Real Estate Law Questions & Answers

Q: I am considering adding my sons name on the deed to my condo in Florida ...would there be any tax liability to my son?

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Florida on
Answered on Jun 22, 2018
Terrence H Thorgaard's answer
Federal gift tax, possibly, if the value given exceeds the exclusion amount. But I'm guessing that you are asking about income tax. It depends upon which of you receives the income and pays the expenses.
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Q: Am I liable if the street tree in front of my house drops berries on the neighbors car and damages the paint?

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for California on
Answered on Jun 22, 2018
Thomas A. Grossman's answer
It may depend on whether or not the tree is growing on the curb-side of the sidewalk or not (if there is a sidewalk there). If the tree is on your property, and it is dropping berries on your neighbor's car, you might take the position that your neighbor does not have to park under that tree. Also, if the berries are dropping on his car, it means that his car is parked on a public street (not a great argument, but one that I think applies). I think you should work something out with your...
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Q: My heater set off the carbon monoxide alarm. Can I leave my lease?

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for California on
Answered on Jun 22, 2018
Thomas A. Grossman's answer
Although you have posed the problem, you have not asked how to solve it. It sounds like if the heater can catch on fire, and the unit emits poisonous gases, you might want to simply move out ASAP. Signs of problems like that usually indicate more problems with the unit. You can ask the landlord to waive the rent for that month, but that may not solve the problems. It's your choice. Good Luck.
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Q: I'm buying a house from my sister. She charges me property tax and insurance and claims the property on her taxes

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law, Civil Litigation, Civil Rights and Landlord - Tenant for Florida on
Answered on Jun 22, 2018
Jonathan A. Klurfeld's answer
Anyone can pay expenses on a house, there is nothing "illegal" about it. What she does on her personal taxes is not relevant to you at this point absent you wanting your own sister to go to jail for tax fraud or the sort; which would hurt you purchasing the house. Once you own the home then she cannot claim it anyway as title is not in her name (which if she has a mortgage can be claimed, you dont seem sure what she is or not claiming to make accusations).
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Q: Need commercial real estate attorney for title, deed for closing ( already working with closing company), lake worth FL

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Florida on
Answered on Jun 22, 2018
Jonathan A. Klurfeld's answer
You need to hire an attorney to review all of the closing docs (including survey and title search) that the title company prepares to protect your interests. These often have mistakes and are prepared by non-lawyers or paralegals at best; even if the title company is a law firm. Most work on flat fees for closing (commercial by nature will be a touch more expensive than residential) and not terribly expensive compared to the piece of mind.
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Q: I got a Regency home built it in a upcoming community that was sponsored by Regency.I was told that it was built on lot

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Tennessee on
Answered on Jun 22, 2018
Anthony Marvin Avery's answer
Who has made the mistake? You do not specify if it is in the Deed or just a problem at the Tax Assessor's Office. If it is in the Deed, then a suit in Chancery must be quickly filed naming many Defendants which you may or may not know the identity and/or address of. Did a lawyer perform a title search of your property? Did a lawyer draft your Deed? If this was just a Tax Assessor problem, then you will need to notify them to correct same, and no profitable suit is available. But if you...
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Q: Mom & daughter own house. Daughter dies. Is the daughter’s husband entitled to any profits from the sale of home?

2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law for Florida on
Answered on Jun 22, 2018
Jennifer Isaksen's answer
I am sorry for the loss in your family. In general, it will depend upon the wording included on the Deed. If the Mom and daughter owned as joint tenants with rights of survivorship, then Mom would become sole owner. If they owed as joint tenants in common, the husband would likely become the 1/2 owner with the Mom. There are multiple other factors to consider, so the best bet is to schedule a consultation with a real estate/probate attorney.
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Q: Is the seller of the property I just bought responsible for disclosing mold on the property?

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Massachusetts on
Answered on Jun 22, 2018
Christopher Tolley's answer
Massachusetts law requires only that home sellers disclose the existence of lead paint and the presence of a septic system. Beyond this, Massachusetts is a caveat emptor state where it is up to the buyer to satisfy herself as to the condition of the property by conducting an inspection or doing whatever she feels is appropriate to determine the condition of the property. That said, the rule is somewhat stricter for brokers, and a seller cannot lie, mislead, or conceal facts about the condition...
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Q: My girl friend passed away with no will and our house only had her name on the loan what can i do

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Florida on
Answered on Jun 22, 2018
Jennifer Isaksen's answer
First, I am sorry for your loss. If your girlfriend's family is cooperative, you could file a probate, where the property would go to them (her children, if she had any, her parents, if living, otherwise her siblings), then they could deed the property to you. If not, you will need to explore other avenues that may be available because you are the party that has made all of the payments. Your best bet would be to schedule a consultation with a real estate attorney to discuss your options....
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Q: Can I use New York Penal Law section 140.15 against some one?

1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law, Real Estate Law and Landlord - Tenant for New York on
Answered on Jun 21, 2018
Elaine Shay's answer
Although private citizens can bring suspected criminal acts to the attention of the police, only the government can actually commence a criminal case.

Moreover, Real Property Law 235-f provides as follows:

 Any lease or rental agreement for residential premises entered into by one tenant shall be construed to permit occupancy by the tenant, immediate family of the tenant, one additional occupant, and dependent children of the occupant provided that the tenant or the tenant's...
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Q: My mother owns a house with 2 siblings. 2 out of the 3 are on the mortgage but all 3 are on the deed.

2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law for New York on
Answered on Jun 21, 2018
Michael David Siegel's answer
Your mother would owe an imputed rent for use and occupancy, offset by expenses she advanced, in a partition action and sale.
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Q: Can I petition my father's estate for a verbal debt he made for a sold home in Miami which I was a co-owner?

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law, Real Estate Law and Elder Law for Florida on
Answered on Jun 21, 2018
Terrence H Thorgaard's answer
You should sue him now, assuming the statute of limitations has not run, to enforce the agreement. Because, after he dies, it might be difficult for his estate to disprove the agreement he made with you, so the estate could argue that your claim is equitably estopped from suing.
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Q: My friend and I bought an investment property 14 years ago, we split the cost down the middle.I want to buy him out, he

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Florida on
Answered on Jun 21, 2018
Terrence H Thorgaard's answer
Yes; you sue him for "partition". The judge orders the property to be sold and the proceeds divided between you.
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Q: I signed a new lease in May 2018. I now have a new job out of state. Can I break the lease?

1 Answer | Asked in Contracts and Real Estate Law for Indiana on
Answered on Jun 21, 2018
Alexander Florian Steciuch's answer
Yes, you are obligated to fulfill the terms of your lease. It is a binding contract and you promised to live at the rented premises for the full duration of your lease. You are obligated to pay for all of those months that you agreed to live there for. It does not matter to them that you got a new job and have to move and it does not matter to the law.

What it sounds like to me from the way you describe the situation is that they are offering to release you from the terms of your lease...
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Q: Can I get wife's name off of mortgage without refinancing?

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for New Jersey on
Answered on Jun 21, 2018
Jay Schmerler's answer
Only if the Lender will release your wife from the existing mortgage. That will not happen if your income alone would not be sufficient to repay the existing loan. You do not say whether your wife signed the Note as well. Regardless, your wife will need to transfer her interest in the property to you through a Deed. Speak with your attorney.
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Q: I just signed a 1 year lease. The term starts on May 10, 2018 and ends at midnight May 9, 2018. Yes 2018! Is it valid?

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Tennessee on
Answered on Jun 21, 2018
Leonard Robert Grefseng's answer
Sorry, but I expect the lease is probably valid. The date issue is most likely simply a typographical error, and any Judge will see that- no one would sign a lease for day or some time period that does not make sense.

The other side will clearly testify that the intent was to be 2019. You should discuss your problem with the land lord, perhaps they will let you buy out of the lease. Do NOT assume there will be no penalty.
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Q: Is a landlord required to give a place to live if the house they are living in becomes non residential?

1 Answer | Asked in Land Use & Zoning, Landlord - Tenant and Real Estate Law for Tennessee on
Answered on Jun 21, 2018
Leonard Robert Grefseng's answer
Your question doesn't include enough details to truly provide an accurate answer, but unless there is a written lease that says otherwise, I would say probably not. If some zoning board or governmental entity has changed the residential status of the property, that is no the landlord's fault, it's just a unforeseen event which makes it impossible to complete the lease/fulfill the contract. In summary, it seems to me to be just bad luck for both the landlord and tenant.
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Q: Cancel accepted home purchase offer

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Ohio on
Answered on Jun 21, 2018
Joseph Jaap's answer
If your contract has an inspection contingency, then if the house is not satisfactory, follow the steps in the contract to terminate it by giving seller proper written notice. Use the Find a Lawyer tab to retain a local OH attorney where the house is to review the contract and assist you with the purchase process.
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Q: I set up a life estate for my mother to refinance her house several years ago. She has now passed away. Do I now own it?

3 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law for New York on
Answered on Jun 21, 2018
Michael David Siegel's answer
If you have the remainder in the deed.
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Q: I live in a income based apartment complex and I'm being forced to pay back rent that I was never told about til now.

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law and Landlord - Tenant for Virginia on
Answered on Jun 20, 2018
F. Paul Maloof's answer
If you have a written lease that specifies the rent, you are bound by the terms to pay the current and the back rent.
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