California Real Estate Law Questions & Answers

Q: My uncle and his girlfriend bought a house together about 4 years ago. He wants to sell but she doesn't. What can he do?

2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law for California on
Answered on Feb 13, 2019
Gerald Barry Dorfman's answer
Assuming the property is in California, he can file a court action for "partition". In this type of court proceeding, the court divides the property according to the interests of the owners, sometimes adjusting their shares. Most of the time this is accomplished by a court-ordered sale and division of the sale proceeds. Sometimes just the threat by a lawyer to bring such a case will stimulate settlement discussions.

Q: I am trying to find out what type of lawyer I need. Some land was purchased in my name without my knowledge or consent.

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for California on
Answered on Feb 13, 2019
Thomas A. Grossman's answer
I think you need to investigate the matter before you start spending money on an attorney. It is not too difficult to go on the internet and look up the property. The property is apparently located in the County of Shasta. You can contact the County Recorder for Shasta County and see if you can retrieve some documents from them. I don't understand how someone can purchase real property in your name unless they are attempting to perpetrate a scam on you. I would check out the County...

Q: My landlord has decided he no longer needs to honor our verbal agreement regarding having overnight guest.

1 Answer | Asked in Civil Litigation, Landlord - Tenant, Real Estate Law and Small Claims for California on
Answered on Feb 13, 2019
Thomas A. Grossman's answer
A verbal agreement means nothing. You are fortunate that you were granted 4 years for you and your mother to live in the owner's house. I have already answered this question once. I presume the Landlord owns the house. If so, it is his house and he can give you notice to leave any time he wants. Just like you can leave the house any time you want. Don't blame the landlord for being a good guy and giving you 4 good years. I suggest that you and your mother find another place to live....

Q: What are my rights if i live in the home my brother inherited from my grandma and he wants to sell it.

2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law for California on
Answered on Feb 13, 2019
Gerald Barry Dorfman's answer
If there is more to the story, you should consult with an attorney. Based just on what you have said here, it seems you are a month-to-month tenant, entitled to 60 days notice of termination of tenancy.

Q: What motion can I file at this point? Originally my mom was being sued by a tenant in common.

1 Answer | Asked in Land Use & Zoning, Landlord - Tenant and Real Estate Law for California on
Answered on Feb 11, 2019
Thomas A. Grossman's answer
There is not enough information in your request for me to give you a decent answer to your question. I don't know what Court you are in, or in which County the case is pending; I don't know who the "tenant-in-common" is that you refer to. Is it your mother or someone else? And why is the plaintiff not in jail if someone murdered your father after being induced by the plaintiff to take a new job? Is there a criminal investigation going on? Where is the property located? Whose names are on...

Q: I rent a room in my landlords home. I installed a locking doorknob when I moved in and I have the only key.

1 Answer | Asked in Land Use & Zoning, Landlord - Tenant and Real Estate Law for California on
Answered on Feb 9, 2019
Thomas A. Grossman's answer
Since you pay rent to share two rooms in the landlord's house, you are on a month to month tenancy. If your landlord wants to evict you, he would have to give you 30 day's notice. A Lodger is more like being a Hotel Guest, where you pay for a certain number of days, and when those days are up you can stay or go. In busy resort areas, you may have to leave on your last day if the Hotel is booked up.

Q: My apartment complex wants to renovate my unit when my lease expires. So, I will be moving out.

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for California on
Answered on Feb 9, 2019
Thomas A. Grossman's answer
It depends on the meaning of "renovate." If they are going to put in new cabinets, appliances, carpeting, tile, fixtures, etc., then I would think they should give you all or part of your security deposit back. If they are simply cleaning the carpets, doing some painting, putting in new blinds, and freshening up the apartment, and it has not sustained a lot of wear and tear while you were there, then I think (just my opinion) that you should get all of your deposit back.

Q: I am the defendant in a case where the original judge took a matter under submission.

1 Answer | Asked in Contracts, Real Estate Law, Municipal Law and Small Claims for California on
Answered on Feb 7, 2019
Thomas A. Grossman's answer
I don't know the details of your case, but when a plaintiff wins a small claims judgment you have 30 days from the date the judgment is entered into the court record to appeal the judge's decision. If the 30 days have not run, you should immediately file an appeal of the decision with the Court.

Q: Can a landlord deny you based on age even if you make well enough for rent?

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant and Real Estate Law for California on
Answered on Feb 4, 2019
Manuel Alzamora Juarez's answer
If you are already a tenant just continue paying the rent. Worry about your age and income when they question you. Best of luck!.

Q: Hi my name is Melissa I really need help trying to find out what tax law allows a taxpayer to have a escrow company put

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law and Tax Law for California on
Answered on Jan 31, 2019
Frank Huerta Jr's answer
You should really determine if you owe the money. You want to find out what tax years the lien covers. Call the IRS or State to ask for a record of your account. If you have already paid it off then fill out a lien discharge request. If you are disputing the underlying debt you can either file an audit reconsideration or in some cases file an offer in compromise doubt as to liability. If you do owe the money, then contact the IRS lien unit about paying off the balance and ask for the lien...

Q: I have been appointed administrator of my late husbands estate and I was wondering is that the only paperwork I need

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for California on
Answered on Jan 30, 2019
Gerald Barry Dorfman's answer
No, that is not all that is needed. Your question indicates that you have filed a probate action (which is the way an administrator of an estate is appointed). Depending on the value of the estate, the potential heirs, and how title to the various forms of property is held, filing a probate action may or may not have been necessary. Assuming it was necessary, you must still administer the estate, and file the necessary paperwork associated with that. That will include notifying creditors,...

Q: Are there Attorneys who take clients who have communication disabilities? It is a complicated tenant lanlord case.

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant, Libel & Slander, Real Estate Law and Contracts for California on
Answered on Jan 30, 2019
Timur Akpinar's answer
You could contact the State Bar of California, which has an attorney referral service. You could check with them if they are able to identify attorneys under these attributes. If you are able to conduct independent searches on your own (you mention the difficulty of doing this) or with the assistance of someone else, you could attempt searching for attorneys who have configured their operations to accommodate communication and other online accessibility issues. This is an area which is seeing...

Q: Does a co-executor to an estate have the legal right to have a key to the house? Even if they don’t live in it.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Real Estate Law for California on
Answered on Jan 24, 2019
Jeffrey Louis Gaffney's answer
How can there be executors if there was no Will? Were they appointed by the Probate Court?

If she is executor of the estate then she needs to have access to the house to inventory the goods and to dispose of the assets. So ... yes.

I hope that answers your question.

Q: I have offered on a property with an agent. If I want to bring in a real estate attorney. Would my realtor get paid

2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law for California on
Answered on Jan 24, 2019
Thomas A. Grossman's answer
Your realtor would get paid as long as he is competent enough to understand all the wording of the various documents. An attorney can help explain those documents, but he would have to be paid, cutting into your resources. The agents are supposed to do most of the work: Showing the property, listing it, negotiating a price, etc.

The agent would probably make more money than the attorney would, and agents sometimes feel that the attorneys are deal killers, because we often find...

Q: Hello, My neighbor moved and left their property vacant now there are squatters living there selling drugs.

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for California on
Answered on Jan 24, 2019
Gerald Barry Dorfman's answer
You may be able to sue the owners under a nuisance theory. You would have to pay your own attorney, with no assurance of being awarded those fees when you win. You may want to try getting a similar action brought by the city or county. It probably qualifies as a public nuisance, and municipalities can enforce the law efficiently, if they choose to do so.

Q: I have only a verbal agreement with my landlord whom I rent 2 bedroom from for the last 4 years we have have made

1 Answer | Asked in Civil Litigation, Landlord - Tenant, Real Estate Law and Small Claims for California on
Answered on Jan 24, 2019
Ali Shahrestani, Esq.'s answer
Are you renting on a month-to-month basis? If he's violating your verbal agreements or written agreements via text, you might have a basis to sue for breach of contract. You might want to have a lawyer review your facts and possibly try to negotiate a resolution with the landlord. More details are necessary to provide a professional analysis of your issue. The best first step is an Initial Consultation with an Attorney such as myself. You can read more about me, my credentials, awards, honors,...

Q: 3 co-own a house. 2 refuse to charge mkt rent against 3rd owner's wishes. Can 3rd owner raise rent on his 1/3 ownership?

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for California on
Answered on Jan 24, 2019
Ali Shahrestani, Esq.'s answer
That makes no sense. Typically all 3 would have to agree to the rent increase. If the house is owned by 3 different owners, who is listed as the landlord on the lease? What are the rent-price terms of the lease? What is the form of co-ownership? If you disagree on fundamental issues, have you considered offering your co-owners to be bought out of your 1/3 of the ownership or otherwise filing for partition to be able to put your share on the market for sale? More details are necessary to provide...

Q: I Have submitted an offer on a home through an agent. However I’d like to have an real estate attorney to help

2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law for California on
Answered on Jan 23, 2019
Gerald Barry Dorfman's answer
For a home purchase, an attorney could explain the contract terms, advise you on potential problems, and suggest the best way to minimize risk. It can be helpful to have an adviser who does not have any reason to rush through a transaction, and has seen enough to be able to point out the advantages and disadvantages of steps you can take now to avoid trouble later.

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