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Questions Answered by James A. Greer
1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for California on
Q: buyer/owner 'A' can hold the seller liable for non-disclosure. Can husband, owner 'B' do the same?

OWNER/BUYER 'A' can sue seller for non-disclosure, Can husband, owner 'B' sue the seller as well?

James A. Greer
James A. Greer
answered on Jan 31, 2023

Dear Failure to Disclose Claimants: You asked if "owner B" has a right to join a claim against a Seller for a claim of non-disclosure. The first part of the analysis is quite straightforward: was Owner B a co-purchaser ? more particularly did Owner B sign the Purchase Contract ? In... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law and Construction Law for California on
Q: If people pay me to find them floor installers and to manage them the job do I need to be licensed, insured or anything?

I quote flooring installs in California, find someone to do the job (not my company or employees), charge a percentage of the job for finding a floorer to do the job and make sure the job is done right. I'm not a contractor or anything like that. I just connect homeowners with service... Read more »

James A. Greer
James A. Greer
answered on Jan 24, 2023

Dear Flooring Installation "Manager": This will not be a sugar-coated reply, and so for that I apologize; however, the conduct that you have described violates California State License Law as you are operating as a contractor without a license. "Finding someone to do the... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Consumer Law, Real Estate Law and Construction Law for California on
Q: What kind of lawyer do I need to hire?

I was served a lis pendens for something my contractor told me I didn't need to pay for. The manufacturer of the solar panels served me for non-payment, but I was advised by my contractor not to worry. I want to hire someone to protect myself and my house

James A. Greer
James A. Greer
answered on Jan 17, 2023

Dear Client with recorded Lis Pendens: To answer the question "what kind of lawyer" that you need, the answer is: a construction litigation lawyer. I am concerned on your behalf when you mention that the Solar Panel supplier "served me for non-payment" - this connotes that... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law and Contracts for Colorado on
Q: subcontractor put a Mechanics Lien on my property after I have paid full price to contractor I hired upon project done.

I only signed contract with the contractor and he is bankrupt now. what should I do?

James A. Greer
James A. Greer
answered on Jan 10, 2023

Dear Owner with Subcontractor Lien: The threshold question for proper legal analysis pertaining to the Subcontractor is whether or not the subcontractor sent to you, or tried to send to you, a certified mailing containing the proper notice that is required prior to recordation of a lien (it's... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Personal Injury, Construction Law, Landlord - Tenant and Small Claims for California on
Q: Dust got into my tenants unit from a roofer's work and now they are claiming damages of $20K+. Who's liable?

Hi, I am a landlord with a tenant who is trying to claim $20K of personal property damages after I hired a licensed/contracted roofer to do work. They are saying that the dust broke their computer and damaged some worn shoes. The roofers are trying to deny responsibility, but they did not require... Read more »

James A. Greer
James A. Greer
answered on Nov 14, 2022

Dear Landlord regarding Tenant Claim about dust intrusion: The tenant's claim is one for negligence, and goes something like this: it was reasonably foreseeable for the roofing contractor to know or reasonable should know that their construction work would result in dust intrusion and... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Civil Litigation, Construction Law and Contracts for California on
Q: I filed a complaint with the CSLB against a Contractor for shoddy work and breach of contract and it has been assigned

to mandatory, binding arbitration.

The Contractor is stating I still owe him the balance on the contract so he will not fix any issues until that is paid. The CSLB states that the same issues should not be filed in a civil suit but the Contractor has now filed a civil suit in Superior... Read more »

James A. Greer
James A. Greer
answered on Nov 14, 2022

CSLB Claim vs. Civil Suit: Your first inquiry is whether the construction contract has Arbitration as a dispute mechanism - if it does, within 30 days of service of the Civil Suit you should file a "Motion to Stay" the civil suit grounded on the argument that the parties are... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Construction Law for California on
Q: I own a franchise in California that sells Window treatments. I understand I have to use licensed contractors to do the

installation. Can I encourage the client use whoever I suggest? How does this work?

James A. Greer
James A. Greer
answered on Jul 11, 2022

Dear Franchise Owner: You asked about the protocol for your achieving a desired outcome of having your customers use your licensed contractors for the installation. If I can presume that you are selling BOTH the product AND the installation, then the answer os fairly straightforward: in your... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Construction Law for California on
Q: Construction: we are using a contractor who we’ve lost confidence in.

We have a major rebuild for which we have a construction loan. Our contractor rarely comes by our job site and the project is run primarily by his crew. There are many parts that have been poorly constructed. Including support beams that hold up our new roof. His invoices are emails that demand... Read more »

James A. Greer
James A. Greer
answered on May 12, 2022

Dear Major Rebuild With Contractor Troubles: these types of situations are tricky, and it's nearly impossible in this forum to issue out a set of instructions to you (this, from a 35 year attorney who is a developer and a licensed Contractor). You have overlays of Contractor's... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Divorce and Real Estate Law for California on
Q: Is there a legal document to allow one person on a mortgage to leave without liability or claim to future proceeds?

In Humboldt County, California, my daughter and son-in-law are about to divorce. They haven't filed yet. My son-in-law would like to stop making his half of mortgage payments immediately (they have separate bank accounts), and receive what is thought to be his half of the current equity in... Read more »

James A. Greer
James A. Greer
answered on Apr 25, 2022

Dear Property Split Questioner: Certainly a competent attorney could draft the Agreement that addresses the splitting of the equity in the house and the other particulars as to manner of division between these parties. However, the biggest challenge to the expressed "goal" of either/both... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Land Use & Zoning and Real Estate Law for California on
Q: How do I get rid of an easement that goes through both mine and neighbors properties? I want to separate properties

We bought home in December and easement was stated in our paperwork. The neighbor has prior history of harassing previous owners and we thought we would be different by trying to create friendship but this is not the case. She is now harassing my son. How do I null this easement and create a drive... Read more »

James A. Greer
James A. Greer
answered on Apr 18, 2022

Dear Easement Issue Owner: This issue is too "heady" for a brief reply on this forum. While we have MANY qualified attorneys whom participate in the JUSTIA system, I don't think any of us can make a thoughtful response to this issue without MUCH MORE information/documents/history.... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Contracts and Construction Law for Colorado on
Q: Need help interpreting a construction proposal agreement

After project completion contractor want to charge extra for changes made during construction to meet code. The agreement states that "Any additions, alterations, or deviation to this proposal involving extra costs, will be executed only upon written orders and will become an additional... Read more »

James A. Greer
James A. Greer
answered on Apr 16, 2022

Dear Owner Facing Post-Performance Claim for Extra Contractual Payment: Your question has two areas of focus, the issue of a post-performance claim for Extra Payment and the potential pursuit of indemnity for the extra charges as against your Design Professionals. First, with regard to the issue... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Colorado on
Q: I am a new property owner by inheritance. A property management firm had a contract with previous owner.

Is that contract still valid?

James A. Greer
James A. Greer
answered on Mar 3, 2022

Dear Inherited Property Owner: You asked if predecessor's contract for services (in this instance Property Management Services) is binding upon the heirs. The only way to answer this question is to examine the underlying contract entered into by your predecessors. If there is no contract,... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Colorado on
Q: I bought my condo based on the MLS listing it had central a/c, only to find out 3 months after closing it doesn't.

I hired my broker based on his expertise with first time home buyers. My inspector sent an email to both me and my agent warning that the unit had no a/c despite the online and MLS listings. I never saw the email, and my agent sent me a text telling me the inspection came out "pretty... Read more »

James A. Greer
James A. Greer
answered on Feb 28, 2022

Dear Purchaser: Your inquiry has to do with real estate negligence or malfeasance.

As to BUYER AGENT: if it were the case where you were NOT sent the Inspector's Report from your Agent or your Inspector, you would have an argument. However, insofar as the Agent will be able to show...
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for California on
Q: Real estate seller/owner financing, can you add any terms you want?

Can you have unusual terms in a promissory note such as 50-year-length amortization (most common being 30 years)? Are there any legal requirements around the terms of the promissory note or they can be creative as long as both parties agree to it?

James A. Greer
James A. Greer
answered on Jan 26, 2022

Dear PROMISSORY NOTE drafter: There are no required terms for a lawful promissory note, per se. There are, however, terms that would be advisable to include in EVERY promissory note.

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for California on
Q: can commercial landlord file lawsuit for a judgment for money owned? its not considered intimidation and harassment?

business exist for 16 years at the same location. we behind 3 month and continue making payments. Landlord treating to file a law suit for a personal judgment. Personal Credit will be ruined. Specially now / Covid -19, California.

James A. Greer
James A. Greer
answered on Jan 25, 2022

Dear Commercial Tenant: You asked if a Commercial Landlord can pursue recovery when a Commercial Tenant is "behind three months" on rent. The answer is that irrespective of commercial setting or residential setting, a Landlord may pursue recovery for back rent (including a lawsuit if... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Construction Law and Contracts for California on
Q: Contract Fraud - Can I be sued for misrepresentation/contract fraud even tho I printed a disclosure on the contract.

Worked as Unlicensed Contractor, and printed disclaimers/disclosures of "NOT A LICENSED CONTRACTOR" on all Quotes and Invoices. The Plaintiff/Customer claims he was unaware that we weren't licensed. Sent customer 3 quotes and 3 invoices all with the disclosure printed on them. I... Read more »

James A. Greer
James A. Greer
answered on Jan 10, 2022

Dear Unlicensed Contractor: You asked if you can "be sued for fraud" for having operated without a license despite placing "disclosures" of such on your invoices. Unfortunately, making "disclosures" on your paperwork does not obviate the requirement that you have... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Construction Law for California on
Q: I did a repair job and completed it, is the person I did it for required to pay me even if I contracted the job out?
James A. Greer
James A. Greer
answered on Dec 12, 2021

Dear Repair Tradesperson: The scenario you identify is a typical Contractor-Subcontractor arrangement, whereby you (Contractor) obtain the project and subcontract it out. There are some nuances regarding licensure and what was placed in writing between you and the Owner, but without that... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Contracts and Real Estate Law for California on
Q: Can the sellers cancel a counteroffer contract after both buyers and sellers have signed?

The buyers sent an offer to the sellers through their agent. The sellers sent a counteroffer. The buyers agreed to the counteroffer and signed the contract. The buyers agent sent the signed contract to the sellers agent via email.

The following day, the seller verbally told their agent... Read more »

James A. Greer
James A. Greer
answered on Nov 22, 2021

Dear Buyer of "cancelled" Purchase Contract: The moment the Buyer delivers an executed Counter-Offer a BINDING CONTRACT FOR SALE is formed. Seller will try and position that the "delivery" was not effective because Seller's Agent failed to look at her email. Buyer will... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for California on
Q: What can I do if the buyer of a property is refusing to sign the cancelation of escrow? I do not have money foralawsuit

I have extended his closing date many, many times but he has not deposit any funds in the escrow company. He has an attorney and every time we ask for the money, he keeps saying that he is going to file a lawsuit against the seller, realtor, and escrow company. I DO NOT HAVE MONEY FOR ATTORNEYS... Read more »

James A. Greer
James A. Greer
answered on Oct 4, 2021

Seller Seeking Earnest Money: In a standard California Real Estate Contract you are FIRST required to seek resolution by filing for Mediation before either party can resort to litigation. Mediation is reasonably costed and does not technically require that you engage an attorney to represent you.... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Colorado on
Q: Is unpermitted work during a house flip required material fact for disclosure in the sale/purchase process in Denver, CO

I recently bought a house that I have found out does not have permits pulled for any of the flip work that was done and this was not disclosed during the sale process. I am now having multiple problems only a few months later and need to know if unpermitted work is a required material fact needing... Read more »

James A. Greer
James A. Greer
answered on Sep 26, 2021

Dear Home Purchaser: Material facts need to be disclosed. And, unpermitted work MAY rise to the level of materiality. However, it depends on the nature, scope and type of unpermitted work. If the problems you are experiencing are directly related to the unpermitted work, and if knowledge that this... Read more »

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