Guide to Student Housing
The Office of Housing and Residential Life is committed to assisting students find suitable off-campus housing and offers the following services:
- This Guide to Student Housing
- Online Rental Property Listing
- Roommate Posting Board
- NYS Tenant's Rights Guide
- FAQ on Renters Insurance
The Guide to Student Housing is designed to assist you in making your off-campus housing arrangements. It contains information that will be helpful as you consider off-campus housing options and developing a positive relationship with your landlord and neighbors.
The Guide is not intended to give you legal advice. If you have any questions or concerns about your rights to fair housing or your rights as a tenant, please consult a licensed attorney of your own choice for guidance. If you are currently attending FLCC, you may direct your questions to the Student Corporation attorney. Contact the Student Life Office for more information.
We want your off-campus housing experience to be positive, and I strongly encourage you to read the Guide carefully before signing a lease.
Martin A. Glieco
Director of Housing and Residential Life
- Before You Begin: FLCC Housing Policy
- Things to Know
- Fair Housing Notice
- Security Deposit
- Moving Out: If you Decide to Move Out
- Moving Out: Your Landlord Wants You to Move Out
- Types of Housing
- Fair Housing Notice
- The Search: Looking for an Apartment
- Housing Search Questions
- Steps to Handling Issues
- Things to Consider
- Renters Insurance
- I.D.O.L - Independent Degree of Living
- IDOL I. Getting Along with Your Landlord
- IDOL II. Getting Along with Your Roommate
- IDOL III. Cooking
- IDOL IV. Cleaning
- IDOL V. Laundry
- IDOL VI. Safety
- IDOL VII. Your Rights, Moving, Winter Driving
- IDOL I. Getting Along with Your Landlord
- Being a Good Neighbor
- Preventing Conflict with Neighbors
- Addressing an Issue with Your Neighbors
- Laws in Your Neighborhood
- Social Hosting Law
- Preventing Conflict with Neighbors
- Transportation: C.A.T.S.
- City of Canandaigua
- Town of Canandaigua
- Town of Gorham
- Town of Hopewell
- City of Canandaigua
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Office of Housing and Residential Life
Whether you are considering The Suites at Laker Landing, the housing program affiliated with Finger Lakes Community College or private Off-Campus Properties, the Office of Housing and Residential Life strongly suggests that students consider their options carefully. Be sure to read and understand the lease and get any needed clarification prior to entering into said agreement.
Finger Lakes Community College does not own or operate any off-campus housing. College personnel do not supervise any off-campus properties, and the College does not become party to private landlord/tenant matters nor involve itself in any transaction between or on behalf of landlords or student tenants.
FLCC assumes no obligation for damages or payment of rent and will not employ any college sanctions to assure payment of financial obligation or to resolve differences between student tenants and landlords.
FLCC assumes no obligation for compliance with local statutes for fire and housing code inspections.
Fair Housing Notice
Federal and state laws forbid discrimination in the sale or rental of housing. Racial discrimination is prohibited in the sale or rental of all housing. Discrimination in housing because of religious, national origin, sex, marital status, disability, age or because a person has children is also illegal, except under the following conditions:
- Rental in a two-family, owner occupied dwelling;
- Rental in an accommodation restricted to individuals of the same sex;
- Rental of a room in an accommodation if the owner or member of his family resides there;
- An accommodation in a religious or charitable institution.
If you, as a tenant, have questions about the law or about your responsibility in complying with it, please contact a licensed attorney of your own choice for assistance or contact the NYS Attorney General’s Office.
If you are currently attending FLCC you may direct your Fair Housing questions to the Student Corporation attorney. Contact the Student Life Office for more info.
A Lease is a contract between a landlord and tenant which contains the terms and conditions of the rental. It cannot be changed while it is in effect unless both parties agree.
At minimum, leases will specify the names and addresses of the parties, the amount and due dates of rent, the duration of the rental, the conditions of occupancy and the obligations of both parties.
It is very important to read the lease carefully before you sign it! If there is something you disagree with or do not see included, try to work it out with the landlord in advance.
Do not make an assumption of any condition not stated within the lease agreement. Speak with your landlord for clarification .
Although a Lease is the most typical, there are various types of rental agreements. Regardless of the type, your agreement should be in writing, with signatures and reviewed prior to move-in. Never enter into a verbal agreement.
Virtually all leases require tenants to give their landlords a security deposit. The security deposit is usually one month’s rent and must be returned to the tenant less any lawful deductions. A landlord may use the security deposit to cover the cost of repairs, damage or unpaid rent or charges.
Many times terms regarding the use and timely return of the security deposit are included in the lease agreement. If not, ask your landlord to included it for you.
Landlords who allow pets will typically assess a non-refundable pet fee or an additional pet security deposit which may or may not have additional terms. Be sure to get clarification from your landlord on these additional charges if they allow pets.
Pet friendly landlords typically charge additional rent and many times have strict restrictions. Check with your landlord for pet and breed restrictions. In addition, make sure your pet’s new home provides them with the space they require.
Moving Out: If You Decide To Move Out…
Notice must be given prior to the beginning of the last rental period if you are planning on leaving your rental unit. For example, If your rent is due the first day of every month, in advance, and you wish to move on May 31, you must give notice prior to May 1.
Tenants are typically responsible for a full rental period if any time is spent in the unit during that time. For example, If you wish to stay in your apartment until June 2, you are responsible for the rent for the entire month of June.
Depending on your agreement you may not be able to ‘break’ your lease for non-emergency reasons. Such reasons may be stipulated.
Remember, your landlords are people too and not without understanding. If you need to break your lease early discuss prorating rent and early severance terms with them.
Moving Out: Your Landlord Wants You To Move Out…
If you have kept your apartment or room clean and in good condition, paid your rent on time, and have not been a nuisance, your landlord has little reasonable cause to evict you. Probable causes for eviction are non-payment of rent, being an undesirable or objectionable tenant, renting the premises to another person or family without the owner’s permission, or failure to abide by your lease or agreement.
The landlord must give you notice equal to one rental time period if they want you to move out.
It is very important that your rent be paid on time. If it is not, you may be served with a three-day eviction notice, meaning that you have three days to pay the balance of what you owe or move out. If for some reason your rent will be a few days late, talk it over with your landlord. You may be able to work something out.
Types of Housing
ROOM: Usually a single furnished bedroom in a private home with shared access to the family’s bathroom and kitchen. A private bath may be adjacent to the room for private use. This arrangement is the least expensive and the least private.
APARTMENT: A private dwelling of single or multiple rooms. May be furnished or unfurnished; may or may not include utilities. Rent varies greatly, depending on the facilities.
MULTIPLE DWELLING: This is a house or large apartment rented to a number of individuals typically with private bedrooms and shared bath and common space. It may be furnished, and rent may or may not include utilities.
A comprehensive listing of various rental properties in the Canandaigua area can be found on the Office of Housing and Residential Life web site: www.flcc.edu/housing. FLCC does not own or operate any off-campus housing
The Office of Housing and Residential Life offers the following steps as a guide for students looking for housing.
- Prioritize your needs. Categorize your apartment rental list in order of "must have," "would like to have," and "could do without."
- Learn about the neighborhood. Do your homework. Visit the neighborhood of your prospective apartment and look for things that might affect how you would feel living in the area.
- Pre-screen over the phone. Pre-prepare a list of questions to ask about a unit and call to find out whether this apartment meets your criteria. This is a good time to find out whether the apartment rental is worth pursuing further.
- Know your apartment rental budget. Most financial experts say that your apartment rental should take no more than 25-30% of your gross monthly income. Knowing your total monthly bills and expenses will give you a much clearer idea of what you can afford. Pick a figure and stick to it. It'll save loads of headaches down the line.
- Do a physical inspection of the apartment.
- Inspect both interior and exterior spaces, including parking, storage and laundry facilities. Keep in mind your needs for space, lighting, and storage. Check to see that the doors, carpet, laundry hookups, plumbing, appliances and other amenities are in good working order. And watch for insects or rodents.
- Review and understand the lease. Make sure you understand and agree with the lease terms.
- Ask questions. If you have questions about any issues, make sure to clarify them before signing the lease. Some important issues to cover are maintenance, landlord involvement, and neighbors. Make sure you know who to call if there's a maintenance problem, and find out how available the landlord is.
Complete and sign an Apartment Condition Report with your landlord. This document will be used to assess the condition of your apartment when you move for any potential charges.
It is not untypical for a landlord to charge for assisted lockouts. Ask for a spare and place it in a landlord approved hiding spot.
Housing Search Questions
We’ve compiled a list of typical questions you should ask landlords prior to selecting an apartment.
- What is the Rent and how is it paid?
- Is the Rent amount per person? (If multi dwelling)
- If your roommate leaves are you responsible for all the rent? (If multi dwelling)
- How much is the security deposit?
- Is there an application fee?
- What Utilities are included?
- Can you provide average costs for utilities not included in rent? (Water, Gas, Electric)
- Is there Air Conditioning?
- What is the type of heating?
- Does tenant have control over the thermostat?
- Is there garbage collection?
- Is there snow removal?
- Does the facility have internet access?
- Cable or satellite TV reception?
- What parking is available? Additional cost?
- Are laundry facilities available? Additional cost?
- Under what conditions can I break lease? (illness, academic failure, marriage, personal)
- How much notice is required if I decide to move?
- What are the restrictions of the lease?
- Is this a pet friendly apartment? Are there any pet or breed restrictions? Additional cost?
- Who do I contact for maintenance issues?
- How are repair costs covered?
- What are the room measurements?
- Is the apartment furnished or unfurnished?
- Are there closets?
- Is there yard use? Restrictions?
- Can I decorate? Restrictions? Can I hang my own items?
- Are visitors permitted? Restrictions?
- Is the property handicap accessible?
- How close is the property to the College?
You should also prioritize your questions list and use it as a reference when you call and inquire about a property. Parents, relatives and friends who have rented can be a valuable resource.
First things first, your landlord is not a first responder, in the case of an emergency call the police or 911.
Landlord’s are typically interested in keeping their investment in good repair and presentation. Many times minor issues or typical wear and tear can be resolved by maintaining good communication with your landlord.
However, urgent or serious issues such as loss of heat, loss of hot water, loss of provided appliances, broken windows, structural damage, leaks, drafts or a compromise to the apartments security require a timely response.
- Inform your landlord of these issues right away and do so in writing.
- Document any work done by the landlord; include dates. Ask your landlord to send you a “work completed” email. Keep all correspondences on file.
- Promptly follow-up with your landlord on any unresolved issues.
Whenever you are dealing with your landlord, especially for maintenance issues, ALWAYS-Communicate, Document, Follow-Up
Inform your landlord in writing of any personal injury, vehicle or property damage caused by unresolved issues or contracted service or vehicle.
If Further Action is Required…
- If, after a reasonable time nothing is done, call the housing inspector or the town clerk of the township.
- The housing inspector will inspect the residence and ask the landlord in writing to correct the violation(s) within a determined length of time.
- If the landlord takes no action, court proceedings begin.
If you feel there are housing violations occurring or you are not pleased with your landlord’s resolution to serious matters, contact the town clerk or building inspector of your municipality.
Finger Lakes Community College will not become involved in any transactions or contentions between or on behalf of landlords or tenants.
Things to Consider
Challenges often arise from one of three conditions:
- Tenants do not read and fully understand lease terms and restrictions.
- Tenants do not abide by lease or fulfill their obligations to correct or remedy issues.
- Landlords are negligent
To avoid the pitfalls of these conditions:
- Be sure to thoroughly read your lease and have someone read it with you.
- Be sure to follow and abide by your lease. and report issues timely.
- Question and screen your potential landlords. Make sure you feel comfortable with them and have your requests included in the lease.
The most common issues students face are:
- Inability to break lease.
- No control over utilities.
- No appeals process if evicted.
- Tenants are responsible for guest behavior/damage.
- Model Unit shown does not represent actual unit.
- Lack of timeliness in return of Security Deposit.
- Lack of timeliness in responding to repair requests.
- Previous damage not repaired prior to move in.
- Unable to modify apartment.
Never make changes to your rental without written consent from your landlord such as painting, flooring, fixtures and yard furnishings and use.
Tenants have the right to privacy within their apartments, however, a landlord may enter with prior notice for inspections or for emergencies.
College students renting an off-campus apartment or house while away at school should consider purchasing renters insurance to protect their personal property.
Your landlord’s insurance doesn’t cover your personal property in the event that it is stolen or
damaged as a result of a fire, theft or other unexpected circumstance.
Even if a student is a dependent under his or her parent’s insurance, the student’s personal property, in many cases, is not covered if the student lives off campus. Parents should check their policy or contact their insurance agent to see if renters insurance is right for their son or daughter who is away at school.
What’s Your I.D.O.L.? Live Smartly!
Living on your own is more than just finding the right place. It’s important to realize the responsibility that accompanies the great freedom found in having your own living space.
How well do you identify with these expressions?
“I typically read things I have to sign, check and open my mail regularly and ask questions when I don’t understand something. If it’s not mine, I ask before using and take responsibility for my misuse or accident.”
“I don’t need my housemate to be my best friend, but I want to get along with them. I’m not afraid to address issues with others and I know that there’s always a “right time” to do so; specifically, when I’m not angry. I try to avoid issues by talking in advance and know that open and honest communication is key.”
“I’ve prepared meals before using recipes, rarely burn my food and would never use water to put out a grease fire. I don’t mind shopping for the ingredients I need to enjoy the meals I want to eat.”
“I keep a clean space and have money set aside for laundry. I do make my messes, but I also take care of cleaning up and I’m not afraid to clean the bathroom.”
“I lock my doors even if I feel safe in my neighborhood. I like to be familiar with my environment and I tend to notice changes. It’s not the ER, but I keep first aid supplies in my closet. I’m not afraid to ask or follow directions.”
Does this sound like you? Students with a strong degree of independent living can identify with these expressions.
IDOL I. Getting Along with Your Landlord
- Pay your rent on time! You’ll be demonstrating financial responsibility and it may make your landlord more forgiving when you really may need an extension.
- Respect your neighbors. Landlords do not like their neighbors upset or complaining of their tenants.
- Do not play handyman. Let your landlord make the repairs, even if you’re responsible. You run a big risk of making a small repair into a big one. Your lease may also prohibit you from making repairs.
- Inform your landlord within 24 hours of any damage that occurs or of any concerns you have with the apartment. They appreciate knowing sooner than later.
- Your landlord has the right to inspect the property with advance notice. Make sure it is presentable when they arrive. You may live there, but they still own it. Landlords appreciate those who take care of their apartments.
Talking things over with your landlord is the best way to handle problems and avoid a stressful relationship.
IDOL II. Getting Along with a Roommate
- Choose a Roommate because you are compatible, NOT because you like them. Good Friends do not automatically make good roommates. Choose Compatibility over Likability.
- All roommates need to sign the lease and understand their obligation in advance. Do not enter into a verbal agreement.
- Decide in advance how expenses will be fairly divided. Keep the rent payment separate and always equal.
- Decide on house rules: company, shared items, cleaning, etc.
- Communicate, communicate, communicate. Do so calmly, truthfully and with respect!
See the Office of Housing and Residential Life for sample Roommate Agreements.
IDOL III. Cooking
- NEVER leave your cooking unattended; this is not the time to take that needed 10 minute nap.
- Use the fan over your stove when cooking.
- DO NOT COOK ON HIGH…few things require such intense heat. Remember, you want to cook your food through, not just char the outside. Boiling water is the only thing you should have on HIGH.
- Do not dump your grease or oil down the drain, you will quickly clog it.
- Read the directions, even if you don’t follow them.
Landlords of multiple dwellings must install approved smoke detectors in each apartment, within 10 feet of each room used for sleeping.
IDOL IV. Cleaning
- Clean- actually do it. Keeping a tidy living space is the best way to get that security deposit back.
- Don’t mix cleaning products, read warning labels and ONLY use the product for its intended use.
- Never use dish soap in an automatic dishwasher. Be sure to use dish detergent. It’s not a fun mess.
- Keep your stove top burners and drip pans clean. Grease can collect in these pans. If it gets baked on (blackened) your landlord may charge you for the replacement. Heavily grease coated drip pans are a potential fire hazard.
- Have a cleaning routine and plan. Don’t save cleaning for the weekend; it typically doesn’t happen.
Keep cleaning products off the floor and tightly closed. Many insects are attracted to the sweet smell and taste of cleaning products.
Notify your landlord of any pest problems. Do not use “Bug Bombs”, it may violate your lease
IDOL V. Laundry
- Whites should be washed on warm or hot with Whites and Colors washed on warm or cold with Colors.
- Do not guesstimate your detergent, measure it; too much is a waste of detergent and you’re cloths come out soapy, too little is a waste of time and your clothes come out less than clean.
- Spot treat any stains and wash as soon as possible. Spot treating helps get the stain out.
- If you notice a stain is still present after a wash, spot treat and wash a second time, do not dry. Drying will further set stains.
- Do not over load the washing machine. It’s worth the extra $2.00 for an additional wash than having to unload part of your clothes after the basin has filled, or knocking the washer off balance and having to explain to the landlord.
For multiple dwelling properties– make sure community laundry machines run on their own electrical and water meters. Inquire if there is an additional charge for laundry use.
IDOL VI. Safety
- Lock your doors- this is living safe 101.
- Make sure your smoke detectors function properly. Check with your lease, you may be required to replace batteries monthly.
- Know where your Breaker Box is and how to re-set any breaker you trip. Make note and talk with your landlord about the apartment’s circuits so you’re not tripping on the same circuit.
- Have a small fire extinguisher in your kitchen. Make sure it’s charged! Have a flashlight handy in case you lose power. Make sure it has batteries.
- Do not block exits. No matter how small your living space is, do not block exists, it’s a fire safety hazard and could violate your lease.
Finger Lakes Community College assumes no obligation for compliance with local or state statuettes for fire and housing code inspections
The Housing Office recommends that tenants request verification of said inspections.
IDOL VII. Your Rights
“NYS Tenant’s Rights” Booklet. Pick up a copy at the Housing and Residential Life office or visit: www.oag.state.ny.us/ under the publications section.
Finding your place is the first step…now you need to get there. Moving can be a lot of fun, but it is also a lot of work. Make this step less stressful and check out www.relocation.com “Moving Guide” for good advice.
Living in upstate NY comes with the full effect of the winter season. Living off-campus requires you to commute. Do so safely. Visit: NYS Department of Transportation for winter driving tips
Living on your own is an enjoyable experience, having good neighbors only makes the experience greater!
However, few realize that it takes some effort to forge a good relationship with your neighbors.
Your behavior affects your neighbors, just as what they do affects you. The key to preventing conflicts with neighbors is being a good neighbor yourself. Simple consideration and conversation with neighbors helps achieve a peaceful coexistence.
Typical issues center on noise, parties, pet responsibility, trash, and other disrespectful issues.
Use this section as a resource to help you build good relationships and solve problems in your neighborhood.
Preventing and Resolving conflict are two different things. Taking steps to prevent conflict reduces the potential for you having to resolve it.
Being a Good Neighbor: Preventing Conflicts Starts with "Hello"
- Introductions. Make a point and take the time to introduce yourself to your neighbors. Knowing each other typically leads to a greater perceived level of trust and comfort even if your relationship doesn’t grow.
- Observe the “Golden Rule”. Treat others as you would like to be treated. Set an example by being a good neighbor yourself.
- Be Respectful. Talk directly with the neighbor involved about a problem or situation. Do not Gossip, Respect other’s property and space, Clean up after you use common areas (Yard, Porch, Laundry machines), Abide by any House Rules or Lease Terms.
- Understand Differences. Don’t let differences in age, ethnicity or personal preferences lead to false expectations or misunderstandings. Work to understand your neighbors before engaging them.
- Be Considerate . If you have a need that may inconvenience your neighbor ask for permission or for their help. Asking shows respect and gives them the option to rightfully decline. If you do inconvenience your neighbor, approach them and apologize for the inconvenience and thank them for their understanding.
- Communicate. Do not assume your neighbors know your needs or situation. Talking with them regularly keeps them connected, informed and interested in your relationship with them.
- Return the Favor. If your neighbor helps you out, is lenient about an issue or is forgiving of a previous wrong be sure to extend the same to them. They will respect you and appreciate you returning the gesture.
Make a list of things other residents do that bother you, like playing loud music or jumping on the floor in upper-level apartments. Evaluate the list to see if you are doing any of these annoying things. If so, then stop, or at least try not to do them as often.
Thinking about not saying “Hi”? THINK AGAIN.
- You never get a second chance to make a first impression.
- Your introduction is a reflection of you and it says a lot about the type of person you are.
-Your introduction will make your neighbors want to have a relationship with you.
Being a Good Neighbor: Okay, So you Need to Address an Issue
- Be calm.
- See their point of view.
- Speak clearly and allow for explanation.
- Remain objective.
- Allow time for resolution. (its not instantaneous)
- Compromise when appropriate.
- Do not threaten.
- Do not address them at the height of your anger.
- Do not address a neighbor that is under the influence of a substance.
- Do not retaliate.
- Minimize or Inflate the issue(s)
You are more likely to get your neighbors cooperation if you phrase things in the form of a ‘request for help’.
Being a Good Neighbor: Laws in your Neighborhood
- The State of New York sets 21 as the minimum age to purchase or possess any alcoholic beverage.
- Possessing Alcohol under 21 or Fraudulent use of a driver’s license to buy alcohol are offenses that can result in fines and license suspension.
Ontario County: Social Hosting Law
- As a renter, it is unlawful for you to knowingly host, permit or allow a gathering at which there is the consumption of alcohol by minors.
- This offense is an unclassified misdemeanor and is punishable by a fine of $250 or imprisonment up to fifteen (15) days for the first offense.
Your landlord is not legally responsible for your action on their property. The violation of law can violate your lease.
The Student Code of Conduct applies to student behavior off campus. The violation of any law regarding alcohol or drugs is also a violation of FLCC Student Code of conduct and will be treated as a separate disciplinary matter by the college.
Phone: 585-394-2250 or 800-667-2287
ROUTE 1- Geneva City
ROUTE 2- Canandaigua City
ROUTE 3- Canandaigua/Victor
ROUTE 4- Canandaigua/Geneva via Rts. 5&20
ROUTE 5- Canandaigua/Geneva via Rts. 21&96
ROUTE 6- Canandaigua/Naples
ROUTE 7- Canandaigua/Bloomfield/Victor
ROUTES # 1,2,3,4,5
- Monday-Thursday 6:30am– 6:30pm
- Friday 6:30am– 8:30pm
- Saturday 9:30am– 8:30pm
- Sunday 9:30am– 6:30pm
- Monday-Thursday 6:30am– 6:30pm
- Friday 6:30am– 9:00pm
Dial-A-Ride service is available Monday thru Friday throughout Ontario County where fixed route service is not available.
Dial-A-Ride hours of operation are 7:00 am to 7:00 pm. Transportation is provided from your home to your destination or a connection with a fixed route.
Reservations should be phoned in between the hours of 9:00 am and 3:00 pm Monday thru Friday. Reservations MUST be made 24 hours in advance.
- Fixed Route $1
- Route Deviation $2
- Dial-A-Ride $5
- Unlimited Monthly pass $30
Buses operate on the routes according to the time schedules outlined in the C.A.T.S. brochure. Buses will stop anywhere along a fixed route (providing it is safe) when a rider “flags” (waves at) the driver, except on Main St., Canandaigua.
Printable schedules and Route Maps can be found on line: www.co.ontario.ny.us/transit/
In addition to federal and state law, your locale will have particular laws in place that govern the conduct of its residents. It is important to know and abide by the particular laws and ordinances for your town or city.
Typical Local Laws and Ordinances Include:
- Open Container Laws - Regarding alcohol consumption and areas where it is not permissible.
- Dog/Pet Control– Licensure and Enforcement - If you’re a pet owner, make sure you check up on this: leash laws, licensure and pet clean up and keeping
- Noise and Disturbance- There are actually “quiet hours” for communities.
- Parking - Look into this especially if you have street parking.
- Snow Removal - You may need to move vehicles during the winter.
- Garbage/Refuse/Recycling - Not all communities have a recycling program or trash pick up.
- Littering - Yeah...come on...don’t do it. Put it in a trash can.
- Zoning - Make sure you can have that porch swing, pet enclosure, BBQ smoker, or temporary pool. It may not violate your lease, but it may not be permissible in your community.
CITY OF CANANDAIGUA
2 North Main Street
Canandaigua, NY 14424
TOWN OF CANANDAIGUA
5440 Route 5&20 West
Canandaigua, NY 14424
TOWN OF GORHAM
4736 South Street
Gorham, NY 14461
TOWN OF HOPEWELL
2716 County Rd #47
Hopewell, NY 14424
(585)394-0036 ext. 3
Local laws may make you, the tenant, responsible for sidewalk and approach snow removal– check with your landlord and municipality.