Bayram v. City of Binghamton

Parties

The defendants in this case are the City of Binghamton and City of Binghamton Zoning Board of Appeals. The plaintiff in the case is Emine Bayram who was the owner of the house.

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Facts

The City of Binghamton’s zoning ordinance had provided the details of what makes up the residential dwellings. In its zoning rules it limited the number of unrelated persons who could share a dwelling. The city had determined that one house was being shared by seven individuals was against the residential classification. The Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA) had instructed the landlord to evict the tenants from the property. The landlord, Emine Bayram, had rented out her single-family residence to seven college students at the University of Binghamton. The City had received an anonymous complaint that the house was being rented to a fraternity. The zoning board found out that tenants were not acting as a single family and therefore a violation of the zoning regulations. It was however indicated that they could not be evicted since they were not engaged in criminal activity and their written contract had not yet expired.

Procedure

The case of Emine Bayram v. City of Binghamton and City of Binghamton Zoning Board of Appeals was filed at the New York Supreme Court. The case was presided by Justice Phillip R Rumsey. The trial court had held had that the landlord a city ordinance concerning residential property. On this case, the renting a house to a large group of college students was in violation the rule of the residential zoning classification of the house involved. However, the city was mandated not to evict the tenants immediately. In giving the reasons for the decision, the court noted that the residence had been split into different roomers, each having a personal living space. Every tenant paid their own rent and there was also not established head of household. The appeal was made by Emine Bayram.

The Issue

The issue the Supreme court needed to determine in this case was whether Emine Bayram had committed a violation by renting out a single-family residence to seven students from the University of Binghamton. The court was to set out to determine whether the interpretation by the zoning board on the housing situation did not make the functional and factual equivalent of a family as indicated in the zoning law. The court set out to determine where the zoning board was justified to issue the violation notice that the use of the premises did not abide by the single family use.

Applicable Laws

The laws that the Zoning Board had used were the zoning laws that put restriction on the manner in which a piece of land could be used within a specific zone. The zoning laws are also used in the determination of the size of building  and on the use either as a residential or commercial purposes  (Brennan, Browne, & Kubasek, 2015). Another law that could be used is the absence of a variance which is essential is the use of zoning laws in an attempt to prevent hardship. Another rule that could be used in this case is the Law of Property Real and Personal. Property is considered as a bundle of rights in relation to a tangible object. This is more specifically related to the right to exclude others. In this case, the college students were being evicted from their residency due to violation of the zoning laws. Property is comprised into three categories; real property, personal property, and intellectual property. The type property applicable in this case is real property.

Holding

The court affirmed the decision of the trial court in part and reversed in part. The New York Supreme Court made the ruling that the City of Binghamton and City of Binghamton Zoning Board of Appeals were justified and had acted within the laws when they charged Emine Bayram of violating the zoning laws. The court also ruled that as per the zoning law, single family residence homes could only be rent out to people acting as family unit. They also ruled that students could not be immediately evicted from the unit due to the contract that they had entered with which was a legal written contract and were not engaged in the any form of criminal activity that warranted them to be given warrant eviction. It was thereby indicated in the ruling that Bayram had violated city zoning laws, but the tenants could stay until the end of their current lease.

Reasoning

In making the ruling, the court quoted that as per city zoning laws, a single-family residence could not be rented to a single family or a group of individual purported to act a family unit. The evidence presented indicated that the tenants had their own personal living space and each pad their own rent to Bayram and used separate vehicles and food. It was clear that the tenants existed differently and could not be classified as a family. It was thus clear that Bayram had violated zoning laws by renting the residence to the students in the name of family dwelling. The tenants had not violated any laws and could not be evicted as they had engaged in any criminal activity.

References

Bayram v. City of Binghamton, 27 Misc. 3d 1032, 899 N.Y.S.2d 566 (NY: Supreme Court, Cortland 2010).

Brennan, B. A., Browne, M. N., & Kubasek, N. K. (2015). The Legal Environment of Business: A Critical Thinking Approach, 7th Ed. In B. A. Brennan, M. N. Browne, & N. K. Kubasek, The Legal Environment of Business: A Critical Thinking Approach, 7th Ed. (p. 221). Upper Saddle River: Pearson Education, Inc

Justia. (2017). Matter of Bayram v City of Binghamton. Retrieved from Justia US Law: https://law.justia.com/cases/new-york/other-courts/2010/2010-20116.html

Rice, T. (1992). Zoning and Land Use. Syracuse L. Rev.43, 615.

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