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California Real Estate Law Questions & Answers
1 Answer | Asked in Consumer Law, Contracts, Real Estate Law and Business Law for California on
Q: Is it legal for me to ask my clients for a deposit (50% of the inspection fee) ?

Or they can pay the total cost of the inspection fee no later than on the day of the inspection. Otherwise no report will be delivered to the client. To many times, clients don’t want to pay or want to cancel the inspection without giving ANY Notice, so if they pay a deposit they are less likely... Read more »

Ernest Charles Payne Jr
Ernest Charles Payne Jr answered on Mar 6, 2021

Yes. That is legal, and completely reasonable. Just make sure you are completely transparent with your clients about your policy before you take their deposit to hold their inspection appointment, and under what conditions that deposit will or won’t be refunded. Good luck.

2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law and Child Support for California on
Q: Do I have to give back property that has been quit claimed to me?

My ex husband quit claimed a piece of property to me 10 years ago. The agreement was that he would continue to pay the taxes in my name as he was going to keep the rental income. I just got a letter from his attorney stating that I need to give the property back now. She stated that I was his... Read more »

John T. Kontrabecki
John T. Kontrabecki answered on Mar 1, 2021

This is a potentially messy one. The first question I need to ask is what is the reason he will say he transferred the title to you? You write that he stated on the top of the deed "In dissolution of our marriage." This looks like a property settlement as a result of a divorce. If... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for California on
Q: Do I have a chance at winning over property rights/ occupancy over the house I co-own with my abusive child's father?

I am currently in a child custody dispute with my child's father. We co-own a house as of 2018 (never married) and after two years of domestic abuse I left with my daughter. We share 50/50 custody but am finding it difficult to aquire permanent reasonable housing for myself and my daughter.... Read more »

Yelena Gurevich
Yelena Gurevich answered on Mar 1, 2021

If you were never married, your rights to the property would be based on real estate laws and you have the right to ask the court to partition (i.e. have the property sold now) and have the equity distributed based on title ownership. So if he does not cooperate with you by 1) allow you to live in... Read more »

3 Answers | Asked in Bankruptcy and Real Estate Law for California on
Q: I own a house with my parents. If dad goes bankrupt can they take the house?

Mom and dad are both late in their late 70's and I know dad has $25 - $35 thousand in credit card debt and his business has at least that much. I can make the house payment but if one dies I can't pay his bills. How would bankruptcy work in California.

At the risk of asking two... Read more »

David Luther Woodward
David Luther Woodward answered on Feb 24, 2021

You have posed a multi-part complex question that only be definitively answered by a talented real property/bankruptcy lawyer in California. For instance, you cannot just waltz down to the court house and "take your name off" a mortgage. You are also resident in a community property... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning, Probate and Real Estate Law for California on
Q: Summary probate needed for real estate in CA?

I've been living in the same house with both my parents for 20+ years and we're all on the title to the house as TIC with each of us having 1/3 interest on the house. About 4 months ago my dad passed, leaving a Will saying that his entire interest in the house (basically his 1/3) goes to... Read more »

Nina Whitehurst
Nina Whitehurst answered on Feb 18, 2021

State inheritance laws do not dictate who is liable for loans after a borrower passes if the estate does not cover them. However, there is a federal law that prohibits lenders from calling residential mortgage loans due if a borrower passes. Of course, if the heirs don't keep making the... Read more »

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3 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning, Real Estate Law and Probate for California on
Q: In CA, what what happens to the probate fees if you, the sole beneficiary of the decedent's will, decide to waive them?

For example, In the case of a simplified probate where the decedent only had their share of the house that they shared with two other people (including the adult child) and that share were to be passed down to the adult child via Will. Since the adult child is entitled to receive that remaining... Read more »

Gerald Barry Dorfman
Gerald Barry Dorfman answered on Feb 18, 2021

An administrator or executor can waive their fees. If they do so, the estate doesn't have to pay them. The fees for court filing, publication, appraisal, etc. will still have to come from the estate. So will any attorney fees. So, if you are the sole beneficiary and are appointed executor,... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning, Real Estate Law and Probate for California on
Q: In CA, what happens to co-borrowed mortgage in the event one of the borrowers dies?

For instance, a married couple decided to borrow a mortgage together. However, some years later one of the borrowers dies. I understand that the surviving spouse takes over the payments assuming they are still financially able to, but wouldn't part of the mortgage be part of the... Read more »

Julie King
Julie King answered on Feb 17, 2021

It depends. California is a community property state so, assuming the debt is a joint debt, it's likely either spouse will be required to pay the full amount due -- but it will depend on the language in the paperwork you signed when you originally received the loan. A lawyer would have to read... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law and Construction Law for California on
Q: Can a licensed CA. General contractor perform home inspections and be hired to complete the repair work?

Is there any circumstances where a CA. Licensed General contractor can be paid for a home inspection and be hired separately for the nessasary repairs to the same home? B&P code says that home inspectors performing repair work can be considered as unfair business practices. Does that mean... Read more »

Ernest Charles Payne Jr
Ernest Charles Payne Jr answered on Feb 6, 2021

You’re talking about CA B&P 7197. The law is pretty clear and the circumstances where a company performing a home inspection can also perform repairs are very narrow and limited: like roof repairs pursuant to a roof certification inspection or termite repairs pursuant to a termite report.... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Contracts, Real Estate Law and Intellectual Property for California on
Q: My boyfriend mom has removed sold his belongings from his room and she took his dad name off deed to house without him a
Maurice Mandel II
Maurice Mandel II answered on Feb 6, 2021

Not your problem. Let them go to a real estate or Personal injury attorney.

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1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law and Civil Litigation for California on
Q: Can I sell a home with a renter who hasn’t paid lives in? We have no lease or formal contract. I can’t afford this.

I just purchased a new home and cannot afford two mortgage payments. I have nearly $300,000 in equity and wish to sell and retire. The tenant claims her lawyer states she can stay for 60 days. She also told me she will refuse to let anyone enter the proper who is interested in buying the home.... Read more »

Maurice Mandel II
Maurice Mandel II answered on Feb 6, 2021

You need to give 60 days notice in a notice to quit. You must also pay a 30 day rent "moving allowance" but if they on't pay rent, it would seem that the moving allowance is Zero.

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for California on
Q: My landlord is going to evict me on the 1st of February for being friends with another tenant. I don’t know what to do.

I’m so confused and stressed out and only been renting here 3 months. My landlord told me because they were evicting the other tenant who is also my friend that I had to go too. Since day one I have had not one moment of peace. There are 3 of us renting rooms at this private residence. Even... Read more »

Maurice Mandel II
Maurice Mandel II answered on Feb 6, 2021

Find a new place to go. Consult a local tenant rights attorney.

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1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant and Real Estate Law for California on
Q: Do I have tenant rights during an eviction She told me to get out and lied to me in order to proceed with filing feb 1

I also believe that this is a retaliatory eviction I had no idea this was coming because I do my best to follow rules and not jeopardize my tenancy. On Jan 17 I was served with a 3 day covenant or quit it said my property in on and around the rental property was hazardous waste and according to... Read more »

Maurice Mandel II
Maurice Mandel II answered on Feb 6, 2021

Sounds like unlawful Covid discrimination to me. Contact a local tenant's rights attorney, QUICK.

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1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for California on
Q: Los Angeles first time home owner - Am I liable for water/dirt runoff from my yard going into the neighbor's driveway?

My partner and I recently bought our first home last summer. The whole yard had been renovated with trees along our neighbors metal fence. Since moving in, the neighbor has informed us that due to the soil along the fence, when it rains the water and mud runs off into her driveway. She's... Read more »

Maurice Mandel II
Maurice Mandel II answered on Feb 6, 2021

You know, this is So Cal. The rainy season lasts maybe 4 days over as many months. Get a square shovel and a push broom and go clear her driveway after the rain like a good neighbor. I bet she would appreciate the effort. Home Depot sells 5 gallon buckets so you can return the dirt to your yard.... Read more »

3 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law for California on
Q: Should a real estate agent or attorney be hired to facilitate a tenants-in-common sale between the co-owners?

It is not required in California to have a real estate attorney, but given that the seller already has a buyer, i.e. one co-owner is selling their share to the other co-owner, would it possibly be cheaper to have a real estate attorney draw up documents instead of a real estate agent?

Jonathan Purcell
Jonathan Purcell answered on Feb 2, 2021

You might consider contacting a title company.

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1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law and Real Estate Law for California on
Q: Do 1099 contractors have rights regarding possible COVID exposure?

I’m a photographer (1099 contractor) for a real estate business in California that makes virtual tours using business owned equipment. I have done nearly 50 listings, mostly residential, spanning the last 7 months.

In many instances, not all, the listing has been vacant and I signed... Read more »

Neil Pedersen
Neil Pedersen answered on Jan 30, 2021

An independent contractor's rights and duties are defined by the contract between you and the other party to the contract. For the most part, laws enacted to protect employees will not protect independent contractors, with some exceptions. Whether your contractual partner can force you to... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for California on
Q: Home builder is delaying key handover date which create issues. Can we sue the builder for not meeting the deadline?

We were suppose get out house today but the builder called and said it moved till Monday. This is created lot of unnecessary chain of events. Like we had to move the delivery dates, take additional day of etc. beside that we the home has an attached rental unit and they are suppose to move in... Read more »

Gerald Barry Dorfman
Gerald Barry Dorfman answered on Jan 29, 2021

Very unlikely that it is worth pursuing, because the general standard applied to construction contracts is "substantial performance". However, take a look at your contract. If it says "time is of the essence", or provides for damages for delay, or makes a very specific... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law for California on
Q: How to get clear title to home when private mortgage holder died? Mortgage was not placed into her trust.

She’d told us not to worry about paying it and when my husband passed 6 years ago I tried to call her. Found she’d been taken out of state and died in a nursing home prior to my husband’s death.

Gerald Barry Dorfman
Gerald Barry Dorfman answered on Jan 28, 2021

Sounds like you will need to file a Quiet Title action.

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1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law, Estate Planning and Probate for California on
Q: My grandmother had a will but couldn't sign it due to her illness.

My grandmother had a will but couldn't sign it due to her illness in 2004 (she passed away the same year), despite that, things in the will were still distributed to those intended by my grandmother. It was intended for my grandmother's house to be left to me and my sister,specific... Read more »

Gerald Barry Dorfman
Gerald Barry Dorfman answered on Jan 28, 2021

Your question is much too complicated and fact-specific to be answered in an online forum such as this. Generally, an unsigned will is not a valid will. Agreements regarding real estate must be in writing. Title to real estate must pass according to the established rules, or else court action is... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law and Tax Law for California on
Q: I have two mortgages on two properties in CA. One will soon be used as a rental. Is it better to consolidate the two?

I should refinance both properties now because I can save money with the low interest rates on mortgages. One lender suggested that I consolidate the two loans and pay-off the loan on my future rental property. But I wonder if I will benefit more (because of the tax benefits) if I maintain the loan... Read more »

Jonathan Purcell
Jonathan Purcell answered on Jan 27, 2021

I suggest you build a good spreadsheet and analyze and compare individual scenarios as they arise.

Jonathan Purcell is a California Attorney. This posting does not create any attorney-client relationship. The information presented here is general in nature and is not intended nor should be...
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1 Answer | Asked in Consumer Law, Products Liability, Real Estate Law and Small Claims for California on
Q: A guard at a hotel got me kicked out,also used profanity and went into my room while my friend was inside,without ask

The guard said he was going to get my deposit taken and me kicked out the room. The hotel also,on three occasions tried to take the deposit without informing me. Management will not speak to me,concerning my qualms.

Maurice Mandel II
Maurice Mandel II answered on Jan 25, 2021

Sue the hotel in small claims. Limit is $10,000.00.

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