standard" of white exposed to the outside world.
    Wow, isn't that crazy. They wouldn't like my house. Our drapes are a mix of different colors and designs based upon in which room they're hung. I allowed my wife to hire an "inferior desecrater" (she and the decorator thought that little term of mine was funny) when we had the house built. Wound up costing a small fortune but she did a nice job. Our HOA has no authority given it to dictate what we do with the inside of our homes. If they did, we would have built elsewhere.
    In the final seconds of your life, just before your killer is about to dispatch you to that great eternal darkness, what would you rather have in your hand? A cell phone or a gun?

    Si vis pacem, para bellum.

    America First!

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    Moderator / Administrator Grapeshot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grapeshot View Post
    Nope - meant curtains, drapes, blinds, shades, etc. Colored/patterned drapes had to be lined with white fabric or white foam backing. These being visible from the outside, the desire was to create a "standard" of white exposed to the outside world.
    Quote Originally Posted by SouthernBoy View Post
    Wow, isn't that crazy. They wouldn't like my house. Our drapes are a mix of different colors and designs based upon in which room they're hung. I allowed my wife to hire an "inferior desecrater" (she and the decorator thought that little term of mine was funny) when we had the house built. Wound up costing a small fortune but she did a nice job. Our HOA has no authority given it to dictate what we do with the inside of our homes. If they did, we would have built elsewhere.
    Most often you will see a restrictive clause on this in apartment leases rather than HOA. I believe I actually wrote the first such restriction over 35 years ago

    We were managing multi-family housing for college staff and students as our primary market. Some would cover the windows with flags, posters or newspapers. One solution was to go to providing drapes/curtains & use only those; then to only "approved" window covering; then to the restrictive clause.

    Restrictive clauses will always make someone unhappy, enforcing one will really ruin their day.
    Last edited by Grapeshot; 05-27-2013 at 01:26 PM.
    You will not rise to the occasion; you will fall back on your level of training.” Archilochus, 650 BC

    Old and treacherous will beat young and skilled every time. Yata hey.

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    Maybe in Virginia.
    The BAR was established in 1931 with the creation of the first preservation ordinance in the United States.

    As stated in the City of Charleston Zoning Ordinance, the purpose of the board is “the preservation and protection of the old historic or architecturally worthy structures and quaint neighborhoods which impart a distinct aspect to the city and which serve as visible reminders of the historical and cultural heritage of the city, the state, and the nation.”

    Within the historic districts (see BAR Boundaries Map), the BAR reviews all new construction, alterations and renovations visible from the public right-of-way. The BAR reviews all demolitions of buildings 75 years of age or older on any structures south of Mount Pleasant Street, and any demolitions (regardless of age) within the Old and Historic District. In addition, the BAR has jurisdiction over all structures included on the Landmark Overlay Properties list.
    I believe that they hold the patent on "Charleston Green" for instance.

    Of course the city over which they hold sway is dead now, full of million dollar monuments and not homes for noisy children or newlyweds that I remember.
    I am responsible for my writing, not your understanding of it.

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    Campaign Veteran marshaul's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grapeshot View Post
    Some would cover the windows with flags, posters or newspapers.
    God forbid!

    How dare those neighbors flaunt convention! We'll teach 'em!

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    Moderator / Administrator Grapeshot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by marshaul View Post
    God forbid!

    How dare those neighbors flaunt convention! We'll teach 'em!
    Had zero to do with flaunting convention or even with depriving them of their freedom of expression. Had everything to do with maintaining rental value in privately owned property. They (staff & students) were free to rent elsewhere.
    You will not rise to the occasion; you will fall back on your level of training.” Archilochus, 650 BC

    Old and treacherous will beat young and skilled every time. Yata hey.

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    Campaign Veteran marshaul's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grapeshot View Post
    Had zero to do with flaunting convention or even with depriving them of their freedom of expression. Had everything to do with maintaining rental value in privately owned property. They (staff & students) were free to rent elsewhere.
    If the owner doesn't bother to put it in his lease, you have no right to enforce the rule.

    You know, that whole privately owned property thing.

    Or perhaps you believe in communism?

    Edit: Upon re-reading it seems you were talking about lease clauses. I thought you were talking about HOA rules. My mistake.
    Last edited by marshaul; 05-27-2013 at 04:07 PM.

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