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California Real Estate Law Questions & Answers
1 Answer | Asked in Civil Rights, Landlord - Tenant and Real Estate Law for California on
Q: So I went to court for a unlawful detainer. A mediator made me feel like I had to come to an agreement I did not want t.

So even tho I knew it wouldn’t b financially possible. Long story short I been at my residence for almost 4 yrs when I moved in it was inhabitable. Due to the fires there was no housing so I needed to take what I could for my children. So I made this place a home with countless hrs and tons of... Read more »

Louis George Fazzi
Louis George Fazzi answered on May 11, 2022

You need the help of an experienced real estate lawyer. The issues you raised go beyond a simple unlawful detainer matter. I suggest you contact a good real estate lawyer with experience litigating cases such as yours where your efforts made the property more valuable than at the time you commenced... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Contracts, Real Estate Law, Landlord - Tenant and Probate for California on
Q: Can an HOA stop me from staying in the house I inherited from my mother who passed away?

I was the live in caregiver for my mother who is buying a home in a 60+ trailer park. However, my mom passed away recently and now I am the heir to the property. The HOA has told me that because I am only 54 years old I cannot live in my house, I cannot rent it out to anyone whether they are 60+ or... Read more »

Rogelio (Rod) B. Tuazon
Rogelio (Rod) B. Tuazon answered on May 10, 2022

I believe the HOA may be correct. The Fair Housing Act exempts communities intended for people 55-62 or older to discriminate based on familial status. It appears that your mother’s trailer park caters only to residents who are over 60 years old. You have two options: either (1) find someone you... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law and Landlord - Tenant for California on
Q: Lease application got cancelled as the person changed their mind

I recently moved to California for a job, I submitted my application for taking over someone's lease. After two weeks of the application he told me that his visa (he is moving to some other country) got delayed and now he cannot rent it to me.

The problem is that I have spent countless... Read more »

Rogelio (Rod) B. Tuazon
Rogelio (Rod) B. Tuazon answered on May 6, 2022

If you can prove that you have been reasonably induced to rely on a promise that the other party made, you may file a “detrimental reliance” claim if you can prove that the reliance caused you to suffer some kind of a harm or loss. If you had the agreement in writing, you would only need to... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Contracts, Foreclosure and Real Estate Law for California on
Q: What makes a loan document void
Rogelio (Rod) B. Tuazon
Rogelio (Rod) B. Tuazon answered on May 4, 2022

This is quite a broad question to answer. If you have specifics, it would be easier to identify if the loan may be void or voidable.

There are several ways to challenge the validity of a loan. If there are missing terms, such as the number of years to pay or the interest rate the lender...
Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning, Real Estate Law and Probate for California on
Q: In California after death of spouse and court has approved spousal property order for real estate do I now need a deed?

If so what type and what is procedure? Thanks

Rogelio (Rod) B. Tuazon
Rogelio (Rod) B. Tuazon answered on May 4, 2022

Based on your question, I would have to assume that the property was owned solely by spouse and there was no living trust or transfer on death deed. And I also would have to assume that you had to go to the court to petition for probate and the court decided that the property passes solely to you.... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Divorce and Real Estate Law for California on
Q: Minnesota, xhusband died married 25 years divorced 2 remained together. Mortgage in both names loan his alone my rights?
Tobie Brina Waxman
Tobie Brina Waxman answered on Apr 29, 2022

This question was posted under California, although you preface your inquiry by stating you (or xhusband??) are in Minnesota. From the perspective of California law, if it applies, the extent of the community's interest in the property is not based on whose name is on title or on the loan.... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning, Real Estate Law, Land Use & Zoning and Probate for California on
Q: What would you recommend in the following situation:

The property ( Vacant Land Lot value under $30,000) has a few owners.

One of them has the property under Living Trust, he is passed away.

This person doesn't have a wife or children.

We can not get Trust documents of his Living Trust.

What would you recommend... Read more »

Julie King
Julie King answered on Apr 27, 2022

Unfortunately, you can't just give away property that belongs to someone else. Even if you tried, the County would never accept a Grant Deed that was signed by someone who is not authorized to give away the property.

When someone passes away and has a trust, the trust will say who...
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Divorce and Real Estate Law for California on
Q: Is there a legal document to allow one person on a mortgage to leave without liability or claim to future proceeds?

In Humboldt County, California, my daughter and son-in-law are about to divorce. They haven't filed yet. My son-in-law would like to stop making his half of mortgage payments immediately (they have separate bank accounts), and receive what is thought to be his half of the current equity in... Read more »

James A. Greer
James A. Greer answered on Apr 25, 2022

Dear Property Split Questioner: Certainly a competent attorney could draft the Agreement that addresses the splitting of the equity in the house and the other particulars as to manner of division between these parties. However, the biggest challenge to the expressed "goal" of either/both... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for California on
Q: can I open a dispute for my home to get the buyer's deposit money & at the same time sell my home to an ibuyer(opendoor)

I'm selling my home and the buyer backed out 1 week before close of escrow citing that market is cooling down so either we decrease our house price now or he wants to back out. no contingencies. so if we, as sellers wish, then we are entitled to all the initial deposit money that the buyer... Read more »

Yelena Gurevich
Yelena Gurevich answered on Apr 23, 2022

The simple answer is yes you can sell to another buyer if your current buyer officially backs out. The dispute with the current buyer is simple the cash on deposit. You will want to speak to your broker and a real estate attorney to have the proper demand letters and legal process taken.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Real Estate Law for California on
Q: My husband refinanced his house we live in (his separate prop) and claimed he was unmarried. Is that legal?

He has owned this home for 30 years..we have been married for 4. Our community funds have paid the payments since the date of our marriage. If something happens to him and the deed says "unmarried', what will happen to my interest? As an FYI, I am not asking what would happen if we... Read more »

Julie King
Julie King answered on Apr 21, 2022

If community funds pay costs associated with the home, if you get divorced, you would likely be entitled to half of the increase in value from the date of marriage to the date of separation. If he passes away, the home will go to whomever he leaves it to in his Trust or Will. Side note: If he owns... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law and Tax Law for California on
Q: I live in California, but have a house in Puerto Rice. Is there a withholding of 15% to the IRS for the sale of my house

I live in California, but have a house in Puerto Rice. Is there a withholding of 15% to the IRS for the sale of my house for $400k

David S. Greenberg
David S. Greenberg answered on Apr 21, 2022

The IRS only requires 15% of the sales price be withheld on the sale of United States real property interests by foreign persons.

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law and Probate for California on
Q: What are my rights when dealing with code enforcement am I supposed to be given time to fix the issues with the house

I've been living in my aunt's house for 2 years but she passed away and the house is in my grandparents name and they passed away a long time ago I've been in the house for 2 years and now family and code enforcement is trying to kick me and my family out they said we have 2 days to... Read more »

Howard E. Kane
Howard E. Kane answered on Apr 20, 2022

If your grandparents did not have a living trust, then the property must go through the probate process to change the title from your grandparents to their heirs or beneficiaries. In the alternative, the home will be sold through probate, and the proceeds of the sale will eventually be distributed... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Land Use & Zoning and Real Estate Law for California on
Q: How do I get rid of an easement that goes through both mine and neighbors properties? I want to separate properties

We bought home in December and easement was stated in our paperwork. The neighbor has prior history of harassing previous owners and we thought we would be different by trying to create friendship but this is not the case. She is now harassing my son. How do I null this easement and create a drive... Read more »

James A. Greer
James A. Greer answered on Apr 18, 2022

Dear Easement Issue Owner: This issue is too "heady" for a brief reply on this forum. While we have MANY qualified attorneys whom participate in the JUSTIA system, I don't think any of us can make a thoughtful response to this issue without MUCH MORE information/documents/history.... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for California on
Q: I want to add my mom to my deed. What form do I use for this?
Yelena Gurevich
Yelena Gurevich answered on Apr 14, 2022

Grant deed or quitclaim deed and a preliminary change of ownership form. However, you could trigger reassessment of your property which could affect your property tax amount. So you may want to speak with estate planning attorney before you do anything.

1 Answer | Asked in Civil Litigation, Contracts and Real Estate Law for California on
Q: How does buying someone out of a house work?

My fiancé and I own a house together. We are splitting up. He wants to buy me out and said he would pay me for each month we’ve lived there. So I’ve paid $650 for 28 months so it comes out to $18,200. Is this the correct way to buy someone out? I’ve been researching and feel it should be a... Read more »

Dan Rowan Cortright
Dan Rowan Cortright answered on Apr 13, 2022

Yes, if you own the house jointly and it has increased in equity since buying it, you should ask for your 30% of the equity in the home. He may be offering to pay you for the months you've lived there to try and avoid having to give you your fair equity in the home. Of course, if the equity... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law and Civil Litigation for California on
Q: Can we cut branches from neighbor's tree encroaching on our yard? neighbor is not responsive.

Tried to find the current owner and public records only show previous owner.

Cannot get in contact with property manager as they are not responsive to find the current owner.

The tree encroaches on the yard and overhangs towards close to our roof, littering it with leaves and... Read more »

Dan Rowan Cortright
Dan Rowan Cortright answered on Apr 5, 2022

You are completely entitled to trim the portion of the tree that hangs over your property. In fact, any tree hanging over your fence is your responsibility to trim/maintain, so you would not be permitted to seek reimbursement for the trimming cost from the neighbor. The fence is another issue, and... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for California on
Q: If a private lender committed fraud and conspiracy in regard to a loan given to an LLC what damages can be incurred

Damages or are they liable for punitive, exemplary and other damages

Yelena Gurevich
Yelena Gurevich answered on Apr 5, 2022

Business disputes are generally not subject to punitive damages and this appears to be a bank loan to an LLC so it’s a business dispute. You will need to seek a consultation with a business attorney that can advise you after all facts are provided.

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law and Land Use & Zoning for California on
Q: My husband and first wife bought land with another couple. They have not paid their share. Can we get the land titled

In our name only? They have not paid their half share of the purchase nor taxes since the early 80’s. I want full title so I can sell it. Currently not worth what we have paid in taxes over the years. What can we do.

Yelena Gurevich
Yelena Gurevich answered on Mar 29, 2022

you can ask them to relinquish their interest to you and if they dont then you can file a partition action and have the court order the property sold and funds distributed based on contributions and payments towards the property.

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law and Tax Law for California on
Q: We plan to sell our house in 2023, w/a capital tax gain of $1MM. Should I NOT work in 2022 to fall in the 0% tax rate?

I can afford to not work. But a past employer wants me to work for them. Ideally, i want my taxable income to be as low as possible when i sell our house, correct?

Jarrett Nila Buchanan
Jarrett Nila Buchanan answered on Mar 29, 2022

If this home qualifies as your primary residence, you will qualify for a capital gain exclusion of $250k, if single, or $500k, if married. If this is an investment property, you may defer taxable gain by doing a 1031 exchange. There are also ways to change the characteristics of properties in... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Civil Rights, Real Estate Law and Collections for California on
Q: What is the deadline to appeal a no show civil judgement. Told 6 moths. July 2: 2021. If can’t find attorney what form

Mess with hiring ATT.in Feb did not show for DJ. Plaintiff new i hired atty they t hearing July 2021 I did ca. I did not hear 1day ojust meet confir 90 days. I am disabled live bed can’t sit. Everyday same. I sent email, on 7/2 said any day 1 to 5. No response . 7/6 at 1 sent email from vet,... Read more »

Yelena Gurevich
Yelena Gurevich answered on Mar 28, 2022

to appeal is 60 days.

to file motion to vacate: California Code, Code of Civil Procedure - CCP § 663a- "Within 15 days of the date of mailing of notice of entry of judgment by the clerk of the court pursuant to Section 664.5 , or service upon him or her by any party of written notice...
Read more »

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