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Questions Answered by Peter H. Westby

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Arizona on

Q: I’m charged with 12 months of late fees at the end of lease. I was never told my rent was arriving late. Is that legal?

Is a landlord required to inform me that my rent is late at the time it is received? I obviously would have altered the way I was paying if I knew it was arriving late and that I would be accruing $650 in late fees... I paid in money orders, so there’s no way for me to confirm when it was... Read more »

Peter H. Westby answered on Feb 25, 2019

You may have grounds to fight this. So long as your lease does not provide otherwise, you might have an argument that your landlord waived his late fees by continuing to accept your rent without objection and without posting the late fees to your account as they accrued. This is a small dollar... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Business Law for Arizona on

Q: A partner and myself own a LLC in the state of Arizona. He passed away. He was the statutory agent. I filed a resolution

Changing the address of the company to my address and appointing myself as the new statutory agent as the only surviving member. His heirs are now threatening to dissolve the company. Can they do that? The company was not part of their family trust.

Peter H. Westby answered on Feb 21, 2019

The family of the deceased member might be able to dissolve your LLC. Your Operating Agreement may be of help. It may have provided a succession plan in the event one of the members died. I recommend that you consult with an attorney concerning your legal rights and best options for preserving... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Arizona on

Q: I am currently engaged and purchasing a house in AZ. My name is solely on the mortgage. I will close on the house 2

Weeks before we get married. What is the best way to take Title in order to protect myself if we were to get divorced in the future?

Peter H. Westby answered on Feb 7, 2019

To protect yourself in the event of a divorce, it would be good to take title in your name alone as an unmarried man and then follow up with a well drafted ante-nuptial agreement that is negotiated and signed before your marriage takes place. I recommend consulting with an attorney prior to your... Read more »

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

Q: In Arizona can I kick a house guest out? I've hear after 3 day the law has to be involved...

Peter H. Westby answered on Jan 15, 2019

You can ask a guest to leave at any time. If the guest refuses, you can have law enforcement assist. This can become complicated if the guest has lived with you for a lengthy period of time or has assisted you with living expenses. Then the "guest" may claim to be a tenant and you may need to... Read more »

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

Q: Sold AZ house as trustee via broker, now buyer want money for non-permitted construction, Should broker handle?

Broker paid buyer $25K, Based on Title Insurance. Now buyer want money from estate for additional fees. The sale was 2 years ago.

House was build in early 60s, I am not aware of any modifications made by deceased. I disclosed that I am not aware of any such issues. I have no knowledge of... Read more »

Peter H. Westby answered on Jan 7, 2019

I recommend speaking with a real estate attorney about this matter. You were acting on behalf of the the seller trust and the trust may have liability. Your position should be evaluated by an experienced attorney before you make any decisions.

1 Answer | Asked in Civil Litigation for Arizona on

Q: Are creditors suppose to send you proof after paying off a garnishment?

I had defaulted on a judgement that resulted in a wage garnishment. I mailed in my last payment amount in December of 2018 with a letter requesting that they went to court to satisfy the judgment. My question is does the creditor have to send me something in the mail stating that the judgement is... Read more »

Peter H. Westby answered on Jan 7, 2019

When a judgment is paid in full, the judgment creditor is required to file a satisfaction of judgment with the court. Usually a copy is sent to the judgment debtor. Completion of a garnishment should result in the judgment being paid in full but there is no guarantee that this is so. I would... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Civil Litigation for Arizona on

Q: can ARS 44-1376.03 be used in small claims court

Purchased new garage doors 4 yrs ago. Never told verbally or in writing that the finish would deteriorate within 2 to 3 years. High end Overhead Carriage Garage Doors. On their new brand garage doors with same finish warranty states finish guaranteed for 2 years, we did not receive that information... Read more »

Peter H. Westby answered on Jan 7, 2019

Arizona Statutes can be used in any Arizona court.

1 Answer | Asked in Civil Litigation for Arizona on

Q: What's the chances the court case they're attempting to bring in the state of arizona will be thrown out

What's the chances the court case they're attempting to bring in the state of arizona will be thrown out because the contract states the lawsuit needs to happen in michigan.

BackGround Information:

This is for the sale of an online business, we used a business broker this is a... Read more »

Peter H. Westby answered on Dec 20, 2018

A choice of jurisdiction clause in a contract can be enforceable, so there is a good chance that the lawsuit may need to be transferred to the agreed upon jurisdiction. However, this will not happen automatically. Your attorney will need to raise the issue properly so your Judge can decide it.... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Arizona on

Q: Arizona- my mom has passed-left me with titles to mobile home signed and notorized-part of estate ?

Peter H. Westby answered on Dec 17, 2018

Since your Mom gave you the signed and notarized titles to her home, it appears that she may have intended a gift to you before she died. If so, the mobile home would not be part of her estate. I recommend discussing Mom's estate with a probate attorney. A probate attorney will be able to let... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Civil Litigation for Arizona on

Q: An ex attorney as a resident agent was served a summons on a llc that i had i have not been served. Do I need to respond

My ex attorney received the summons. I have not been served personally. he sent the summons to me in an email. Do I need to respond to this summons?

Peter H. Westby answered on Dec 15, 2018

I recommend that you consult with new counsel immediately. In most cases you will want to respond to the summons to protect yourself--even if service may be questionable. I would definitely respond unless your new lawyer advises that a response is not needed.

1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Arizona on

Q: Father passed and life insurance beneficiary died prior.

My dad had my mother listed as his beneficiary for life insurance. She passed away in 2008. I am the only child. I would like to avoid probate and if possible be granted rights via right of heir to this policy. Is this possible and what would I need to do to achieve it? If not would a small estate... Read more »

Peter H. Westby answered on Dec 12, 2018

Since the policy beneficiary predeceased your father, in order to collect the policy benefits you will need to either probate your father's estate or use a small estate affidavit if the estate is small enough (less than $75,000.00) to make the affidavit procedure applicable. See ARS 14-3971

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

Q: Is it wrong for a company to hire a replacement before I even sign any paperwork saying I'm leaving or transferring

There was an idea of me transferring and they hired somebody even though it wasn't set in stone transfer and now the transfer isn't going through so they want to demote me

Peter H. Westby answered on Dec 10, 2018

No, Arizona is an "at will" employment state and, unless you are working under an employment contract, your employer is free to make staffing changes at any time.

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Arizona on

Q: We are representing a seller whose property is 0.5 acres & is bounded by Salt River Project and two other properties.

In essence the subject property is landlocked. What does a buyer need to do to obtain ingress & egress to the property?

Peter H. Westby answered on Nov 27, 2018

A buyer would need to obtain an access easement from one of the adjoining landowners. In many cases, there is access that has been used over the years and turning this into legal access by obtaining an easement can often be done with the cooperation of an adjoining landowner. If there is no... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Arizona on

Q: I bought a 4plex, found mold and water leaks were not disclosed. Inspections proved covered/hidden mold. Next steps?

During the purchase period about 6 months ago, the tenants saw the Seller’s property management company discover mold and were told by them not to disclose the hidden mold or any of the other leaks or defects to me (the buyer) until purchase was completed, so that it would be “my problem.”... Read more »

Peter H. Westby answered on Nov 7, 2018

This is a serious matter. If you have tenants living in the property you must re-mediate the mold immediately and take steps to protect your tenants. Based upon your tenant's comments, you appear to have a good claim against your seller and his agents for the active concealment of this issue. I... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Arizona on

Q: I just moved in an apartment in Arizona and there is a roach infestation. Can I break the lease and move out

I have notified the landlord and after 2 months the issue is still not fixed

Peter H. Westby answered on Oct 24, 2018

What you describe sounds like it might amount to a breach of your lease by your landlord. I recommend speaking with your property manager and negotiating an early lease termination if possible. If this is not possible, you can unilaterally break your lease and leave, but this may result in a... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Arizona on

Q: We signed a contract for a new build and would like to get out of it. We gave them a $30,000 earnest deposit.

Any chance we can get out of it? Any chance we could get any money back?

Peter H. Westby answered on Oct 22, 2018

You can usually cancel your contract. Obtaining your earnest money deposit can be difficult. Builder contracts often provide that earnest money deposits are non-refundable. Sometimes you can negotiate a partial refund. Sometimes the reason for cancellation can give you some help, such as the... Read more »

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

Q: How much notice to vacate my apartment is required when purchasing a home?

Peter H. Westby answered on Oct 12, 2018

You must give the notice required by your lease or rental agreement. If you are on a month to month tenancy, you must give 30 days notice--if you plan to be out by the end of December, you must give your 30 days notice before the end of November.

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Arizona on

Q: Can I now legally leave a property to someone (as of my death) if the property has not yet been distributed to me?

The creators of the Trust have died, and one of the beneficiaries is the designated Successor Trustee. The said Trustee is instructed explicitly to distribute the Trust assets as described. It has been over 10 years and he hasn't done so. There are no provisions in the trust documents that... Read more »

Peter H. Westby answered on Oct 4, 2018

You can provide in your estate planning documents that any real property obtained from this trust pass to the person you designate. However, the more immediate concern seems to be obtaining the property from the Trust. I recommend reviewing the language of this Trust with an attorney to verify... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Arizona on

Q: how do we get a deed to a house after the owner died

no will, son, daughter and husband ,and me live in it. we want to sell it and split the money we are all in agreement. in arizona

Peter H. Westby answered on Oct 3, 2018

If the deceased owner was the only person on title, the owner's estate may need to be probated. I strongly recommend that you discuss this with an attorney before taking action. Your attorney will be able to inform you of your legal rights after learning the facts and reviewing any documents you... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Arizona on

Q: Is a deed legal in AZ if one of the signers used a fictitious name. Ie. my brothers ex girlfriend used our name.

They were never married

Peter H. Westby answered on Sep 21, 2018

It is possible that the deed may be valid. This would depend upon all of the facts and circumstances. I strongly recommend that you have the deed in question reviewed by a real estate attorney. Once your attorney knows all the facts, he or she will be able to let you know if the deed is valid... Read more »

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