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District of Columbia Real Estate Law Questions & Answers
0 Answers | Asked in Divorce, Family Law, Real Estate Law and Child Custody for District of Columbia on
Q: Wife changed locks/security code to keep me out and limit kid time without any official court filing. Any recourse?

My wife and I have been informally separated for 5 weeks (after 4+ years married and living together) and have been sharing child-care duties throughout the separation period. Her name is on the deed, both of our names are on the mortgage. We mutually agreed divorce is the right choice for us, and... View More

0 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law and Landlord - Tenant for District of Columbia on
Q: hi, I wanted to know if landlords can have a 60 day notice requirement for tenants who want to move out?

My house recently had a flood, as a result my tenant had to move out for about 3 weeks until repairs were done. During that time, she said she wants to move out immediately. The lease is for a year, however I included a 60 day notice in case they wanted to move out early. The tenant indicated that... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Foreclosure, Personal Injury, Real Estate Law and Tax Law for District of Columbia on
Q: what is the formal petition for a writ of distrangas; contempt, here in washington dc?
James L. Arrasmith
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James L. Arrasmith pro label Lawyers, want to be a Justia Connect Pro too? Learn more ›
answered on Jan 22, 2024

A writ of distringas, also known as a writ of distress, is a legal order used to seize a debtor's property to satisfy a debt. In Washington, D.C., the process to file a petition for such a writ involves presenting your case to the court, demonstrating the existence of a valid debt and the need... View More

2 Answers | Asked in Bankruptcy and Real Estate Law for District of Columbia on
Q: I am owing the person I bought my house from and they want me to sell the house at a reduced rate reducing by every mont

they're afraid that I would not sell the house so they said I have to reduce it by 10k every month until I get an offer or we go back to court. I'm wondering if there is a law or some kinda of stipulation that I won't be so caged in this tight constraint but still give them the... View More

W. J. Winterstein Jr.
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W. J. Winterstein Jr.
answered on Oct 16, 2023

What the other party demands has no force if a court does not order accordingly.

Assuming, though you have not said so, that you are in a Ch. 13 bankruptcy, the more common provision is to provide, in a Plan, a one-year (or shorter) "drop dead date", by which the property will be...
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1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for District of Columbia on
Q: I've accepted an offer with an fha 203k loan approved six days later the buyers requested another loan and was denied

can i hold them to the contract for the original amount approved theyre asking to be released

Richard Sternberg
Richard Sternberg
answered on Sep 14, 2023

The answer depends on what the contract says. You need to get a lawyer to review it, particularly if you don't trust your realtor or don't have one.

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for District of Columbia on
Q: My daughter is married and I own 1/2 of my parents house. If I will my 1/2 to my daughter and she passes before her

husband does, will he inherit my 1/2 of my parents house?

Richard Sternberg
Richard Sternberg
answered on Sep 3, 2023

It is impossible to give a competent answer without a better description of how you hold title. If you want a real answer, get a "current title" search and then amend your question to include the current title owner line. If I had that, I could at least hope to give you a vague, ambiguous... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for District of Columbia on
Q: My mom want give me a title on her house is worth to accept that if I need pay her mortgage she got on house ?

The house is old and I need fix many things,how to be sure that I will be only the one owner ?if she give me a title it mean I’m the one owner of house ?.and what if she decide to add my name there only then I still will be the owner ?or only her ?I want to be sure if I get title on house it mean... View More

Richard Sternberg
Richard Sternberg
answered on Mar 9, 2023

A real estate lawyer can create a sale of the property from her to you leaving in her the right to remain in the property for the rest of her life, assuming that’s what she wants. There are many ways to do this from irrevocable trusts to wills, depending on the objectives and the loan, and other... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for District of Columbia on
Q: Lease agreement help

I am planning to buy a condo in dc for renting for secondary income. Can you help to get this done properly and legally. What are your fees? Thanks

Richard Sternberg
Richard Sternberg
answered on Jan 19, 2023

Under Justin’s terms of service as well as the ethical rules of our profession, this site isn’t a “hiring hall” as in the union trades. We aren’t permitted to respond to calls for employment. Here are some ideas for finding a lawyer:

I’ve written this same answer several times...
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2 Answers | Asked in Contracts, Bankruptcy and Real Estate Law for District of Columbia on
Q: What is the worst that can happen when flipping a house with 100% private money financing??

If I am using someone else's money and a house that I flip sells for less then previously estimated am I out anything more then my time? Or can the private money lender sue me and make me cover the loss?

What if I am using an LLC?

I am mostly worried that the private lender... View More

Richard Sternberg
Richard Sternberg
answered on Mar 19, 2022

If you find a private lender who would not require your personal guarantee and, often, security of your home co-signed by your spouse, you should hold that lender very close… or share his name with me. You will be completely liable on your project unless the lender is an idiot, and most hard... View More

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1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for District of Columbia on
Q: Have a Final Judgement Order and want to put a Lien on a property that is owned by the persons. HOW to Do So?
Richard Sternberg
Richard Sternberg
answered on Feb 2, 2022

In DC, you file a lis pendens. The law changed a number of years ago, and the lawsuit, itself, is not a lien. It is a great idea ti have counsel assist in this.

2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law, Civil Rights and Landlord - Tenant for District of Columbia on
Q: Hello, I am a landlord in Washington DC and need advice on how to deal with my HOA and my tenant.

My tenant is renting via the Housing Choice Voucher Program. Lease started March 1, 2021. He pays rent on time, keeps unit clean and I haven't had any problems. The neighbors have complained about his noise levels and says he has become a nuisance, aggressive and harrassing. Board called a... View More

Laurence L. Socci
Laurence L. Socci
answered on Dec 6, 2021

I am a DC landlord/tenant lawyer. As long as the tenant is not violating his lease, you cannot evict him. The evidence you discuss is not sufficient to warrant eviction. As to whether or not they can fine you, that depends on what is in any agreement you have with the Board. You will likely have... View More

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1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for District of Columbia on
Q: I would like to know if I have a legal case to sue the seller and her agent for misrepresentation.

I bought a house in April of this year. The owner’s disclosure paperwork did not include that there were some cracks on the living room floor or one of the walls. The home inspector did not see them because there was a rug and furniture covering the cracks and a big vase with flowers arrangements... View More

Richard Sternberg
Richard Sternberg
answered on Nov 9, 2021

You may have both a latent defect and a misrepresentation cause of action if the defect was latent and the seller knew and lied in the disclosure. The case may involve attorneys fees and treble damages.

2 Answers | Asked in Probate and Real Estate Law for District of Columbia on
Q: My mother passed and she left a Will. My sister and I are beneficiaries. Do we need to file large estate probate to sell
Richard Sternberg
Richard Sternberg
answered on Sep 6, 2021

Query: My mother passed and she left a Will. My sister and I are beneficiaries. Do we need to file large estate probate to sell?

Yes. In the District of Columbia, title passes on death to the estate, so the easiest way to confer title is by opening a. ADM private estate. There is a cute...
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1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law and Landlord - Tenant for District of Columbia on
Q: Can I evict holdover tenants in DC without waiting for 60 days after the moratorium?

My tenants are now considered holdover tenants and I want possession of property because I don’t want to rent any more and there are certain time lines for evictions in DC.

My understanding is 30 days wait/ 30 days notice to quit then eviction.

Richard Sternberg
Richard Sternberg
answered on Jul 27, 2021

Your understanding is incorrect. You are not at the same kind of risk if you give proper 30-day notice and then file suit. That will merely be dismissed. But, if you attempt self-help, you are at grave risk. Buy a consult with a lawyer. For starters, it's a 90-day notice. Next, if the property... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Consumer Law, Contracts, Real Estate Law and Landlord - Tenant for District of Columbia on
Q: Upstairs apartment leaked human wastewater into my apartment kitchen. What is my landlord's responsibility?

I have asked for a plumber - they are using a jack of all trades. I have asked to move into another empty unit, with the move fee waived - denied. I have asked for alternative accommodations until the repair and clean up is completed - denied. I have asked for a break in the rent, since the... View More

Steven Krieger
Steven Krieger
answered on Jul 27, 2020

In DC, you're able to withhold rent for housing code violations and wastewater coming into your unit seems to qualify. The landlord may take you to court and you'd have to explain the housing code violation, but this is a viable remedy for you.

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for District of Columbia on
Q: What happens in the District of Columbia in a "joint tenancy" when an individual passes?
Mark Oakley
Mark Oakley
answered on Aug 5, 2019

The survivor of the two joint tenants becomes sole owner of the property as a matter of law. The survivor can, but need not, file a new deed to show the property is solely theirs. They will need the death certificate and a new deed drafted. Alternatively, they may only need to record the death... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for District of Columbia on
Q: I am the spouse of a deceased heir of an estate that died after the decedent. Am I entitled to receive any inheritance?
Richard Sternberg
Richard Sternberg
answered on May 3, 2019

You need to speak with a lawyer to fill in the family tree and discuss any Will or trust that might exist. Just for the first questions:

Is there a Will, and is your or you late husbands name in it?

Did "the decedent" -- the first person to die -- we'll call him or...
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1 Answer | Asked in Contracts, Criminal Law, Real Estate Law and Elder Law for District of Columbia on
Q: My father, who lives in Washington, DC needs to get out of a reverse mortgage scam. He wasn't 100% to sign a contract.

He was approximately 80 at the time. Diminished vision. Emotionally compromised. Victim of phone and mail fraud.

Richard Sternberg
Richard Sternberg
answered on Feb 19, 2019

You should have a consult with a lawyer before he dies. The facts matter, and they should not be discussed in an open forum.

2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law for District of Columbia on
Q: I have a pending real estate transaction that involves a listing agent who's refusing to split the commission. Advice?

I am the procuring agent in this transaction as I brought the buyer to the table... the property hadn't sold in years after being listed with same agent.

Richard Sternberg
Richard Sternberg
answered on Dec 11, 2018

If you are both members of the National Association of Realtors, GCAAR (and/or MAR) and the MRIS, there is a mandatory arbitration system maintained by either GCAAR, MAR, or MRIS. That might be useful, or you might get a lawyer involved early on in the hopes that, by communications with the... View More

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1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for District of Columbia on
Q: My friend owns 2/3rds of a house and wants to sell. Does she need to get permission from the 1/3rd owner? P

The other party was willed their portion of the house. The 2/3rd owner has lived in it for 50 years

Richard Sternberg
Richard Sternberg
answered on Dec 4, 2018

All owners have to agree to a sale unless a court orders sale in lieu of partition. That petition is, however, fairly straightforward in the hands of experienced counsel.

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