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Questions Answered by Peter H. Westby

1 Answer | Asked in Foreclosure and Real Estate Law for Arizona on

Q: I am concerned that I am signing a lease agreement on a house that is going to go into foreclosure .

I’ve been offered a lease agreement at a very low rate considering the property. It does have cosmetic issues, and is in need of quite a few repairs, but overall in decent shape.

I’ve verified that the person that I am dealing with is in fact the owner of the home already, so I do not... Read more »

Peter H. Westby answered on Sep 11, 2019

You have rights under the Protecting Tenants at Foreclosure Act. In the event the house you are renting is foreclosed upon, you have a right to a minimum of 90 days notice before your lease can be terminated. And if the buyer is a business or other entity that has no plans to use the home as a... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Arizona on

Q: Moving out of a rental to another rental. Do I have to pay rent for that day to both property owners?

I am moving out of one rental on the 18th of the month in the morning. I will be out by noon. I will be moving into another rental and have already paid rent for that day to the new rental owner. Do I still have to pay the rent for that day to the owner of the place where I am moving from?

Peter H. Westby answered on Sep 7, 2019

You have two rental agreements. One with the old landlord and one with the new. You must honor both. If your first rental agreement requires you to pay rent on the day you move, you should pay the rent agreed upon. If you do not, your landlord has the right to withhold unpaid rent from your... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning, Elder Law and Probate for Arizona on

Q: Is ARS code 14-2503 valid to cover a person putting their hand on tetatrix to sign a will while having dimentia

Will was made 10 days before mom died, my sister adds her name on to inherit the house. Can this qualify as undue influence

Peter H. Westby answered on Aug 27, 2019

The procedure you described appears highly questionable. You may have grounds to object to this will. The will may not qualify as a valid holographic will and/or your Mom may not have had testamentary capacity. I recommend reviewing this matter with a probate attorney as soon as possible. Once... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Business Law and Contracts for Arizona on

Q: Is a non-compete agreement transferable when a company changes its name and principles are different

Peter H. Westby answered on Aug 26, 2019

A non-compete agreement can be transferable. The agreement should be reviewed by an attorney to see if it is made specifically transferable to a successor entity by its terms. I recommend having your agreement reviewed by an attorney. It would also be helpful to your attorney to know more about... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Libel & Slander, Civil Litigation and Civil Rights for Arizona on

Q: I need to know what can I do my ex friend has done slander, threats, releasing my medical history, cyber harassing me

I have evidence and videos with proof of her saying all of this

Peter H. Westby answered on Aug 22, 2019

You have several options ranging from obtaining an order of protection against harassment to filing a civil lawsuit. I recommend that you speak with an attorney to learn your legal rights and best options. When your attorney knows the facts, he or she will be able to assist you in selecting the... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Arizona on

Q: Should I be given an addendum to sign for new owners since my lease is not yet up?

The new owner of the house I rent has not given me any legal documents showing they are my landlords. They’re charging me administrative fees the previous property management company had in their lease addendum, even though they’re not a company. Otherwise, my original lease was from two... Read more »

Peter H. Westby answered on Aug 7, 2019

A new owner of a home takes it subject to any valid existing leases. Your lease remains valid for the remainder of its term. An addendum to the lease is not legally necessary. However, the new landlord should comply with Arizona law and give notice as to who the new property manager is and how... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning, Elder Law and Probate for Arizona on

Q: How can I verify that my mother's will and testament is legal and names me executor and distributor of all property?

Several months ago, my mother (who passed away last week) put together a last will and testament (based on a form from WillForms.org for the state of Arizona). It is signed, notarized, and doubly witnessed by two individuals not receiving any property under the will.

The will names me as... Read more »

Peter H. Westby answered on Aug 7, 2019

I recommend scheduling a consultation with a probate attorney for the review of your Mom's Will. Your probate attorney can answer your questions about the Will and can also give you recommendations for the most efficient way to handle your Mom's estate and protect her assets.

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1 Answer | Asked in Probate, Elder Law and Estate Planning for Arizona on

Q: How can I stop my sister from spending my mom's money?

Mom has dementia and is in a assisted living home, a very expensive home. My sister is the Executor of the will and I think she may have guardianship or POA. Long story short but when we moved mom we decided as a family to spruce up the family home and rent it out to offset her costs. My sister has... Read more »

Peter H. Westby answered on Jul 23, 2019

I recommend that you consult an attorney about a conservatorship. Appointing a conservator will provide competent help for your mom with her financial affairs and safeguard her assets. A conservator is supervised by the court and must account annually.

If there already is a conservator...
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Contracts and Real Estate Law for Arizona on

Q: Can I the seller cancel my listing agreement with the real estate agent on my home if I decide I no longer want to sell

Are there any costs that I would be liable for the property has a sign on it and has been listed on the MLS

Peter H. Westby answered on Jul 22, 2019

A listing agreement can be cancelled in most cases, but there can be costs and penalties associated with cancellation. For example, you may be asked to reimburse your agent for his marketing costs. Or, if you decide to sell at a later date, it is possible that your agent may make a claim against... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Arizona on

Q: My question is in regards to property and a house my mother and father owned but both are deceased now.

My question is in regards to property and a house my mother and father owned but both are deceased now.

A sibling is living there now and wants to sell the property. Can she sell the property if it is not under her name? If there is a will what rights do I have to claim a portion of the... Read more »

Peter H. Westby answered on Jul 18, 2019

Your sibling cannot sell this property unless she has a legal right to do so. This usually means that she must be the property owner or the court appointed personal representative for a deceased owner. Since both parents are now deceased, your rights will be determined by the provisions of their... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law and Construction Law for Arizona on

Q: Is it legal for a real estate agent to sell a home without instillation? We do not have us with a disclosure form.

They never provided us with a disclosure form, or any approvals from the inspection.

Peter H. Westby answered on Jul 18, 2019

Selling without an inspection or disclosure can be legal. It depends upon how your contract was drafted. You may still have legal recourse if items were concealed or not disclosed despite anything to the contrary in your contract. I recommend reviewing this matter with an attorney. Once your... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Contracts, Landlord - Tenant and Real Estate Law for Arizona on

Q: Can an arizona landlord terminate a lease for renovation purposes?

Peter H. Westby answered on Jul 11, 2019

This is possible. It depends upon the terms of the lease as well as other pertinent facts. I recommend that you review this with a real estate attorney. Once your attorney reviews your lease and knows the facts, he or she will be able to let you know your legal rights and best options.

1 Answer | Asked in Business Law and Employment Discrimination for Arizona on

Q: Can my business partner take everything we had because I wasnt on the LLC?

My business partner and I started a restaurant from the ground up. We raised the money on kickstarter and this was my first venture as a business owner. She had many other businesses. When we went to get the business license she told me that I coudnt be on it cause I had bad credit. We have made... Read more »

Peter H. Westby answered on Jul 8, 2019

Not being a member of the LLC is a disadvantage. But it sounds like you may have sufficient proof to establish that you were a partner in this business and, if so, you may be entitled to your share of any net sales proceeds after payment of the bills of the business. I recommend consulting with... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Arizona on

Q: I submitted for a refund of an admin fee from a property manager May 14th. Well past the 14 days allowed. What can I do?

I have emails confirming May 14th and the only follow up I have received is telling me to just wait longer for my money. I saw online they have 14 business days to provide this refund legally. We are beyond that threshold and Shelton-Cook (Property Manager) has stopped communicating with me... Read more »

Peter H. Westby answered on Jun 10, 2019

Assuming your situation falls within ARS 33-1321, you can file a civil lawsuit against your former landlord to seek a judgment for the money owed. Once you have your money judgment you can use other civil remedies such as execution and garnishment to attempt collection. However, when you file a... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Arizona on

Q: Singned a 12 month lease eight years ago. Never renewed a lease since. Owner said next month rent is increasing. Legal?

Peter H. Westby answered on Jun 7, 2019

Probably legal. In most cases you would be on a month to month tenancy after the expiration of your original lease term unless the lease is renewed by you or renews automatically. If you are on a month to month tenancy, the landlord can increase rent on 30 days notice. If you are on a renewed... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law and Landlord - Tenant for Arizona on

Q: What can I do to remove someone that has decided to squat in a vehicle on our property

Lived next door just moved in asked to leave but still there now demanding electric services

Peter H. Westby answered on Jun 4, 2019

If you are the property owner you should call the police and have the person removed as a trespasser. If you are a tenant, your landlord should handle by having the trespasser removed. If the police will not or cannot help, I recommend consulting with an attorney. You may need to take legal... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law and Probate for Arizona on

Q: How do I find out if my stepfather had a will?

My stepfather has been dead since 1977. My Mother died in 2016. She willed her home to me. I am trying to sell the home and now the court wants proof that my stepfather no longer owns half of the property? What do I do? I need a will to prove he left it to my Mother but do not know how to find it.

Peter H. Westby answered on May 2, 2019

From the facts you provided, I am assuming that your mom and stepfather held title to their home as tenants in common. To find a will, I have seen ads run in legal periodicals inquiring about a will for deceased individuals. You can also check with the Superior Court in the county where your... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning, Land Use & Zoning and Real Estate Law for Arizona on

Q: My fiance and I are trying to assume her parents property in AZ. We live in WA and not sure how the process would work.

We dont want to go through an agent. Just wanna refinance their current mortgage to have our names on it.

Peter H. Westby answered on May 2, 2019

You have described what amounts to a purchase of a home. A purchase contract is needed and I recommend that an escrow be opened with a local title company to handle the transfer. Then you would apply for a new loan to pay off the existing financing on this property. Your lender will also want... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Arizona on

Q: MY SISTER IS PR, OF OUR MOMS ESTATE, SHE IS USING FUNDS FROM OUR MOTHERS RV PARK TO LET HER DAUGHTER AND SON IN LAW

LIVE THERE RENT FREE, SHE HAS SABATAGE THE SALE OF THE PROPERTY FOR 1.75K AND WE FEEL SHE IS NOT DOING HER JOB AS PR.

WHAT CAN MY BROTHER AND I DO?

Peter H. Westby answered on May 2, 2019

Where a Personal Representative is doing a poor job, the court can remove her and appoint a new Personal Representative. I recommend discussing the facts of this matter with a probate attorney. Your attorney will let you know if the circumstances are sufficiently egregious to make it likely that... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Arizona on

Q: My neighbor is disputing our property line and what do we need to do to gain our property back?

She does not own the home, deed is in her deceased fathers name. She will not talk to us when we asked to discuss extending wall down our driveway, she built a retaining wall that goes 5 feet into our property a while ago

Peter H. Westby answered on Apr 25, 2019

I recommend that you discuss this matter with a real estate attorney. If your neighbor is making a claim to a portion of your lot you must take prompt legal action to reclaim your land before too much time goes by. If you do not, it is probable that your neighbor will become the owner of the... Read more »

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