Copyright (c) 2008 North Carolina Law Review Association
North Carolina Law Review
A TRIBUTE TO PROFESSOR JOHN O. CALMORE: THE RIGHT TO REMAIN: COMMON LAW PROTECTIONS FOR SECURITY OF TENURE: AN ESSAY IN HONOR OF JOHN OTIS CALMORE*
86 N.C.L. Rev. 817
Florence Wagman Roisman**
Insecurity of tenure plagues millions of households in the United States, particularly those who rent their homes and those who own manufactured homes but rent the land upon which the homes are sited. 2 While a relatively small set of wealthy renters have enough market power to obtain the security they want from the landowner, and a relatively small set of renters live in jurisdictions that have legislatively provided some security of tenure, most renters in the United States are dependent upon the common law for any rights they may have in this regard. 3
In the mid-twentieth century, the judicial system took great strides in developing such protections, but progress stalled short of establishing a general principle of security of tenure for renters in the United States. Curiously, the problem was not that courts rejected such advances or that legal doctrine was inhospitable; rather, advocates simply stopped asking the courts to continue the logical and natural doctrinal development that already had begun. 4 Aspects of security of tenure were litigated, and the general principle of security of tenure was pursued legislatively, but the general principle of security of tenure was not advanced in the courts. 5
This Article calls for a renewed litigation approach to recognition of the principle that renters - those who rent homes and those who rent the land upon which their homes are sited - are entitled to security of tenure, that is, that the landowner cannot terminate a tenancy absent ...
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