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Questions Answered by James A. Greer
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 »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for California on
Q: What do I need to file to see a judge to release a lien?

My dad left me a 1960's single wide he purchased in 1995.

The loan was a 5 year loan and he was proud of it being paid off. Now when I'm trying to get/ transfer the title I find the lien holder is still on the title. Lien holder is no longer in this business. What do I need to... Read more »

James A. Greer
James A. Greer answered on Sep 16, 2021

Expired Mortgage Lien Claimant: The "judge" route will be an action filed in your jurisdiction's Superior Court - difficult in this situation, not based on the law or the facts (that's the easy part of your claim), but in trying show "proof of service" in connection... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law and Landlord - Tenant for Colorado on
Q: I have entered in a lease to buy option with my landlord and now he does not want to sell after signing contract.

I have been running my business for 2.5yrs now… I called my landlord to notify him that I would like to purchase the building as stated in our lease contract… but he said he does not want to sell… what will I do if he don’t sell it to me? I have paid Rent, property tax and insurance every... Read more »

James A. Greer
James A. Greer answered on Sep 7, 2021

Dear Lessee With Option To Purchase: The best and most urgent advice I can give you is (1) read the lease and understand the manner in which you must "exercise" the Option, then (2) exercise the Option in that manner (normally, with a written notification, sometimes via certified mail).... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for California on
Q: What type of Attorney litigates Real Estate Easements problems in California?
James A. Greer
James A. Greer answered on Sep 1, 2021

Easement Issue: you'd be looking for a Real Estate attorney with experience in litigation, and background in development/realty/construction.

JIM GREER is an attorney licensed to practice in CA and CO and has specialized in real estate and construction matters for the past 34 years;...
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law and Land Use & Zoning for California on
Q: We live on a private road I put a fence along the road in 2002. Neighbor wants me to move the fence. what are my options

private road in a community with an hoa that does not collect dues or enforce ccr's, road has a not a county maintained road sign on it. Fence went up in 2002 and the posts have not been moved since along with landscaping and improvements retaining walls and concrete.

James A. Greer
James A. Greer answered on Aug 31, 2021

Dear HOA Member: My best recommendation in these situations is to obtain the names and email addresses of all the members of the HOA. Then notify them that you would like to call a Special Meeting (or, alternatively, ask the Board to call a Special Meeting if a Board is in place). The agenda for... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Business Law, Civil Litigation, Construction Law and Small Claims for California on
Q: I did some concrete work for a contractor and he says the home owner is refusing to pay. How do I get my money ?

Contractor says I need to file a lien on the homeowner but I’m not sure who is responsible when generally I’d be paid by the contractor.

James A. Greer
James A. Greer answered on Aug 27, 2021

Dear Unpaid Subcontractor: Your options for getting paid are two-fold: (A) a breach of contract claim against the General Contractor and/or (B) a mechanic's lien processing against the Homeowner. Clearly, you are not "required" to pursue the Homeowner (as intimated by the GC)... Read more »

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 A. Greer
James A. 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 A. Greer
James A. 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 A. Greer
James A. 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 A. Greer
James A. 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 A. Greer
James A. 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 A. Greer
James A. 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 A. Greer
James A. 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 A. Greer
James A. 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 A. Greer
James A. 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 A. Greer
James A. 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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