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Questions Answered by James Alan Greer
1 Answer | Asked in Civil Litigation and Construction Law for California on
Q: hello.on 11/20/2020 my husband contracted with a company to install chair lift in our home. at the time measurements

were taken and a 2k deposit given. the owner told my husband that the parts would not be at their warehouse until end of jan or first couple weeks in feb. my husband subsequently became deceased on 12/10 .i phoned and advised the owner of my husband's death and that i wished to cancel his... Read more »

James Alan Greer
James Alan Greer answered on Apr 25, 2021

Chairlift Cancellation: We always first start with analyzing the contract language, and so in this instance would be interested in examining any sort of "cancellation" provisions. If none, then we would need to look to case law, and the focus is on "impossibility to perform"... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for California on
Q: Does the purchase of an easement give the purchaser a controlling interest in an undivided property?
James Alan Greer
James Alan Greer answered on Mar 7, 2021

Easement Questioner: The purchase of an Easement does NOT, in a routine setting, grant to the new Easement-holder any rights superior to the prior Easement-holder. In other words, the Easement-holder may only enforce the rights granted by the Easement. Review your easement and the contents therein... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Civil Litigation, Construction Law and Contracts for Colorado on
Q: If a homeowner was getting a really great deal on upgrades to his home and he breached contract

Can the person that provided the service sue for market value of work completed in the home.

James Alan Greer
James Alan Greer answered on Feb 26, 2021

Question on remedy in light of an anticipatory breach of contract: So long as there was a valid and executed written contract, the remedy for the contractor is twofold:

(a) the value of the percentage of completed work as measured by the contract price (and not the so-called "market...
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2 Answers | Asked in Business Formation, Business Law and Construction Law for California on
Q: Would forming an LLC or Corporation be better for a person who wants to start their own General Contracting Company?

I want to become a first time business owner and was wondering which would suite me the best in terms of taxes, protection, and future costs? I am planning to elect to file taxes under S-Corp subsection for either of these business entities that I am willing to go with.

James Alan Greer
James Alan Greer answered on Feb 21, 2021

Dear General Contractor with "entity formation" question: You asked which type of entity formation would be the best in the state of California for a company intending to operate as a licensed General Contractor under the auspices of the Contractors State License board... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law and Contracts for California on
Q: 2nd Time Asking - Excessive water bill in rental due to landscaping irrigation. Who is responsible for this excess use?

I have been renting a house since September and the property management company conveyed a concern from the owner that I was made aware of the high cost of utilities, stating the water bill is 350-400 in the summer months. This was also stated in an addendum to the lease that I signed. There have... Read more »

James Alan Greer
James Alan Greer answered on Dec 28, 2020

Dear Menifee Lessee: You have asked about responsibility for excessive water bills, as between the Lessee or the Lessor. From the description of your question there seems to have been "notice" to Lessee but at a $350-$400 level, whereas you have indicated that you are seeing bills... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Colorado on
Q: When/how should an easement be disclosed by sellers or title company? Are easements strictly the buyers responsibility?

Easement was not disclosed by owners. Easement was noted in single document received at the closing table. No details given, only naming who easement was granted to, and skimmed over. After much research easement is .25 acres of property restricting use substantially (we can plant grass, no... Read more »

James Alan Greer
James Alan Greer answered on Dec 18, 2020

Dear Buyer: If I understand your description of the facts, your Seller had knowledge of an Easement for sewer line across the Subject Property which restricts your expected use. A claim against the Seller is called "Failure to Disclose" and is in the nature of a fraud claim. The... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Construction Law for California on
Q: For a $50k job can a contractor have an escrow co. ask for/hold the entire $50k vs asking for a $1k deposit to go around

For a $50k job can a contractor have an escrow co. ask for/hold the entire $50k vs asking for a $1k deposit to go around Business & Professions Code 7159. Therefor the contractor is not asking for the whole payment upfront but an escrow company with specific instruction on when to release... Read more »

James Alan Greer
James Alan Greer answered on Dec 8, 2020

Dear "Unlawful Deposit" Inquirer: This is an interesting question, and in honesty the only real "authority" on the correct/authorized answer would be an investigative personnel at the CSLB (Contractors State License Board). Nevertheless, I'll use 30+ years experience in... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law for California on
Q: We bough a property to flip. We remodeled and added. One neighbor that owns a lot next to our house is scaring buyers.

What can we do to stop a neighbor that is passing misinformation about utilities?

James Alan Greer
James Alan Greer answered on Oct 22, 2020

Dear Neighbor Dispute Client: The simple reply to your inquiry is to start with a Cease And Desist letter, wherein you identify with specificity the utterances made by the neighbor to prospective purchasers along with approximate dates, and make legal demand for the neighbor to stop said... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Colorado on
Q: can i get out of an easement agreement house sold 1 mo ago way too binding on my use of my own property Sara Passarelli
James Alan Greer
James Alan Greer answered on Oct 18, 2020

Dear Property Owner With Easement: A standard easement is a recorded document that is binding on both owners (both the "servient" and the "dominant" parcel owners), and an easement "runs with the land" (meaning, attaches to the property and impacts all future owners... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law for Colorado on
Q: If the seller and their RE agent were aware of foundation issues, are they legally bound to report them?

Seller was executor, however we also learned for the past 10 years they have been the sole caregiver for the property (replacing roof, electric, etc). We came across someone previously under contract who provided the estimate they received for foundation work. Are they legally bound to... Read more »

James Alan Greer
James Alan Greer answered on Sep 29, 2020

Dear Disclosure Issue Questioner: To try and clarify, if by the phrase "someone previously under contract" you mean that a different potential buyer had obtained a professional's estimate to perform foundation repairs ? and if you are certain that estimate was supplied to the... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for California on
Q: Can I sell my house in California with unpermirred work

Want to sell my house because I am being harassed by city for unpermitted work

James Alan Greer
James Alan Greer answered on Sep 21, 2020

Dear Unpermitted Work with Code Compliance Notice: Short answer is yes you can still sell your residence but BE VERY WARNED that you MUST DISCLOSE everything about the unpermitted work, every document you have received from city (all departments, don't leave out anything). Just make sure your... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Real Estate Law for California on
Q: Paying off my parent's mortgage and putting the title under my name

My parents, who are in their 80's still paying mortgage on house. What is involved for me to pay off the mortgage and putting the title under my name so my parents do not have to worry about this anymore?

James Alan Greer
James Alan Greer answered on Sep 12, 2020

Dear Daughter/Son inquiring about assisting parents: To achieve your objectives (title transfer and lump sum mortgage payment) IRRESPECTIVE OF TAX RAMIFICATIONS, you'll need to: (a) determine the name and payment address of Lender and send lump sum final payment, (b) have attorney draft... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law for California on
Q: Newly purchased house found to have broken/fallen foundation. During escrow I paid a foundation contractor for estimate

He missed this huge issue with the foundation. We decided to buy thinking his 10K estimate for bolting and crack repair was all the more needed to spend. Now, we're looking at 30K to 80k for serious repairs (piers for foundation support). Also, there's a leak from the kitchen drain... Read more »

James Alan Greer
James Alan Greer answered on Sep 8, 2020

Dear Foundation Issue Client: I'll make an effort to guide you, but the analysis of your potential claims are very much driven by the documentation that you have or don't have as the case may be). As to your Seller: you might have a potential "Failure to Disclose" claim if the... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Contracts and Construction Law for Colorado on
Q: Can a contractor charge me additional money after I paid the invoice in full?

A subcontractor "forgot" about additional charges over a week later and now the subcontractor is trying to charge me additional money.

I am the owner, and was told that the job was paid in full. Now, a week after, they are charging more money with no itemized bill.

James Alan Greer
James Alan Greer answered on Sep 1, 2020

Dear Questioner facing extra-contractual charges: I am unclear if you are the Contractor or the Owner in the description you provided. However, while there would be nuances in my legal analysis and recommendations depending upon your respective "role", the basic answer remains the same.... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law for California on
Q: Selling hse as tare dwn

if I sell the house as a tear down and they don't tear down house can I get them for more money

James Alan Greer
James Alan Greer answered on Aug 30, 2020

Dear Tear-Down Seller: I am not clear by your question if you are in the marketing analysis stage or if you are actually under contract. If you are under contract then the reply to your question is: no, a Seller (you) has no right to ask for an increase in sales price once you are under contract... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law for California on
Q: After buying my condo in September 2019, it seems that there are extensive repairs that need to be done to the property.

The home inspection was incomplete and my agent did not due her due diligence. What can I do?

James Alan Greer
James Alan Greer answered on Aug 27, 2020

Dear Condo Owner: Your description of "discovery" of extensive repairs needed at your condo purchased 09/2019 appears to require the further analysis of a skilled attorney, because you have potential "Failure To Disclose" claim agains the Seller and "Failure to... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law and Landlord - Tenant for California on
Q: I'm purchasing a property that requires owner occupancy, but property has 2 tenants with leases until next year.

I'm purchasing a property that requires owner occupancy, but property has 2 tenants with leases until next year. I have 60 days to owner occupy. How can I legally occupy the home within 60 days when the tenants have contracts in place?

James Alan Greer
James Alan Greer answered on Aug 26, 2020

Dear Owner Occupier: if you are certain that physical occupancy is required (which seems the case), then what we have done on behalf of owners in several similar instances is to negotiate a "buy out" the leases, whereby we explain your situation to the tenants ask them to consider our... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Construction Law for California on
Q: Can I fight a law not allowing me to put a shade.

There is an ordinance in my city that says I have a 25’setback. I only have a 30’ driveway. I need something to help keep my house cooler and help my home become more energy efficient. Is the city obligated to give me some type of solution?

James Alan Greer
James Alan Greer answered on Aug 26, 2020

Dear California SET BACK LAW questioner: The 25 foot set back precludes erection of a building structure but typically does not preclude, for example, an arbor or a shade sail or retractable awning. If you construct one of these examples above your sun-facing windows that may offer relief. You... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law and Construction Law for Colorado on
Q: County wants us to get a permit for basement finish from 2006 which was two owners ago.

They tell me I need to pay 650 dollars to make our home legal. We have a coo.

James Alan Greer
James Alan Greer answered on Aug 26, 2020

Dear County Compliance questioner: I'm afraid that your defense "it's been unlawful for a long time" is not adequate for you to avoid the Colorado Municipal Law pertaining to the County's jurisdiction over unpermiited structures. To perhaps smooth over your anguish about... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Colorado on
Q: Iif a hot water pipe runs in the walls and in another unit, other. The than one it feeds, who is responsible? Hoa/owner

Pipe is leaking due to original install practices.

Outside of "unit" or "air space" of feeding unit.

Located in wet wall below the subfloor for my unit.

Discovered by downstairs unit during remodel.

Feeds my kitchen sink but pipe travels through... Read more »

James Alan Greer
James Alan Greer answered on Aug 26, 2020

Dear Condo Owner with leaking plumbing pipe: If I am reading your question accurately, you have a situation where a water sourcing copper pipe that is leaking and caused damage to your flooring and possibly to downstairs neighbor, and you want to know if you or the HOA is responsible. Here's... Read more »

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