Real Estate Law Questions & Answers by State

Real Estate Law Questions & Answers

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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Q: Is a contract of sale listing a deceased person as seller valid in MD, or should the contract list the seller as "the es

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Maryland on Oct 21, 2014

Answered on Oct 30, 2014

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Thomas C. Valkenet's answer
If a person is dead, then the right to sell his property belongs to his estate. And only a Personal Representative may enter contracts on behalf of the Estate. More importantly, only the Personal Representative can sign a deed or contract passing title to the property to the buyer.

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Q: Purchasing a home in Maryland. My agent asked for a copy of my trust. The property will be titled in our family's trust.

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Maryland on Oct 21, 2014

Answered on Oct 30, 2014

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Thomas C. Valkenet's answer
While you may not want the agent to see it, the bank loaning money and the insurers will need to see it. You are correct that it is a private document, but even private documents must be shared to prove the status of a person or entity. Do you just want others to take your word for what the trust document says?

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Q: What is heirs property or estate of property?

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Florida on Oct 22, 2014

Answered on Oct 27, 2014

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Robert Jason De Groot's answer
You probably have to take your things and leave. Go see an attorney.

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