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California Real Estate Law Questions & Answers
2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning, Family Law, Real Estate Law and Landlord - Tenant for California on
Q: Yes I'd like to know my rights I have been living in my house for about a year-and-a-half with my cousin

He just passed away and his stepdaughter come in 2 hours after he passed away with two of her friends threatening me and telling me that I had to move out right then to get my stuff and move out I called the police the police told him that they could stay in the house with me and I had to stay in... Read more »

Nina Whitehurst
Nina Whitehurst answered on Dec 14, 2019

If it is your house (title is in your name) and there are no co-owners then nobody can kick you out or move in without your consent. Find a landlord-tenant eviction attorney ASAP to help you kick them out. (You should have never let them in.)

If it is not your house then repost your...
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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Real Estate Law for California on
Q: My grandfather left a will which was a house to his daughters but my mother past away do I get her part of the house

Does my mothers part of the house/ will go to her sons and daughters since she past away

Nina Whitehurst
Nina Whitehurst answered on Dec 13, 2019

Much more information is needed to answer your question. Did your mother leave a surviving spouse? What does her will say? How much debt does she owe? Did she obtain any MediCal benefits before she passed?

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for California on
Q: Does my sister-in-law need a real estate lawyer to sell her condo in California?

My sister-in-law lives in Duarte, CA, and wants to sell her condo. Her partner, a joint tenant on the mortgage, moved out 10 years ago without a specific forwarding address in Las Vegas. My sister-in-law has made the full mortgage payments since. What are her options?

Bahram Madaen
Bahram Madaen answered on Dec 8, 2019

She can bring an action in the court for partition and/or sale of the property. Her partner could be served by publication after a reasonable search. It cost money, but it is doable.

1 Answer | Asked in Contracts, Landlord - Tenant and Real Estate Law for California on
Q: If you maintain the claim of Ownership to a home that is NAMED by other in deed.How can you prove that you have right
Nina Whitehurst
Nina Whitehurst answered on Dec 7, 2019

You hire an attorney to file a quiet title action (court case) for you. This state of affairs usually is the result of having failed to hire an attorney when you acquired your interest. That would have been cheap. The quiet title action is going to be way more expensive. Preventing problems is... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law, Real Estate Law and Probate for California on
Q: i was to submit a motion for summary judgment but i was told to file a declaration of undisputed facts why?

I lost a default judgment to A SET ASIDE because of faulty proofs of service however I have a CHANCE TO WIN BASED ON THE MERITS OF THE CASE BUT THOUGHT TO FILE A MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT BUT AM TOLD I HAVE TO FILE A DECLARATION OF UNDISPUTED FACTS WHY ?? I AM THE PLAINTIFF AND HOW DOES ALL... Read more »

Tobie Brina Waxman
Tobie Brina Waxman answered on Dec 4, 2019

Review California Rules of Court, Rule 3.1350 - 3.1354, and Code of Civil Procedure 437c. A motion for summary judgment must include some type of evidence, which may be in the form of a declaration, that establishes for the court that there are no defenses available to the defendant and that you... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Criminal Law and Real Estate Law for California on
Q: I purchased items online but I put the previous address instead of my current one. I can't reach the new homeowners.

I'm I allowed to grab my packages off their porch?

David Stephen Kestenbaum
David Stephen Kestenbaum answered on Dec 1, 2019

Why not contact the company tou bought the items from and update the correct address. Also since you live close enough to go pick up the items off their porch (bad idea) just drop off a letter asking them to contact you when the items arrive.

Otherwise with everyone having Ring video, you...
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1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law and Civil Litigation for California on
Q: What’s the maximum discovery sanctions one may request, as a pro per?

I requested formal discovery from opposing counsel. Opposing counsel failed to provide the Requests for Production of Documents and Tangible Things on or before the deadline. I am filing a motion to compel and would appreciate it if you would guide me as to what the maximum monetary limit in... Read more »

Joseph Franklin Klatt
Joseph Franklin Klatt answered on Nov 19, 2019

The maximum sanction that you can ask for is your attorneys fees and costs. If you are pro per, you have no attorneys fees to collect, so you will be limited to "costs." For you that probably means your $60 motion fee (presuming you paid one, if you have a fee waiver this is not recoverable), and... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for California on
Q: Are there Real Estate Regulations governing changes to a 55+ Rental Property by a new owner?

I live in 55+ apartment listed to be SOLD.

I am retiring and will live on a fixed income and am concerned about my ability to continue to live here under new ownership. Am I protected in any way in this transaction?

Joseph Franklin Klatt
Joseph Franklin Klatt answered on Nov 18, 2019

If you have a lease, your lease is unaffected by the new ownership. It will remain in effect. At the end of the lease term, the landlord may want to change the terms of any new lease. If those terms include a large rent increase or effectively force you out of the unit, then you may want to talk... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law, Health Care Law and Landlord - Tenant for California on
Q: Do I have any legal rights if the fire exits in my studio were sealed shut without my knowledge?

I live in a small studio apartment and I noticed Maintenance were outside working by my windows. Later on I tried opening the windows to get some fresh air and the window would not open. I went outside and noticed the windows were painted in and sealed. One of the windows is partially open about 1... Read more »

Joseph Franklin Klatt
Joseph Franklin Klatt answered on Nov 18, 2019

You do have legal rights if the unit is not up to Code or the maintenance work has created a dangerous condition. Your first step is to talk to the landlord or property manager. If that doesn't solve the problem, then you can contact a local landlord-tenant lawyer. This said, your most expedient... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for California on
Q: What is the right way for me to get him out of my property, without losing my last 3 months rent and the hay money?

I leased out 3 acres of my property to a guy for raising 4 cows. The leasing contract expired few months ago but we both agreed to continue the lease.

For the last 3 months he stopped paying the due rent money, also in many occasions, fell short to provide hay for his cows, so I had to buy... Read more »

Joseph Franklin Klatt
Joseph Franklin Klatt answered on Nov 18, 2019

You will need to follow the unlawful detainer process, which is the awkward way we say "eviction." Generally speaking, this will require a legal notice to the tenant to pay his rent or some other ground to evict him. These are often short notices, 3 to 5 days. If the tenant doesn't comply, you... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Contracts, Real Estate Law, Health Care Law and Landlord - Tenant for California on
Q: The Light Fixture Fell Down From An Apartment Just Rent In September

The light fixture just fell from an apartment that we just rent. Luckily, no one got injured. But, we, as college students, still felt that this incident was very dangerous. However, the leasing office response was "everything could happen." The argue point was that we signed the contract only two... Read more »

Manuel Alzamora Juarez
Manuel Alzamora Juarez answered on Nov 17, 2019

First take pictures and videos. Second, write a letter to LL and explain all that happened and ask manager to fix the problems. Best of luck.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Real Estate Law for California on
Q: I need to transfer my property from a trust to myself after the death of my mother. I don’t know how to do this .

My mother passed 5 years ago. She gave me the house upon her death, it was in the family trust before this. I need to change the title.

Nina Whitehurst
Nina Whitehurst answered on Nov 16, 2019

The best way to do this is to hire an attorney to assist you. Most estate planning and trust administration attorneys (such as myself) do this on a regular basis. The fee is usually quite affordable compared to the litany of problems you could experience in the future if this is not done... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Real Estate Law for California on
Q: I have a question on CA prop 13 transfer between parent and child.

My mom relocated to a managed care facility last year. If I purchase the home she lived in for 50 yrs, will I be excluded from reassessment of the property and be able to continue getting the prop 13 tax advantages and if so, does it need to be my primary residence?

James Edward Berge
James Edward Berge answered on Nov 14, 2019

Whether it's a sale or gift of property to you by a parent, you should still qualify for the parent to child reassessment exemption under Proposition 58 which extends Prop 13 protection to the child, regardless of whether that child is a minor or an adult. If the property being transferred is the... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning, Real Estate Law and Elder Law for California on
Q: Additional questions to: What is the cost of a POA in CA? My sister resides in CA, had a stroke in July, in rehab in CA.

Thank you for your previous answers. Ms. Whitehurst, what other "eventualities" are you referring to? And, Mr. Gaffney, so, is it necessary and/or advised to obtain a physician's letter stating she has "the mental capacity to understand what she is signing"? We are also awaiting approval for SSI... Read more »

Jeffrey Louis Gaffney
Jeffrey Louis Gaffney answered on Nov 14, 2019

If a person has some impairment, then you are right to worry that someone may later claim that they did not have the capacity to sign the document. We usually work the other way around (getting a doctor to say someone is incompetent), but I like your defensive thinking in making sure that she has... Read more »

3 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Real Estate Law for California on
Q: What is the cost of a durable POA in CA? My sister resides in CA. She had a stroke in July; now in rehab facility in CA.

I need to obtain a POA for her. I'm in Florida. The only assets she has, to my knowledge, are 2 cars (in CA), a bank account (in CA - don't know if anything is in at this point) and some land in FL (which she was considering selling before her stroke). She also as a list of credit card accounts. We... Read more »

Nina Whitehurst
Nina Whitehurst answered on Nov 13, 2019

Here is the California statutory power of attorney form available for free online: https://www.smclawlibrary.org/forms/PowerOfAttorney.pdf

However, it is very basic and does not cover many eventualities that you may want/need in the future. For a custom power of attorney, you should...
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1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for California on
Q: I need to close my business because I can’t afford to pay the rent and I have nine more months lease, can they sue me?

I also have some problems with landlord, like the air conditioner is not working for almost one month and they didn’t fix it, last month The part of store doesn’t have light and it takes a week for them to fix it, and similar problems every few months. My total lease agreement is for 5 years... Read more »

Joseph Franklin Klatt
Joseph Franklin Klatt answered on Nov 12, 2019

If you vacate, or just stop paying the rent, they can sue you for damages. The likely measure of damages is the amount of rent they lose until they re-rent the space or reasonably could have re-rented the space or the lease term is over, whichever is the smallest number. If you have the right to... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law for California on
Q: I sold a foreclosed property in June 2017, now a former owner wants to sue claiming real estate fraud?
Joseph Franklin Klatt
Joseph Franklin Klatt answered on Nov 12, 2019

I'm not sure what the question is. The statute of limitations for fraud in California is three years, which accrues from the time there are both damages and discovery. Discovery occurs when the person discovers they have been injured or reasonably should have.

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1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for California on
Q: At the end of a lease, how much time does an owner need to give the renter before they want the tenant out.

I was given a 60 day notice of the end of lease with two options- continue with a new 6 month lease with added $45.00/mo or continue on a month-to-month at an additional $100.00/mo- in October, 2019. My lease is up Dec 13th. Today, Nov. 8th I got a notice to be OUT by Dec, 13th. Is this legal?

Joseph Franklin Klatt
Joseph Franklin Klatt answered on Nov 10, 2019

This depends on the terms of the lease, and the length of time you have been a tenant. It could be 30 or 60 days. First, check your lease. My guess is it will be 30 days notice, which would be consistent with the laws if it is given before the lease expires. If the notice is given /after/ the... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning, Real Estate Law and Tax Law for California on
Q: I lived on 52 acres shared by my mother and uncle. I alone paid the $10,000 in back taxes. Do I have any rights to it?

The property was my dad & uncle's and my dad's part went to my mom when he died. I lived there for over 23yrs in the main house but moved into an RV on the property so my mother, sister, and her husband and kids coild have the house. I paid rent monthly just to help out and I alone paid the 2 year... Read more »

Nina Whitehurst
Nina Whitehurst answered on Nov 10, 2019

You have a claim against the property owners for reimbursement but be prepared for them to make a counterclaim against you for rent.

2 Answers | Asked in Land Use & Zoning, Contracts, Real Estate Law and Landlord - Tenant for California on
Q: Do you have same rights as a renter, if you are offered Free Rent in exchange for labor fixing the house up?

Ive been offered a house Free Rent just to fix it up. It has a lot wrong with it. Needs toilet, tub put in, new electrical box, trees trimmed, trash cleaned up cause homeless have been coming and going. All kinds of things. I was told that even after everything is fixed I could stay there rent free... Read more »

Manuel Alzamora Juarez
Manuel Alzamora Juarez answered on Oct 30, 2019

I see this pattern a lot in my business. Here is some advice to protect you. write a contract for a nominal rent. Have the landlady agree that you will charge market fees and that she will pay for all supplies.

Each month tally your work and then deduct the nominal rent. If there is a...
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