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Questions Answered by Peter H. Westby
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
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
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
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
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
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
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 »

1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Arizona on
Q: How can I gain entrance into my deceased father's rental property to obtain his belongings?

My father passed away in his rented home. Real Estate agent is not allowing entrance into the property. I have started process of Small Estate Affidavit, but that requires 30 days after his death. I need to get his burial docs, insurance policies, clothes etc.? Is there a way to expedite this... Read more »

Peter H. Westby
Peter H. Westby answered on Sep 19, 2018

You could open an informal probate and become appointed as personal representative of your Father's estate. This procedure can be done quickly and will give you legal authority to take possession of your father's property. But, if your Father's estate is modest, the affidavit procedure would be... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Arizona on
Q: There are 4 surviving siblings of a deceased brother. One brother preceeded him in death.

Are the children of a deceased sibling entitled to the proceeds of an estate?

Peter H. Westby
Peter H. Westby answered on Sep 18, 2018

Possibly. This would depend upon how the estate planning documents were drafted. The children might take if the estate planning documents show an intent that the share of a deceased person would pass to his or her survivors. If there are no estate planning documents, then Arizona law controls.... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Arizona on
Q: I have some property that was quick claimed to me but only one of the owners on the deed signed it . Is that deed legal
Peter H. Westby
Peter H. Westby answered on Sep 18, 2018

Assuming proper execution, the deed is legal but it transfers only the interest of the person who signed it.

1 Answer | Asked in Personal Injury, Civil Rights, Gov & Administrative Law and Probate for Arizona on
Q: My dad was murdered in his living room in lake havasu city, az 3nov2017. His killer "turned himself in" who can help me?

The murderer, after killing my dad, stole my dads gun, 1 of 2 weapons used in the crime, as well as my dads wallet, cellphone, keys, & truck, all recovered from the killers possession at the time of incarceration. He was initially arrested in la paz county, where he turned to law enforcement for... Read more »

Peter H. Westby
Peter H. Westby answered on Sep 12, 2018

I recommend that you contact an Arizona probate attorney to advise you and answer your questions. There are many details that need to be handled and your attorney can help you get started.

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Child Custody for Arizona on
Q: i havent established paternity (mom says he's mine) mom gave me child (unfit) he's living with m can he be taken away

I supported both my son and mother for over 2 years. She left unexpectedly and took baby, but gave him to me about a week later because she said she couldn't take care of him (she has 2 other children who are under the guardianship of her mother). I fear for my son's well being because of neglect... Read more »

Peter H. Westby
Peter H. Westby answered on Sep 10, 2018

Your child's biological mother can take him at any time if you do not have court orders. I recommend hiring a family law lawyer as soon as possible to assist you in obtaining appropriate court orders.

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law for Arizona on
Q: My son is 13 years old. He's been living with me since he started Kindergarten. Can his mom take him?-No court ordered

We don't have a court ordered, it's only been verbal these 8 years. She took him from me today. Can she do that?

Peter H. Westby
Peter H. Westby answered on Sep 10, 2018

Yes, your Son's Mom can take him where there are no court orders. I strongly recommend consulting with a family law attorney immediately to assist you in establishing court orders that will protect your Son.

1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law, Real Estate Law, Civil Litigation and Landlord - Tenant for Arizona on
Q: Can my sister that I'm living with throw me out on a whim and not give me access to my property?

I have established residency for 3 years.

I have done work to earn my keep. If this is not a landlord tenant issue then how can I legally get my property out of her house?

Peter H. Westby
Peter H. Westby answered on Sep 7, 2018

From the information you provided, your rights are governed by the Arizona Residential Landlord Tenant code. Your sister can evict you by giving proper notice. See ARS 33-1375 or ARS 33-1381. She must allow you to pick up your property and has certain duties to you per ARS 33-1370 D,E, F, G H &... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Arizona on
Q: If my nana gets a rental Home and signs lease in her name but I live there name will she go to jail? If they found out
Peter H. Westby
Peter H. Westby answered on Sep 6, 2018

It is very unlikely that Nana would go to jail, but this is a very bad idea. You could be evicted and Nana could have a money judgment against her and her credit harmed. If you are going to be the occupant, you should be named in the lease as an occupant and, ideally, the lease should be in your... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law and Land Use & Zoning for Arizona on
Q: Property purchased and can't use because it is a water retention area with basin. What can i do about this?

Seller said that it is buildable but according to city theres no way to use it, it was a waste of $ seller played a fast one and i think something should be able to be done about it. Lawsuit to get $ back at least.

Peter H. Westby
Peter H. Westby answered on Sep 6, 2018

You may have an action for damages or rescission of contract due to the non-disclosure of this circumstance, but this is not something that you should handle on your own. I strongly recommend that you seek the assistance of an attorney. Once your attorney has all the facts and has researched this... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Child Support for Arizona on
Q: When does the other parent have to provide insurance information, if they say they have coverage?

Went to court for child support today and my ex said he’s had our twins covered under his insurance since March of 2018, but he’s been using my acchss from the state for the past month (we just recently starting doing 50/50) when he’s had to take the twins in when they are in his care. I... Read more »

Peter H. Westby
Peter H. Westby answered on Aug 31, 2018

This is relevant information and you can request it at any time. Since he has ignored your initial request, you can make a formal request to produce. I recommend consulting with a family law attorney to assist you with this process.

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Arizona on
Q: I purchased a home with my then girlfriend, about 4 years ago. We have since broken up, but still reside together.

Can she legally have her niece to come and live indefinitely without my say, if I am against it? We live in Arizona. I alone am on the loan, but we both are on the title.

Peter H. Westby
Peter H. Westby answered on Aug 29, 2018

Your girlfriend is an owner of the home and she has a right to have visitors of her choice. You have the same right. If this living arrangement is not working, you might consider selling the home or purchasing your ex's interest in this home.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Arizona on
Q: I am residuary beneficiary in my dad's estate. Trustee is joint on 1 property and beneficiary on another.

Both of those properties have existing mortgages. Is the trustee allowed to pay off the mortgage with estate money? I am worried that money that would come to me as the residuary will be used up to pay off these mortgages so that she inherits property free and clear and there is less money left to... Read more »

Peter H. Westby
Peter H. Westby answered on Aug 26, 2018

This depends upon the instructions given to the Trustee in the Trust. It may be appropriate. If the Trust is unclear or if you believe that the Trustee is acting improperly, an action can be filed with the Court to address these issues. Where a Trustee is abusing his/her authority, the Trustee... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Civil Litigation, Collections and Consumer Law for Arizona on
Q: Can a third party collection agency sue for an account charged off since 2012?

a local law firm has a 120-day hold on funds in my checking account for a credit card bill that was charged off since 2012. Most of the money in that account is from Social Security AND According to the Fair Debt act they should not be able to sue me for an account over three years old. I never... Read more »

Peter H. Westby
Peter H. Westby answered on Aug 25, 2018

The collection agency can bring an action against you and may be entirely justified in doing so. Your job is to promptly respond by raising any and all defenses that are available. One defense might be statute of limitations. Another might be that your social security funds are exempt. There... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law for Arizona on
Q: Can a stepmother keep a parent away from a child. My dad is terminal ALS, she has threatened me with a restraining order

She said she will do whatever it takes to keep me away from him

Peter H. Westby
Peter H. Westby answered on Aug 25, 2018

On its face, the stepmother's conduct appears wrong. But, under some circumstances, her conduct might be appropriate. The answer to your question depends upon the facts of your situation. Some of the most difficult problems come from family conflict. I strongly recommend that you seek the help... Read more »

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