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California Real Estate Law Questions & Answers
2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law for California on
Q: In California, if a squatter is in my home and refuses to leave is it legal for me to move into my house with them?
James R. Dickinson
James R. Dickinson
answered on Oct 4, 2022

I'm confused. Aren't you already in the home? They would be called a trespasser, and could be removed by calling the police. [I litigate cases. Anything posted here must not be construed as legal advice, nor as grounds for forming an attorney-client relationship. You should seek an... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for California on
Q: My brother and I inherited a house in CA. Now he’s going to grant deed his share to me. Will I be reassessed for taxes?

Our parents bought the house in1967 and we inherited in 2017.

James L. Arrasmith
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answered on Oct 4, 2022

Likely you will. There are specific tax exemptions upon intra-familial transfers of real estate between a parent and a child. However, those have been limited recently, and it is typically reserved for parent and child; sibling and sibling are excluded from that exemption.... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law and Landlord - Tenant for California on
Q: I was wondering if the E service was acceptable in California for a 30 day notice and also sent certified

I was wondering if the E service was acceptable in California for a 30 day notice and also sent certified. I was also wondering if the 30 day notice was the acceptable form for a month to month tenant who has been at the property for 2 years and the reason is “sale of property”. This is in... Read more »

James L. Arrasmith
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answered on Oct 4, 2022

No. Under California landlord-tenant law, a notice of eviction must be served in a very specific manner. It must be hand-written and either personally delivered to the tenant; or given to a personal of suitable age and discretion and subsequently mailed; or posted in a conspicuous place on the... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for California on
Q: If the relationship in a joint tenancy becomes hostile and one stops paying and the other continues to pay. What happens

How can the one that walks get their name removed from the loan? And would they be free from the loan? If the name stays on the loan but they move out and the other person continues to pay what penalties would be incurred to the one not paying? A note this is not a married couple.

James R. Dickinson
James R. Dickinson
answered on Sep 27, 2022

If the lender is not paid, it could seek to foreclose. [I litigate cases. Anything posted here must not be construed as legal advice, nor as grounds for forming an attorney-client relationship. You should seek an attorney for formal legal advice and representation.]

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law and Landlord - Tenant for California on
Q: My property manager is trying to say that he can not accept a post dated check for a lease payment per B&P Code 10145.
James R. Dickinson
James R. Dickinson
answered on Sep 27, 2022

He doesn't need to accept a post-dated check. [I litigate cases. Anything posted here must not be construed as legal advice, nor as grounds for forming an attorney-client relationship. You should seek an attorney for formal legal advice and representation.]

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law and Landlord - Tenant for California on
Q: After one year I raised my tenant’s rent the San Diego’s allowed 9% and continued with a month to month agreement.

It’s been 7 months after raising the rent and we’re on a month to month agreement. The tenant just informed me their girlfriend with her service dog has been living with them the last 3 months and would like to add them to the lease. Can I request to draw up a new lease with the new additional... Read more »

James L. Arrasmith
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answered on Sep 24, 2022

To play it safe, wait five more months until the 12-month period has elapsed so that you can raise the rent again.

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law, Estate Planning and Landlord - Tenant for California on
Q: Can a verbal lease agreement stand for a non-spouse of 30 years after the partner dies?

A man made a verbal commitment to his non-martial spouse of 30 years to allow her to live in his home that is willed to his daughter until she dies, free of charge. The daughter verbally agreed to this agreement with her father, but is now reneging. She is requiring the surviving non-marital spouse... Read more »

James L. Arrasmith
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answered on Sep 24, 2022

A good theory of law that would likely apply is what is called "equitable estoppel."

"The venerable doctrine of equitable estoppel or estoppel in pais, which rests firmly upon a foundation of conscience and fair dealing, [fn. omitted] finds its classical statement in the...
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1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for California on
Q: landlord raised our rent March 1, and emailed us terms of a lease agreement, now wants the place back 4 months early.

They raised the rent, but want the place back 4 months ealry and served us a 60 notice without the proper terms. Are they required to compensate for the unused months?

James L. Arrasmith
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answered on Sep 23, 2022

Yes. When you have a fixed-term lease agreement, the landlord would owe you damages for breach of contract for early termination.

1 Answer | Asked in Insurance Bad Faith and Real Estate Law for California on
Q: If after the sale of real or personal property what is the first action to file to prevent eviction or removal therefrom
James L. Arrasmith
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answered on Sep 23, 2022

Is the owner of the home selling it while you are a tenant? If so, you would not need to do anything right now, as the sale of the home carries with it the leasehold that you have.

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for California on
Q: My landlord is selling the home my daughter and I have been renting since, 2011. He is only offering us $5,000.

To relocate and CA Relocation Fees chart says I'm entitled to at the least $9,100-$21,000. I told him I would discuss this with a professional and get back to him. He says he thinks he can do $9,000, but that's not enough to move here in Southern CA

James L. Arrasmith
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answered on Sep 23, 2022

He would need to pay you relocation expenses of either one month of rent or waive the last month of rent there.

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law, Business Formation, Civil Rights and Legal Malpractice for California on
Q: I am living a gated community and HOA has no meeting and no elections for last 5 years since I moved in.

HOA has 5 board members which appointed by president. No elections at all. Is that legal? I have been asked for the election and no board member answers. Also I found out some board member on the position for 12 years and they use HOA water and HOA Garderner for private land. For such small... Read more »

James R. Dickinson
James R. Dickinson
answered on Sep 22, 2022

There are attorneys who practice HOA law. Speak with one about your situation. [I litigate cases. Anything posted here must not be construed as legal advice, nor as grounds for forming an attorney-client relationship. You should seek an attorney for formal legal advice and representation.]

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Real Estate Law for California on
Q: If I have my name on the deed of the house and so does my grandma when my grandma passes away can my aunt take the home?
James R. Dickinson
James R. Dickinson
answered on Sep 20, 2022

It would depend on how the home was held. If a property is held in joint tenancy, the decedent's share passes to the surviving joint tenant. This is known as the right of survivorship. If owners of the property hold title as tenants in common, then the decedent's share would pass in... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for California on
Q: My husband had a verbal agreement with sister in law for him to buy her out and be on house title. What can he do ?
James R. Dickinson
James R. Dickinson
answered on Sep 20, 2022

More information is needed. Speak with a local attorney. [I litigate cases. Anything posted here must not be construed as legal advice, nor as grounds for forming an attorney-client relationship. You should seek an attorney for formal legal advice and representation.]

1 Answer | Asked in Contracts and Real Estate Law for California on
Q: Dear sir or Madam, I had three months left on my lease and then I sublet my apartment without telling the office.

I unknowingly breached the contract. The new tenants paid the three months, but due to Covid they managed to stay 2 years after the lease without paying. We then went to court. The judge ruled in their favor. Now, the apartment is asking me to cover the rent owed. I am not able to pay it. The... Read more »

Yelena Gurevich
Yelena Gurevich
answered on Sep 20, 2022

It sounds like you are going to need to consult with a bankruptcy attorney to see if you qualify to file chapter 7 bankruptcy and wipe out the debt.

1 Answer | Asked in Tax Law and Real Estate Law for California on
Q: Does a change of ownership happens when you have trust property taxes?
James R. Dickinson
James R. Dickinson
answered on Sep 20, 2022

Speak with an estate planning and tax lawyer about the tax consequences of placing property in trust. [I litigate cases. Anything posted here must not be construed as legal advice, nor as grounds for forming an attorney-client relationship. You should seek an attorney for formal legal advice and... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for California on
Q: My office manager took a greater commission than agreed upon in my real estate deal. Is that legal? I am a realtor in Ca

She took double what we agreed upon. I have the email stating she is taking 10% but ended up taking 20% for herself.

James R. Dickinson
James R. Dickinson
answered on Sep 20, 2022

You should immediately speak with an attorney about what options you have. You don't want to be out that money, especially if you earned, and are entitled to, it. [I litigate cases. Anything posted here must not be construed as legal advice, nor as grounds for forming an attorney-client... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law and Real Estate Law for California on
Q: Had onsite manager past 3 years. they also earned a living by doing ALL JOBS. If i evict them, can they sue me?

They helped us for 3 years as manager and handled everything. they would evict tenants, flip the units do everything like paint and, patch holes, clean all the roaches and mold. everything to make sure the apartment looked brand new for a new tenant. A new tenant they would find on their own.... Read more »

Neil Pedersen
Neil Pedersen
answered on Sep 18, 2022

Yes. There are many violations of the Labor Code revealed by your post. You need to get specific, confidential advice from an employment law attorney who can advise you about your exposures and hopefully plot out a path to get you through this termination.

Good luck to you.

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law and Health Care Law for California on
Q: My husband and I just bought a mobile home in Newport Beach, Ca. The downstairs bathroom window is

part of back neighbors patio where he and guests smoke constantly. Smoke comes in causing health problems. Is there anything I can do to change lot lines or a fence?

Thank you,

James R. Dickinson
James R. Dickinson
answered on Sep 18, 2022

Have you tried [respectfully] working out a solution with the neighbor? [I litigate cases. Anything posted here must not be construed as legal advice, nor as grounds for forming an attorney-client relationship. You should seek an attorney for formal legal advice and representation.]

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for California on
Q: I am staying in my rv on a property, not mine, can law or code enforcement tell me to leave and or arrest me ?

I have stayed on this property now for 3 months, not hiding, there is no signs posted, there is a no trespassing/ no camping sign on the other side of the street, no fence and no sign and or property markers on the property I'm on, no evidence of maintenance on the property, in fact we have... Read more »

James R. Dickinson
James R. Dickinson
answered on Sep 18, 2022

Sounds like you need to leave. [I litigate cases. Anything posted here must not be construed as legal advice, nor as grounds for forming an attorney-client relationship. You should seek an attorney for formal legal advice and representation.]

2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law and Civil Litigation for California on
Q: My ex fiance and I co-own a home. If I move out am I still obligated to pay 1/2 of bills?

I own half of the house. He has made it so toxic that for my health I need to move out while he tries to get a loan to buy me out. I pay half of the loan we got for the house and I pay half the space rent. He says if I leave he will pay my half until he buys me out but I want something to protect... Read more »

Dan Rowan Cortright
Dan Rowan Cortright
answered on Sep 16, 2022

If you are on the loan as a co-mortgagee, then if he does not pay the full loan amount you are jointly liable to the lender for its payment. This is the case until you are taken off the loan by the lender.

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