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Questions Answered by Thomas C. Valkenet
3 Answers | Asked in Civil Litigation, Contracts and Real Estate Law for Maryland on
Q: 3 siblings inherit home 2 want to sell 1 doesn't. What are our options

Home in hyattsville.

Thomas C. Valkenet
Thomas C. Valkenet
answered on Jan 10, 2024

The answer partly depends on what you mean by "inherit." More specifically, in whose name is the deed? That/those person(s) are the owners. If by "inherit" you mean a Will describes intention, but a new deed has not issued from the Estate, that is a different analysis.... View More

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2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law, Construction Law and Environmental for Maryland on
Q: In the state of Maryland, Can you purchase a home and occupy that home knowing there is a failed septic?

Wicomico County,Md/ Also we will have a portta potty/ as well as trying to get a water reuse permit. We also will be using owner finance.

Thomas C. Valkenet
Thomas C. Valkenet
answered on Dec 8, 2023

You are confusing two concepts. You might be physically able to occupy the premises, but perhaps not without governmental response. Without septic the property will not have a Use & Occupancy Certificate. The property will not pass any septic inspection called for in the real estate contract,... View More

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2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law, Estate Planning and Probate for Maryland on
Q: sisters want to sell a house they inherited, one wants reimbursed for paying the mortgage before the sale is that legal?

Two sisters inherited a house, one is the executor of the will. They both wish to sell the house but the executor payed the mortgage for the last two months out of pocket instead of out of the estate funds. She now wants reimbursed saying there were no estate funds only the bequeathments as set by... View More

Thomas C. Valkenet
Thomas C. Valkenet
answered on Dec 5, 2023

Yes. The sister can petition the court to remove the Personal Representative, who is not doing the job properly. There is no reason to pay a mortgage if the estate is insolvent. It just means the house must be sold. The bank will get all its money at settlement, if the price is high enough. The... View More

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3 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning, Real Estate Law and Probate for Maryland on
Q: Is it legal for the executor of an estate to force a benificiary to pay for a mortgage on a house they inherited?

Two sisters inherited a house with a mortgage now one sister wants the other sister to quit claim deed the house. Said sister is also the executor of the estate and is forcing my wife to either pay half the mortgage or quit claim on said house

Thomas C. Valkenet
Thomas C. Valkenet
answered on Dec 5, 2023

"inheritance" doesn't mean the bank loan is forgiven. It must be either paid off from Estate funds, or refinanced by the person inheriting the property. A "quitclaim" deed (one without the usual warranties of title) means the mortgage lien/loan obligations of the dead... View More

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1 Answer | Asked in Business Formation and Business Law for Connecticut on
Q: Can a thirdparty own part of an asset under an LLC without owning part of the LLC ?

I'm building 2 software products with 1 partner. We want to house both products under one LLC. For one of the products we reached an agreement for distribution with a third party, but the third party wants part ownership to that software since they'll be playing a key role in how we... View More

Thomas C. Valkenet
Thomas C. Valkenet
answered on Dec 4, 2023

There are a variety of options for sharing intellectual property rights. The existence of an LLC is not necessary. You don't even have to share ownership of the existing LLC. It is easy enough to allocate profits and losses from the sale and distribution of a product in a written agreement, or... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law, Civil Litigation and Municipal Law for Maryland on
Q: My neighborhood was left out of the HOA somehow and the resident agent won't let us be apart of it

Hello.

So my neighborhood was built in the 80s. My grandmother is the homeowner. We've both been here since 1993. Recently, I decided to seek out help with establishing an HOA because the potholes are getting out of hand, amongst other issues. I found out that our neighborhood plat has... View More

Thomas C. Valkenet
Thomas C. Valkenet
answered on Dec 4, 2023

You describe an interesting issue- assuming the historical documents show an intention to include your mother's property in an HOA regime, but was omitted, can the HOA be compelled to admit her property. This will take any lawyer experienced in this area of title law several hours of research... View More

2 Answers | Asked in Contracts, Estate Planning, Family Law and Real Estate Law for Maryland on
Q: If a prenup disposes of real property must it be recorded

Our prenup gives me a life estate if my husband predeceases me, assuming I continue to pay the mortgage. Do we need to record notice of the life estate?

Thomas C. Valkenet
Thomas C. Valkenet
answered on Nov 3, 2023

Your prenup is statement of intention. Only a recorded deed can pass an interest in land, or create a life-estate. For years our Firm has litigated this issue because the family law lawyers often don’t know how to handle the real property side of a separation agreement. It’s not hard, but it... View More

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1 Answer | Asked in Land Use & Zoning and Real Estate Law for Maryland on
Q: real estate question

a license agreement was enacted well after a shed was placed on family property, adjacent to my mothers and fathers. License agreement stated that my mother and father could occupy and use the property and that agreement would terminate upon the sale of the house. The house just sold and we have... View More

Thomas C. Valkenet
Thomas C. Valkenet
answered on Sep 17, 2023

The license agreement likely includes language acknowledging the true owner, and stating that permission was then extended to maintain the shed. All this prevents adverse possession from running. In MD, "permission" continued until revoked. And the license can be terminated as per its... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Maryland on
Q: Can you help me fight and win charges that are being incurred to me for repairs at my Condo that Insurance should pay?

The former Management Company (Community Association Management, LLC.) at my Condo in Mcdonogh Township/The Lodge section mismanaged the Property and now the buildings are unsafe. A Unit owner who is leader of the HOA (Home Owners Association) took it upon himself to fire the Community... View More

Thomas C. Valkenet
Thomas C. Valkenet
answered on Sep 6, 2023

Most of your question involves "governance" of the HOA. I'm sure you are familiar with the by-laws, rules and statutes that dictate how management is conducted, and how leadership can be changed. Are you a Board member? Perhaps you should be.

The courts give the Board great...
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1 Answer | Asked in Elder Law and Real Estate Law for Maryland on
Q: Query regarding seller protections, sale of home to "investors" like MarketPro, Open Door, Express Home Buyers, et al.

Maryland senior citizen hoping to receive some expert information regarding the regulations concerning such entities as MarketPro, as such a transaction may provide an escape route in my current dilemma that traditional realtors seem unable to offer. I have done some preliminary research, but have... View More

Thomas C. Valkenet
Thomas C. Valkenet
answered on Sep 5, 2023

Without a professional (lawyer or broker), you have very little protections. This type of entity preys on distressed sellers to scrape as much of the equity as is possible. They often ignore the consumer protection that is built into existing statutes and local ordinances by treating yours as a... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Maryland on
Q: Is a seller required to inform a buyer about mice infestation if they did have an actual knowledge?

The day after settlement I hired a pest exterminator to take care of coach roaches on the property and he found two mice and evidence of foam sealant for mice however the seller never disclosed.

I don't know if there is infestation yet, but I would like to know what Maryland law says about this?

Thomas C. Valkenet
Thomas C. Valkenet
answered on Aug 29, 2023

As you describe the situation, the evidence seems minimal. You don't say where the property is located. For example, in the City, mice will move from neighbor to neighbor, as one exterminates. Also, there are alternate reasons to use foam to fill voids-- energy conservation. It is one of the... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Maryland on
Q: If I were to bury a cremated family member on personal property, does the property need to continue paying property tax?
Thomas C. Valkenet
Thomas C. Valkenet
answered on Aug 28, 2023

The two concepts are not at all related. First, in Maryland there is no restriction on where human ash may be scattered. You only need permission if on private property. They really are no different than the ashes from your BBQ grill, and there is no tax break for scattering the ashes from your... View More

2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law and Land Use & Zoning for Maryland on
Q: If land is considered farm land and a portion is wanted to place a home on does the land need to be surveyed?

How does the land go from being taxed as farm land to residential taxes?

Thomas C. Valkenet
Thomas C. Valkenet
answered on Aug 15, 2023

In what State and County? Your question deals with issues of local subdivision rules, State taxation rules, and local zoning laws. The act of surveying land is performed in service to issues raised by any one or all of these bodies of law. All good questions, but ones best asked while sitting... View More

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1 Answer | Asked in Business Formation, Business Law and Real Estate Law for Maryland on
Q: I am a new real estate agent serving Maryland. Is the use of the word “Realty” prohibited in my business name?

I am a new real estate agent. Got my license back in March 2022 but am just now actively pursuing real estate. Currently a solo agent at Samson Properties serving Maryland only but would like to get licensed in DC and VA as well.

As advised I’ve created an LLC (Carla Clemente Realty)... View More

Thomas C. Valkenet
Thomas C. Valkenet
answered on May 26, 2023

Welcome to the Club! I am also a licensed Maryland Broker, and our Law Firm owns a separate brokerage.

You may use the word "Realty" in your entity name. Review the ethics rules of your local, State and National associations for how you may portray yourself. For instance, you mut...
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1 Answer | Asked in Contracts and Construction Law for Maryland on
Q: Contractor got money but never completed restaurant buildout

I paid a person having Construction Firm license to build a restaurant but he escaped with money & never delivered. I paid him a lot of money already, but he delivered minimal work and all went wrong. I live in Maryland, so does he. Kindly please advice what I can do. Thank you.

Thomas C. Valkenet
Thomas C. Valkenet
answered on Apr 4, 2023

If you think he has assets sufficient to satisfy your debt, consider a lawsuit in the courts. Depending on the amount to be claimed, you can sue in either the district or circuit courts. There are many causes of action for breach of a contract to provide construction services. You can also... View More

2 Answers | Asked in Divorce, Real Estate Law and Landlord - Tenant for Maryland on
Q: How can my ex husband take over the condo we bought during marriage? We are now divorced and he wants the condo now.

We are divorced, recently in fact. My name is on the loan it was easier to buy during our marriage that way. Our names are both on the deed however. I have a conventional loan through the mortgage. I believe my loan isn’t assumable?

How does it work if he wants to take over the loan? He... View More

Thomas C. Valkenet
Thomas C. Valkenet
answered on Nov 1, 2022

If you wish to remove your name from the underlying note, he must refinance. Period. "Taking over" often means he promises to make your payments, without changing the terms of the note and deed of trust. That must means you remain exposed when he misses a payment.

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1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Maryland on
Q: How do I get a lien removed from a property that should not have been placed?

I own a Condo in McDonogh Township/Maryland. A former Management Company mismanged our Condo Fees and made the Buildings unsafe. The HOA President fired that Management Company and implemented SPECIAL ASSESSMENTS to us the Owners. He has placed a Lien on my Property. I want it removed.... View More

Thomas C. Valkenet
Thomas C. Valkenet
answered on Dec 4, 2023

I believe you separately emailed my office, directly. The response is the same--Your recourse is through the Condo rules, and possibly a court action if the HOA is not following its own rules. However, while you may be able to obtain equitable (non-monetary relief), you are not going to recover for... View More

2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law for Maryland on
Q: I have 2 properties on my road no one else in the neighborhood has my road as there address my neighbor keeps using it c

Can I claim the road as my own?

Thomas C. Valkenet
Thomas C. Valkenet
answered on Nov 10, 2023

I am not a Pennsylvania lawyer. You need a local counsel who knows about express easements in the chains of title, and possible adverse use easements, easements by implication, necessity, and those created by plat. Good luck!

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2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law for Maryland on
Q: My name is Axel and I am a real estate investor (wholesaler) and I was wondering what kind of contracts or what I would

need in order to make sure I do everything correctly and not against the law and to make sure I do not get into any legal trouble. Like what the process would be and what I would need between a Seller and a Buyer.

Thomas C. Valkenet
Thomas C. Valkenet
answered on Jul 18, 2023

Much to general a question to answer in this space. The answer depends on where you are contracting, the type of property, and what you are hoping to accomplish. Your business form is also a factor as well as your licensure (or not) as a broker or agent of someone else's brokerage.

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1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law and Constitutional Law for Maryland on
Q: Profile Case - Name on Deed not Mortgage. Trustee sold .Did not sign any paper work

Case - located on line and News paper. I was left homeless from this case. I tried to get a pro bono attorney. No one would take this case. Went to the Attorney Grievance Committee no help. Went to xx who wrote the first article to try and get him to publish what had happened. No help. There was to... View More

Thomas C. Valkenet
Thomas C. Valkenet
answered on Apr 4, 2023

Maryland Volunteer Lawyer Services can help connect you to willing pro bono attorneys with some expertise in real property and mortgage matters. You can apply on-line by providing basic income information to see if you meet the income requirements. Good luck.

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