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California Real Estate Law Questions & Answers
1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for California on
Q: Is a verbal lease extension for one year considered valid in California, extending an original one year lease?

Last year I wrote a letter to my tenant, which included: “Regarding your lease for [property address], which is up on 5/31/21: this is to confirm the conversation between you and me regarding your lease, in which you expressed your desire to extend for another year.”

At the bottom of... Read more »

Yelena Gurevich
Yelena Gurevich answered on Mar 25, 2022

it's a month to month without a new signed lease.

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for California on
Q: Can I get the full legal 3% from a buyer that withdraw from a cash transaction for no apparent reason?

I got a cash offer for my house that is for sale and accepted it. Opened the escrow and signed the seller documents. We noticed that the buyer was delaying signing and making the initial escrow deposit as he stipulated in the offering. Later the week the buyer realtor reply that he had a break in... Read more »

Jarrett Nila Buchanan
Jarrett Nila Buchanan answered on Mar 24, 2022

If you used the standard RPA, you likely capped your damages at the amount of buyer's deposit. If buyer has failed to close on the home and has waived all contingencies, you have a good argument for keeping the deposit. Your Realtor needs to make a demand for the deposit from escrow. If... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning, Real Estate Law and Probate for California on
Q: I live in my dad's CA rental, when he passes this property to me, will it be reassessed as it is not his primary home?

This is regarding property tax reassessment due to the newly passed Prop 19 in California. He lives in a different residence that he plans to leave to my brother. I rent his other house now and he wants to give it to me now (if the tax implications are more favorable for him now or myself later) or... Read more »

Julie King
Julie King answered on Mar 21, 2022

The only way your property taxes will be the same as your father's is if BOTH of the following are true: (1) the now-rental home becomes your father's primary residence and is his primary residence at his death -- meaning he is not living in an Alzheimer's facility or anywhere else... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for California on
Q: If my HOA's CCRs states that they will provide exterior maintenance, can they pass the bill to me?

The CCR's state:

“The association shall provide exterior maintenance for each residence and carport on a lot in the project. Such exterior maintenance shall include the painting, repair, replacement and care of exterior building surfaces, roof surfaces, gutters, and downspouts. Such... Read more »

Yelena Gurevich
Yelena Gurevich answered on Mar 18, 2022

Technically yes. The HOA money comes from each homeowner and when the regular monthly assessment doesn’t cover a particular cost the. The HOA can impose a special assessment (if enough people vote for it).

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for California on
Q: I'm separated & my ex wants 75% of profit from house sale. I signed 5 months ago & still not on the market.

When is my contract with agent null & void? I was lied to from outset.

Jarrett Nila Buchanan
Jarrett Nila Buchanan answered on Mar 17, 2022

If you choose to remain married to your wife, the distribution of profit from the sale will depend on how title was taken to the property. If you choose to divorce, the divorce court will determine the distribution of profit from the sale. An agent does not determine how profit is distributed.

2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law for California on
Q: I signed an agreement to have my LA house sold in November & it's still not on the market! I believe I was lied to.
Jarrett Nila Buchanan
Jarrett Nila Buchanan answered on Mar 17, 2022

If the Realtor did not perform their duties under the listing agreement, they are in breach of that agreement. Unless you agreed otherwise, Realtors are required to place the listing in the MLS within 24 hours of executing the listing agreement. The listing period has likely lapsed by now as... Read more »

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4 Answers | Asked in Contracts, Criminal Law, Real Estate Law and Legal Malpractice for California on
Q: What course of action do I have against an attorney that I believe is guilty of negligence and misrepresentation?

I entered in to a contract that was prepared by an attorney for my step father. I was to be paid $30,000 out of escrow for the sale of my mothers home. I fulfilled my obligations for the contract. The home sold and I was told there was no money left due to a lien. I later found out from the title... Read more »

Dale S. Gribow
Dale S. Gribow answered on Mar 11, 2022


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1 Answer | Asked in Consumer Law, Real Estate Law, Business Law and Landlord - Tenant for California on
Q: do we have to have answer a interrogatory and admission is there a form we can file to refude to answer till court date
Kenneth Sisco
Kenneth Sisco answered on Mar 10, 2022

The flippant, snarky, and downright rude (apologies) answer is, "Yes, it is called a 'Request for dismissal of your case,' or if you are the Defendant, it is called 'Withdrawal of Answer to Complaint.' If you want to litigate your case, and go to trial, then you must... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law for California on
Q: I own 25% of a property other owners own 25% and 50%. The owner of 50% agreed with the neighbor to give them the first

Right to purchase for 10 years. Is my best option to file a partition?

Yelena Gurevich
Yelena Gurevich answered on Mar 9, 2022

depends what your goal is with a partition. you may want to call and consult with a real estate attorney.

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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Real Estate Law for California on
Q: Can my mother challenge the trust for property my grandmother left me instead of her?

For several years my grandmother had it in her trust that my mother got her house when she passed. In the last year of her life, she offered me the house because she was worried my mom would sell it. I agreed and she amended her trust. She obtained a Note of Capacity from her Primary Care Doctor,... Read more »

Nina Whitehurst
Nina Whitehurst answered on Feb 28, 2022

Anybody can sue anybody for any reason. Whether or not they will win is a whole different matters. It sounds like your grandmother and her attorney took great care to ensure that the amendment would hold up in court. Although there are no guarantees, chances are if your mother does try to break... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law and Tax Law for California on
Q: Mom died 7 years ago, her house never transferred ownership-i want to sell it what capital gains tax do i have to pay?

Mother died about 7 years ago- no one changed the ownership of the deed or house to my siblings. Now my siblings want nothing to do with it and I am stuck with the house. The house in 2006 had a loan pulled out of it for 201,500. But i have had to make payments on the mortgage to make sure its... Read more »

Yelena Gurevich
Yelena Gurevich answered on Feb 24, 2022

you will need to contact and consult with a probate attorney as to your options.

2 Answers | Asked in Civil Rights, Landlord - Tenant and Real Estate Law for California on
Q: Where can I find a civil rights lawyer that handles commercial discrimination real estate cases?

I have a pending investigation with the SOCR regarding the discrimination eviction of my family restaurant.

Louis George Fazzi
Louis George Fazzi answered on Feb 23, 2022

There are many good civil rights law firms in the Los Angeles area. You can Google them, look for them at the Los Angeles County Bar Association's website (, by going to the Consumer Attorney's Association of Los Angeles ( Do you research and then start interviewing... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Land Use & Zoning, Real Estate Law and Estate Planning for California on
Q: If I never filed for a prescriptive easement in california, before a recent change in ownership was made, is it too late

My Neighbor of 20+years I've learned has recently transferred title of his property via quite claim, to another neighbor, but part of his property hasn't been used by the previous owner, but rather fenced off completely no gate no signs nothing, never ! As long as I can remember. And i... Read more »

Howard E. Kane
Howard E. Kane answered on Feb 21, 2022

I am not sure that you will prevail on a prescriptive easement claim. A prescriptive easement allows a trespasser to acquire the right to use the land of another without paying for it. To acquire a prescriptive easement over another's land, the following elements must be met (Felgenhauer v.... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Tax Law, Estate Planning and Real Estate Law for California on
Q: I own and live in a home w/ my sister. She wants to convert to a duplex and rent half. What are the tax implications?

The home has been equally owned by the sisters for 50 years. They both have family who would ultimately inherit the property. Would the tax basis change? Would the property taxes change?

Howard E. Kane
Howard E. Kane answered on Feb 21, 2022

Converting a single-family residence to a duplex will not necessarily increase the value of the home. However, if the value is increased, the property taxes will be reassessed to reflect the increased value of the home. Per the California Board of Equalization website, new construction or... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for California on
Q: Im living in my parents house which they are passed away. According to the will left a year ago this house is owned by

4 siblings. We are having problems fixing the house and selling it due to disagreements. they say the can sue me for rent money, but its not in the will or agreement. Can i be sue for the rent

Yelena Gurevich
Yelena Gurevich answered on Feb 15, 2022

possibly. they can sue bit whether they recover will depend on who is paying the bills and upkeep. it appears there was no trust and only a will (based on the above) so that will require probate to have the property properly distributed by the beneficiaries and through probate it is likely the... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for California on
Q: I believe my friends kids are illegally selling her property one week before her death. How do I have it investigated?

My friend just passed away. She had dementia. She has a reverse mortgage on her home. Neither of her kids have poa. Yet somehow one week before my friend passed away they sold her home to a friend under the agreement both kids get 30,000 each and the buyer takes over the loan. They did this because... Read more »

Yelena Gurevich
Yelena Gurevich answered on Feb 15, 2022

if true, this is unfortunately. however, you do not have standing (i.e. a legal claim/right) to do much about it. in order for you to have standing you would have to be a family member and/ or a beneficiary of the estate. (p.s. selling a reverse mortgaged property is not that simple... there is... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for California on
Q: I have been in a relationship for almost 25 years, not married. We are splitting up, can I get 1/2 the house?

My name is on the deed as a joint tenant, the house is paid for and my significant other says I'm not entitled to any of the house because he paid for it. We had a co-mingled account for 1/2 of the time we have been together. I have contributed to the household with my income. He has been... Read more »

Gerald Barry Dorfman
Gerald Barry Dorfman answered on Feb 15, 2022

An attorney will need to fully review the facts to give you a specific opinion in your case. Generally, a joint tenant is entitled to one half the property. If court action is required, an action for "partition" will force the division (usually by sale) of the property, with the court... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Real Estate Law for California on
Q: Can someone help me fill out a joint Tenancy grant deed. My mom is 86 and we don't know to loose our home .

We bought the house together but she is only 1 on the deed.and no trust.

Julie King
Julie King answered on Feb 10, 2022

You can hire any attorney to help you with the deed. It should cost about $300. But, if your mom has other assets that total $166,250 in value, your mom will need a trust or you may need to spend a year to two years in probate court before you could inherit those other assets. Talk to an estate... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Contracts, Copyright, Employment Law and Real Estate Law for California on
Q: Can an amicus curiae brief be filed in US District Court that is a regular case, NOT an appeal case?

i.e. are friend of the court briefs ONLY for appeals? A lot of references out there are for amicus curiae for appeals in State and Fed Court. Can such a brief be filed for a case that is NOT on/an appeal?

Fritz-Howard Raymond Clapp
Fritz-Howard Raymond Clapp answered on Feb 9, 2022

Friend of the court (amicus curiae) briefs are filed only in appeals, for non-parties to weigh in on what could be precedential legal issues. In lower courts, both state and federal, non-parties may not file papers but someone with substantial interest in the case might appear as an... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for California on
Q: Sellers agent hired a TC. Does the TC have a legal right to receive the seller's closing escrow statement?
Jarrett Nila Buchanan
Jarrett Nila Buchanan answered on Feb 7, 2022

This is a potentially needlessly complicated issue that centers around who exactly hired the TC/who does the TC work for, what agreements are in place between the TC, brokers, agents and clients and what is contained in the closing statement. Closing statements are not standardized and can differ... Read more »

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