Real Estate Law Questions & Answers by State

Real Estate Law Questions & Answers

Q: Can a licensed agent take a large finders fee for a sale with a client?

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Florida on Nov 20, 2014

Answered on Nov 21, 2014

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Robert Jason De Groot's answer
This does not sound right to me, but I do not know enough facts and cannot get you to answer questions that I have on this forum. The best thing to do is go see a real estate attorney in your area.

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Q: I hold the mortgage on a house, and the owners now want to pay it off. Do I need a lawyer?

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for New York on Nov 10, 2014

Answered on Nov 15, 2014

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James K. Riley's answer
You may not need a lawyer but the persons who owe the money and are paying it off may need one more and require a lot of legal protection. You have to give them a written "mortgage satisfaction" which is a notarized legal document that states that the mortgage and mortgage indebtedness has been paid off in full and further that you never sold or assigned the rights to the mortgage to any other person or entity. This is a legal document which must be filed in the Office of the County Clerk...

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Q: M-I-L transferred title on her home to my husband. He died without a will. Can I transfer ownership back to her?

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Texas on Nov 10, 2014

Answered on Nov 10, 2014

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Nancy Hui's answer
What you described is that your mother In law has the life estate and your husband has the remainderman interest. You have to see how the deed is written. It may say who is the successor remainderman if your husband does not survive her. But regardless, you do not have the authority to deed it back to your mother in law because there is never any interest passed down to you.

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Q: I'm selling a house which a family member is currently living in for free, no lease, & refuse to vacate. What can I do?

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Pennsylvania on Nov 3, 2014

Answered on Nov 6, 2014

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Mark Scoblionko's answer
Although you say there is no lease, it sounds like there is actually an oral month-to-month lease, as I gather that, at some point, permission was given to the person to live there. The fact that the person is living there without paying rent does not mean that there is no lease. If you are the owner, you can send written notice to end the oral lease in thirty days. At that point, if the person still refuses to leave, you need to file suit before the applicable magistrate for "ejectment."...

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Q: If I back out because the seller won't make some changes I requested on inspection addendum, can they keep my earnest $?

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Maryland on Apr 27, 2014

Answered on Oct 30, 2014

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Thomas C. Valkenet's answer
It depends on how your contingency in the contract documents reads. It would be silly, for instance, to allow folks to dump a contract for minor things. But you won't get the answer you need unless someone actually reads your documents and compare them to the chain of communication and documents dealing with the inspection and requested repairs.

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Q: My neighbor put a fence in my yard which was damaged who is responsible?

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Maryland on May 30, 2014

Answered on Oct 30, 2014

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Thomas C. Valkenet's answer
This is a very common issue we see in our title insurance litigation practice involving adverse possession, trespass and injunctive relief. Seek a court order to protect you before exercising self-help to remove the fence. It is safest to have a judge declare your rights in an order that will be in the public record forever.

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Q: In MD, do I need to disclose a foundation repair that occurred in 2011. No foundations issues since repair.

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Maryland on May 27, 2014

Answered on Oct 30, 2014

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Thomas C. Valkenet's answer
If you use the standard MAR contract, you can choose to sell "as is," or you must fill out the full disclosure form.

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Q: Can my HOA force me to remove solar panels from my roof? I live in the state of Maryland.

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Maryland on Jun 6, 2014

Answered on Oct 30, 2014

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Thomas C. Valkenet's answer
Maryland has protected a homeowner's right to install solar panels for years. Whether your situation fits within the statute depends on the details of your situation.

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Q: i recently bought a house and the roof is leaky. the inspector missed it and he says he has a clause in contract can i

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Maryland on Jun 9, 2014

Answered on Oct 30, 2014

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Thomas C. Valkenet's answer
Your rights flow from the contract. Nobody can give you advise like this without reading the contract documents.

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Q: My sister has a house the she has a mortgage on. She wants my name to go on the deed.

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Maryland on Jun 19, 2014

Answered on Oct 30, 2014

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Thomas C. Valkenet's answer
You may do that, easily. But you must understand that the entire home remains encumbered by her mortgage even after you add your name. You won't be personally liable on the note, but the house is responsible for the lien.

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Q: Can buyers sue us for inspection and survey costs after they backed out of contract?

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Maryland on Jul 19, 2014

Answered on Oct 30, 2014

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Thomas C. Valkenet's answer
This is a common issue, and it largely depends on the language of your contract. Are you using a standard Board of Realtors document? You must have someone read this and review on your behalf. How about your agent?

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Q: Neighbors new HVAC unit over the property line

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Maryland on Jul 22, 2014

Answered on Oct 30, 2014

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Thomas C. Valkenet's answer
Possibly, although "permission" destroys adverse use. If you allow this, have a written agreement to demonstrate this continuing permission to future owners of both properties. A nominal rent might be included. But your neighbor should be wary of zoning laws that require set backs for A/C units. And it may violate HOA rules, too.

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Q: I have drug addict squatters paying rent to the disabled owner who took off to kentucky How can I get them out?

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Maryland on Sep 16, 2014

Answered on Oct 30, 2014

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Thomas C. Valkenet's answer
People paying rent to the owner are not squatters. But if the drug use amounts to a nuisance, you may have a right to sue the owner and the tenants. You might also complain to the police.

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Q: Neighbor claiming some of our yard that is fenced in is his, Fence has been there for 20 + years we just purchased house

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Maryland on Sep 18, 2014

Answered on Oct 30, 2014

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Thomas C. Valkenet's answer
You may have a counterclaim for adverse possession. As the new owner, you get to add the prior owner's time of possession to yours. But this is not self enforcing. You must take the claim to court if it cannot be negotiated. Did you have a survey done? Have you made claim on your title insurance?

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Q: Can I sell my property in Somerset County, MD without redeeming it?

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Maryland on Sep 30, 2014

Answered on Oct 30, 2014

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Thomas C. Valkenet's answer
You have not identified what needs redemption, a tax lien? A mortgage that is in default?

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Q: Homeowners right for For Sale sign

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Maryland on Sep 30, 2014

Answered on Oct 30, 2014

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Thomas C. Valkenet's answer
While you own the lot or dwelling you may have a for sale sign on the lot or dwelling until the settlement.

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Q: Were we to make it to the 20 year point in Maryland, would we have a case for adverse possession?

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Maryland on Oct 11, 2014

Answered on Oct 30, 2014

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Thomas C. Valkenet's answer
Based on your facts in this question, the answer is "no." And you are not entitled to compensation, either, as a volunteer. We have had cases like this where a neighbor's land fell into disrepair an damaged our client's property. That leads to a lawsuit for nuisance and money damages. You can also sue to compel the neighbor to fix dangerous conditions. In our case, we sued the foreclosing bank that took over the house but did nothing with it. You can also call the city/county and have the...

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Q: How I may add mine name to the deed of the house under mine husband name.we buy a house inside are marriage.

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Maryland on Oct 17, 2014

Answered on Oct 30, 2014

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Thomas C. Valkenet's answer
This is very easy. It simply requires a new deed signed by both of you.

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Q: County expanding road into right of way in "our" yard

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Maryland on Oct 16, 2014

Answered on Oct 30, 2014

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Thomas C. Valkenet's answer
This is an interesting issue we have seen often in our title insurance practice. Only a review of the plats and your title documents will inform a lawyer of the County's rights and yours. If the roadway is being expanded to fill an existing right of way, then it is not a "taking." If the roadway is being expanded outside the scope of the County right of way, then condemnation is necessary. I have seen folks lose half their yards and drives because they did not understand the difference...

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Q: I just received paperwork for an entry of the order for judgement of possession. What can I do?

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Maryland on Oct 20, 2014

Answered on Oct 30, 2014

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Thomas C. Valkenet's answer
Call the moving truck because this is the very, very last step in a foreclosure. The next step is for the sheriff to come and evict you. It is best to contact the new owner and schedule a move out date.

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