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Arizona Real Estate Law Questions & Answers
1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Arizona on
Q: The deed to my house has an error on it, is it still legal?

I bought the marital house from my ex-husband, on the deed it states he is an unmarried man, but he was married at the time. No one caught the mistake and the deed was recorded. Is my deed legal and binding?

Joseph Holland
Joseph Holland answered on May 16, 2019

Yes. As I understand your question, your ex-husband 'sold' his interests in the property to you ancillary to the divorce proceedings. Even though when he signed it he was still married to you, it will not be a problem for purposes of getting title insurance/clear and marketable title. If we has... 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
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
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 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
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 »

1 Answer | Asked in Contracts, Real Estate Law, Civil Litigation and Probate for Arizona on
Q: can the sole heir and named trustee of a trust still claim his inheritance years after the death of the grantor?

in az, two cousins each inherited from their parents seperate trusts for half interest in a family owned apartment building, owned free and clear, and fully occupied at all times. One was the manager and lived in the house of the other, adjacent, built by his parents, but not included with the... Read more »

Peter H. Westby
Peter H. Westby answered on Apr 22, 2019

This is theoretically possible but the matter would need to be carefully researched. Much can happen in 15 years and you need to know as much as possible about this trust, its assets and their administration. I recommend hiring a probate attorney to assist you in determining the facts and to... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Contracts and Real Estate Law for Arizona on
Q: Are there exceptions to renegotiating an executed purchase contract with the seller?

I would like to ask the Seller to pay a portion of my closing costs and possibly reduce the purchase price a thousand dollars. The Seller accepted an offer for full asking price, plus I opted to pay my own closing costs, without any negotiating. Closing is estimated to be $4700. The lender has... Read more »

Bruce Alexander Minnick
Bruce Alexander Minnick answered on Apr 15, 2019

As your mother or grandmother probably told you when you were a child, "You cannot have your cake and eat it too."

Under the facts you stated, unless the written buy/sale contract says otherwise, IMPO you have sufficient grounds to cancel the contract based upon the material changes that...
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Arizona on
Q: how can a fully owned home with no taxes liens, judgments etc. are owed be sold in a sheriff auction w/ NO prior notice

there are no HOA or relative fees owed by the owner of the house mortgage is paid taxes are paid etc yet some lawer from Scottsdale is chasing after a fee in which the homeowner never hired to begin with and ended up getting a judge to sign something so the house was sold under sheriff auction and... Read more »

Peter H. Westby
Peter H. Westby answered on Mar 20, 2019

Your question cannot be answered until a real estate attorney reviews all of the documents and facts to learn exactly what happened. I recommend that you immediately consult with a real estate attorney and have this investigated so that you will know your legal rights and options. This is time... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Arizona on
Q: We were in a contract to buy a home. We had a pre-qual letter when we negotiated the contract. We put up $2000 earnest

The financing fell through now the seller wants the earnest money, does he have a right to it?

Peter H. Westby
Peter H. Westby answered on Feb 27, 2019

Your rights and the sellers' rights are governed by your contract. If you are using the standard form contract commonly used in Maricopa County there is a financing contingency that, in most cases, allows the return of your earnest money where you cannot get financing. But there are many... Read more »

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
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 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
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
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
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 Estate Planning, Real Estate Law and Probate for Arizona on
Q: Forclosure auction on property that is in a Trust, my 5% inheritance is in jeopardy. Estate Rep is doing nothing.

My Aunt died 7/2015. I am to receive 5% of estate. Everthing was in a Trust, the executives are 2 of my older siblings (both are attorneys in NY) I need advice on a Flagstaff property (she put in her trust 2006) being auctioned off on 12/21/2018. The mortgage, also from 2006 for $270,000 was... Read more »

Ryan K Hodges
Ryan K Hodges answered on Dec 5, 2018

If the house is auctioned for more than is owed, then the excess proceeds should be turned over to the trust. You would still receive your share from those excessive proceeds. The downside is that houses usually sell for less than at auction than they would in a private sale.

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
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 Probate, Family Law and Real Estate Law for Arizona on
Q: My siblings and I sold my mothers property after a probate hearing and received Funds from the sale. Now I’m getting

Called asking If I’m interested to sale one of the property’s. I’ve found out my name is on a warranty deed. Does this give me any claim to selling the property?

Ryan K Hodges
Ryan K Hodges answered on Nov 26, 2018

If you name is on a deed as a grantee, then you probably have some ownership interest in the property. You would need to talk with an attorney or title company regarding the specifics.

1 Answer | Asked in Foreclosure and Real Estate Law for Arizona on
Q: We were just handed trustee sale papers and they want to walk and take pictures of property and inside the house.

Do I have to let them ?

Diane L. Drain
Diane L. Drain answered on Nov 8, 2018

No, you can deny anyone the right to access your property, unless they have a court order or your deed of trust provides the lender can.

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
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
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.

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