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California Real Estate Law Questions & Answers
1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for California on
Q: If the sheriffs changed the locks on the house can we go and change them back?? If we are owners of the property
Yelena Gurevich
Yelena Gurevich answered on Nov 22, 2020

The sheriffs only change the locks with a court order. This implies you no longer own the property and have no right to be there. If that is the case, you would be trespassing if you changed the locks. You may need to consult with a real estate attorney as the information is too limited to give... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Government Contracts and Real Estate Law for California on
Q: in simpler terms , what is an adjudication hearing

what is adjudication hearing of a property or parcel of land that is need of cleaning that authorizes Board of Supervisors to re enter the property for a period of 1 year after hearing without any further hearing

Yelena Gurevich
Yelena Gurevich answered on Nov 20, 2020

it is a hearing where a decision/ judgment/ order is made

2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law and Tax Law for California on
Q: Refinance residential loan application home purchase value question

I am in process of refinancing. In application, I put the home purchase value less by ~$700, this happened as I rounded the numbers (560k vs 560.7k). In fact all that was from memory. I requested the change, but the loan officer again missed it. Now the closing is scheduled and I am little... Read more »

Maurice Mandel II
Maurice Mandel II answered on Nov 17, 2020

If the lender says the $700 misquote is not a problem, then it isn't a problem. Your taxes don't change with a refi. Recording fees are per document. There is no taxable transfer. Chill, it isn't a problem.

Justia disclaimers below, incorporated herein.

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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Real Estate Law for California on
Q: Does a co-signer of a home need waiver of bond by heir or beneficiary to refinance?

Our father passed away a year ago and left no Will. One of my brother did co-sign on the home two years ago. He is now looking to refinance and is asking to sign the forms to do so, which if I understand would make him the executor of the estate. Is that required to be able to refinance the home or... Read more »

Yelena Gurevich
Yelena Gurevich answered on Nov 16, 2020

Is the property in a trust? Revocable or irrevocable? If revocable, heirs/ beneficiaries don't have any rights yet unless the other co-signor passed away and made that portion irrevocable. Since the question is specific to a co-signor, you also need to clarify if the other co-signor(s) is in... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law for California on
Q: What would be the expected cost and time line to execute a partition by sale of real property?
Yelena Gurevich
Yelena Gurevich answered on Nov 16, 2020

i'm sure every lawyer here will say "it depends". It depends on the lawyer you hire and their fees. It depends on the number of parties involved. It depends on whether there will be objections/ oppositions to partition. It depends on how many hearings, depositions, or how much... Read more »

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3 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law and Tax Law for California on
Q: Transfer home from grandma, to dad, to me without prop tax impact in CA?

Was planning on purchasing the home but wanted to figure this out first. Would it be possible for grandma to transfer deed to dad, then dad to me, all at the same time to avoid reassessment? Would I then be able to cash-out refi to pay grandma the amount I would have paid for the home?

The... Read more »

Maurice Mandel II
Maurice Mandel II answered on Nov 15, 2020

You really need to hire a Real Property attorney in your local area to assist you with this because of the complexity of what you want to do and if you mess it up, it could cost you thousands in taxes on capital gains and increased property taxes going forward for years to come. You have too many... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law and Tax Law for California on
Q: Passing home from grandma to son, and then to grandchild without property tax reassessment in CA.

Was going to purchase the home, but now considering whether this is possible:

Grandma transfers to my dad, who then immediately (same day) transfers to me, and then I do cash-out refinance to pay grandma the amount I was going to pay her in the first place.

Are there rules around... Read more »

Maurice Mandel II
Maurice Mandel II answered on Nov 15, 2020

Yes, you are definitely missing, or not hearing the advice that you should not be trying to handle this yourself. You really need to hire a Real Property attorney in your local area to assist you with this because of the complexity of what you want to do and if you mess it up, it could cost you... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Appeals / Appellate Law, Real Estate Law and Landlord - Tenant for California on
Q: Will I win an eviction appeal?

I was renting a guest room that was attached to the house with its own entrance. I paid rent for three months. I stopped paying rent and the landlord served me with an unlawful detainer. I had LADBS inspect the room and the landlord got an order to comply with needing permits for the work added to... Read more »

Maurice Mandel II
Maurice Mandel II answered on Nov 14, 2020

Short answer: not likely. Appeals are based on the record, not new evidence. It sounds like you had yourself as your own attorney and did not seek legal counseling prior to trial, a big mistake. Then you went to trial unprepared to provide the evidence of your claims, you cannot prevail at trial... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for California on
Q: If a property owner sales the property he’s evicting you from before court findings it is claim still valid
Maurice Mandel II
Maurice Mandel II answered on Nov 13, 2020

As I understand your question, the owner filed a UD action against you and before the decision was made, sold the property. I assume the sale is complete, not just a listing or opening an escrow. If so, he is no longer the owner of the property and cannot evict you but his claim for any rent you... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law and Landlord - Tenant for California on
Q: Can a landlord seek payment for damages discovered a few months after the security deposit was returned?

I was renting out a room in my condo but was stuck overseas when COVID happened. When the renter decided to leave, I asked her if there were any damages I should know of, and she said “no”. My dad had a look at the room (since I was away) and signed off so she could get her security deposit... Read more »

Maurice Mandel II
Maurice Mandel II answered on Nov 13, 2020

You have a conflict with two areas of law. First, the LL's duty to provide a tenant with a security deposit, within 21 days, with an inspection and itemization of damages withheld. You did this, and a problem for you is that your "agent" -- Dad- failed to discovery the problems and... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Consumer Law, Real Estate Law and Copyright for California on
Q: Termination notice for Month to month lease, after a year of leasing house.

Background: We live in Santa Clara county, California. We have rented a house from a private owner.

This house was initially on a yearly lease and then moved to the month to month lease.

We have following clause in the agreement.

TERMINATION: After expiration of the leasing... Read more »

Maurice Mandel II
Maurice Mandel II answered on Nov 13, 2020

The law says 30, your agreement says 60, it sounds like you agreed to 60. Suggest you discuss with the LL. Point out that he has to pay you a month's rent as moving allowance, or forego the last month rent. Negotiate.

Justia disclaimers below, incorporated herein.

2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law for California on
Q: Second mortgage foreclosed and they sold the house at auction. Who is responsible for the first mortgage?

I live in Los Angeles, CA. I have a first mortgage loan with Chase ($245,000) and a second mortgage loan ($299,000). The second foreclosed and sold the home at auction. It was my belief that I would be on the hook with Chase for the $245,000 but I recently spoke to an attorney who told me that... Read more »

Yelena Gurevich
Yelena Gurevich answered on Nov 12, 2020

if the house is your primary residence, california has anti deficiency statutes where you are not personally liable/ responsible for the debt on the first mortgage. the 1st mortgage can foreclose on the property and that could hit your credit again because you are technically still on the loan but... Read more »

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4 Answers | Asked in Contracts, Real Estate Law and Landlord - Tenant for California on
Q: Is it legal for a California landlord to require 60-days notice to get out of a lease? I've been in the apt for 3+ yrs

I live in San Francisco and I've been in the apartment from August 2017 to present (November 2020). My roommate is moving out so I'm searching for new apartments and a realtor told me it may not be legal or enforceable for my landlord to require 60 days notice. EDIT: the lease says the... Read more »

Yelena Gurevich
Yelena Gurevich answered on Nov 12, 2020

what does your lease agreement say? that is always your first stop when you need to know whether you can or cannot do something.

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1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant and Real Estate Law for California on
Q: How can I get my money back from landlord?

I went to see a place and the landlord let me paid some money before I moved in. Then I don’t wanna move in because the landlady lied to me. The carpet is broken she said she would fix it. Later she said don’t need to fix it because the closet would cover it. They put a small old closet instead... Read more »

Maurice Mandel II
Maurice Mandel II answered on Nov 11, 2020

File your claim for a refund based on Breach of Contract in Small Claims court. Your court costs are on top of your damages. You describe it as Breach of Contract- rental deposit.

Justia disclaimers below, incorporated herein.

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for California on
Q: My roommate won’t pay rent or move so I have been paying all. I want to move out. Am I financially responsible?

It’s month to month. We are both on the lease. If I give notice and move but she refuses to vacate will I be financially responsible for her debt? I assume this will come down to eviction. Will that go on my record? I’m in San Diego.

Maurice Mandel II
Maurice Mandel II answered on Nov 9, 2020

Depends on your lease, read it carefully. An option to consider is to give your 30 day notice you are quitting to your LL and to give your roommate a 30 day notice to vacate the premises. Also give LL a notice you are not responsible for the debts of your roommate. You could give her a 3 day... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for California on
Q: I want to buy income property in California. My wife refuses to sign any of the required documents. What can I do?
Maurice Mandel II
Maurice Mandel II answered on Nov 9, 2020

You asked this question before. I said "Get a Divorce." Apparently you did not like my answer. What do you think you need to do when your wife is required to sign papers in order to accomplish what you want to do, and refuses? You cannot force her to sign, that is illegal in many ways... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law and Tax Law for California on
Q: Can I rent a house (to purchase later) and keep my primary residence as rental property and take advantage of prop 19?

I live in my current primary residence, now 22 years. I moved my folks into memory care. I want to purchase their home but can't do so now due to capital gain issues. My thought is to move into their home and rent from estate, but I fear I lose my PROP 19 benefits by doing so. And, by them... Read more »

Maurice Mandel II
Maurice Mandel II answered on Nov 9, 2020

It sounds like you need to discuss matters with an elder law attorney. You may need to set up a conservatorship of the property for your parents, if you do that consider creating a trust to own the house until it can pass to you on their deaths. You can rent from the Trust which is a separate... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for California on
Q: Am I able to get out of a month to month lease if my 2 roommates want to stay and I want to leave? My landlord says no.

I had a 1 year lease that ended in 8/2020 with my sister & her boyfriend. We've been month to month since then. I want to leave & have written my 30 day notice starting on 11/1/20 to leave 12/1/20. Landlord says she will not accept my 30 day notice because "The 30 day notice you... Read more »

Maurice Mandel II
Maurice Mandel II answered on Nov 9, 2020

In a holdover situation, without a new rental agreement, the terms of the old agreement continue on, which means that the LL does not have to partition the renters and allow one to leave while others stay. You are already liable for the rent your sister defaulted on, to date. You need to consider... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law, Tax Law, Estate Planning and Landlord - Tenant for California on
Q: May my father legally declare on taxes rental income from renting out rooms in his house, if he transfers house to me?

My widowed elderly father and I live together in his house. He isn't doing well healthwise. Without going into detail, he will be seeing a lawyer to transfer the house to me. Ownership will go from 100% in his name to 100% in my name.

After the transfer, I will be in the unusual... Read more »

Maurice Mandel II
Maurice Mandel II answered on Nov 8, 2020

You are definitely jumping the gun with this transfer which will result in potential re-assessment, increased property taxes and potential capital gains taxes to your father. Additionally there is the loan. The lender may call the loan balance if your father transfers the property out of his... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for California on
Q: I want to buy income property in California. My wife refuses to sign any of the required documents. What can I do?
Maurice Mandel II
Maurice Mandel II answered on Nov 7, 2020

The short answer is: Get a divorce. I just went through a refi of separate property. I was required to issue a new deed from myself to myself, and my wife was required to sign a deed showing the property was separate property. That is what the LENDERS require these days, and although it is... Read more »

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