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California Real Estate Law Questions & Answers
1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for California on
Q: landlord raised our rent March 1, and emailed us terms of a lease agreement, now wants the place back 4 months early.

They raised the rent, but want the place back 4 months ealry and served us a 60 notice without the proper terms. Are they required to compensate for the unused months?

James L. Arrasmith
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answered on Sep 23, 2022

Yes. When you have a fixed-term lease agreement, the landlord would owe you damages for breach of contract for early termination.

1 Answer | Asked in Insurance Bad Faith and Real Estate Law for California on
Q: If after the sale of real or personal property what is the first action to file to prevent eviction or removal therefrom
James L. Arrasmith
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answered on Sep 23, 2022

Is the owner of the home selling it while you are a tenant? If so, you would not need to do anything right now, as the sale of the home carries with it the leasehold that you have.

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for California on
Q: My landlord is selling the home my daughter and I have been renting since, 2011. He is only offering us $5,000.

To relocate and CA Relocation Fees chart says I'm entitled to at the least $9,100-$21,000. I told him I would discuss this with a professional and get back to him. He says he thinks he can do $9,000, but that's not enough to move here in Southern CA

James L. Arrasmith
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answered on Sep 23, 2022

He would need to pay you relocation expenses of either one month of rent or waive the last month of rent there.

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law, Business Formation, Civil Rights and Legal Malpractice for California on
Q: I am living a gated community and HOA has no meeting and no elections for last 5 years since I moved in.

HOA has 5 board members which appointed by president. No elections at all. Is that legal? I have been asked for the election and no board member answers. Also I found out some board member on the position for 12 years and they use HOA water and HOA Garderner for private land. For such small... Read more »

James R. Dickinson
James R. Dickinson
answered on Sep 22, 2022

There are attorneys who practice HOA law. Speak with one about your situation. [I litigate cases. Anything posted here must not be construed as legal advice, nor as grounds for forming an attorney-client relationship. You should seek an attorney for formal legal advice and representation.]

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Real Estate Law for California on
Q: If I have my name on the deed of the house and so does my grandma when my grandma passes away can my aunt take the home?
James R. Dickinson
James R. Dickinson
answered on Sep 20, 2022

It would depend on how the home was held. If a property is held in joint tenancy, the decedent's share passes to the surviving joint tenant. This is known as the right of survivorship. If owners of the property hold title as tenants in common, then the decedent's share would pass in... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for California on
Q: My husband had a verbal agreement with sister in law for him to buy her out and be on house title. What can he do ?
James R. Dickinson
James R. Dickinson
answered on Sep 20, 2022

More information is needed. Speak with a local attorney. [I litigate cases. Anything posted here must not be construed as legal advice, nor as grounds for forming an attorney-client relationship. You should seek an attorney for formal legal advice and representation.]

1 Answer | Asked in Contracts and Real Estate Law for California on
Q: Dear sir or Madam, I had three months left on my lease and then I sublet my apartment without telling the office.

I unknowingly breached the contract. The new tenants paid the three months, but due to Covid they managed to stay 2 years after the lease without paying. We then went to court. The judge ruled in their favor. Now, the apartment is asking me to cover the rent owed. I am not able to pay it. The... Read more »

Yelena Gurevich
Yelena Gurevich
answered on Sep 20, 2022

It sounds like you are going to need to consult with a bankruptcy attorney to see if you qualify to file chapter 7 bankruptcy and wipe out the debt.

1 Answer | Asked in Tax Law and Real Estate Law for California on
Q: Does a change of ownership happens when you have trust property taxes?
James R. Dickinson
James R. Dickinson
answered on Sep 20, 2022

Speak with an estate planning and tax lawyer about the tax consequences of placing property in trust. [I litigate cases. Anything posted here must not be construed as legal advice, nor as grounds for forming an attorney-client relationship. You should seek an attorney for formal legal advice and... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for California on
Q: My office manager took a greater commission than agreed upon in my real estate deal. Is that legal? I am a realtor in Ca

She took double what we agreed upon. I have the email stating she is taking 10% but ended up taking 20% for herself.

James R. Dickinson
James R. Dickinson
answered on Sep 20, 2022

You should immediately speak with an attorney about what options you have. You don't want to be out that money, especially if you earned, and are entitled to, it. [I litigate cases. Anything posted here must not be construed as legal advice, nor as grounds for forming an attorney-client... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law and Real Estate Law for California on
Q: Had onsite manager past 3 years. they also earned a living by doing ALL JOBS. If i evict them, can they sue me?

They helped us for 3 years as manager and handled everything. they would evict tenants, flip the units do everything like paint and, patch holes, clean all the roaches and mold. everything to make sure the apartment looked brand new for a new tenant. A new tenant they would find on their own.... Read more »

Neil Pedersen
Neil Pedersen
answered on Sep 18, 2022

Yes. There are many violations of the Labor Code revealed by your post. You need to get specific, confidential advice from an employment law attorney who can advise you about your exposures and hopefully plot out a path to get you through this termination.

Good luck to you.

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law and Health Care Law for California on
Q: My husband and I just bought a mobile home in Newport Beach, Ca. The downstairs bathroom window is

part of back neighbors patio where he and guests smoke constantly. Smoke comes in causing health problems. Is there anything I can do to change lot lines or a fence?

Thank you,

James R. Dickinson
James R. Dickinson
answered on Sep 18, 2022

Have you tried [respectfully] working out a solution with the neighbor? [I litigate cases. Anything posted here must not be construed as legal advice, nor as grounds for forming an attorney-client relationship. You should seek an attorney for formal legal advice and representation.]

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for California on
Q: I am staying in my rv on a property, not mine, can law or code enforcement tell me to leave and or arrest me ?

I have stayed on this property now for 3 months, not hiding, there is no signs posted, there is a no trespassing/ no camping sign on the other side of the street, no fence and no sign and or property markers on the property I'm on, no evidence of maintenance on the property, in fact we have... Read more »

James R. Dickinson
James R. Dickinson
answered on Sep 18, 2022

Sounds like you need to leave. [I litigate cases. Anything posted here must not be construed as legal advice, nor as grounds for forming an attorney-client relationship. You should seek an attorney for formal legal advice and representation.]

2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law and Civil Litigation for California on
Q: My ex fiance and I co-own a home. If I move out am I still obligated to pay 1/2 of bills?

I own half of the house. He has made it so toxic that for my health I need to move out while he tries to get a loan to buy me out. I pay half of the loan we got for the house and I pay half the space rent. He says if I leave he will pay my half until he buys me out but I want something to protect... Read more »

Dan Rowan Cortright
Dan Rowan Cortright
answered on Sep 16, 2022

If you are on the loan as a co-mortgagee, then if he does not pay the full loan amount you are jointly liable to the lender for its payment. This is the case until you are taken off the loan by the lender.

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2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law and Civil Litigation for California on
Q: My ex fiance and I co-own a home. If I move out am I still obligated to pay 1/2 of bills?

I own half of the house. He has made it so toxic that for my health I need to move out while he tries to get a loan to buy me out. I pay half of the loan we got for the house and I pay half the space rent. He says if I leave he will pay my half until he buys me out but I want something to protect... Read more »

James R. Dickinson
James R. Dickinson
answered on Sep 18, 2022

More information is needed, such as what you mean by him being "toxic." [Don't share more here.] If he was being abusive, you may have been able to have sought a domestic violence restraining order requesting that he be required to move-out of the home. Anyhow, speak with a a local... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law, Landlord - Tenant and Municipal Law for California on
Q: I moved in with my gf in July and started paying rent to her but I'm not on the lease, we broke up, can she evict me?

I moved in on July 1st, my ex-gf is the property manager of this building. I started paying her $1000 a month for rent which she accepted. Now we broke up and she wants to kick me out in 2 weeks, but got mad when I told her I've established that I am a tenant now since I've gotten mail... Read more »

James L. Arrasmith
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answered on Sep 10, 2022

Dragging you out of the building is illegal. She cannot resort to self-help.

She cannot evict you without proper notice, correct.

Feel free to contact me if you have any further questions.

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for California on
Q: What is the time limit to file a small claims case against a real estate agent for breach of fiduciary responsibility?

There was failure to disclose four material facts.

Has Covid extended the deadlines?

Thank you.

James L. Arrasmith
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answered on Sep 7, 2022

Generally 4 years for written contracts. Could be a special statute of limitations for breaches of duties. Sometimes you can "toll" the statute of limitations, and there may be other times you may be able to extend it until the date that you discovered the material facts.

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law and Landlord - Tenant for California on
Q: Sign my new lease or do not sign because of black mold and waiting for it to be taken care of. Help please.

I attempted to renegotiate my lease as it was raised to the maximum possible and there are basic habitability issues. The response was a letter from a lawyer that said my claims were baseless & unwarranted. They said I’m harassing management & am targeting hispanics which is a ludicrous... Read more »

James L. Arrasmith
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answered on Sep 7, 2022

I would not sign.

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law and Criminal Law for California on
Q: A quitclaim deed was filed as Interspousal but the notary name is the same as the person transferring property.

The person transferring the property was not a notary. How do I reverse

Nancy J. Wallace
Nancy J. Wallace
answered on Sep 6, 2022

tHIS is NOT a 'workers compensation' matter, nor is it family law. But it might be criminal! The Notary Attestation indicates that Notary was provided legally-adequate proof that person signing was who they claimed to be. I was a Notary Public for 20 years, and a Notary may never... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning, Real Estate Law and Probate for California on
Q: Found a promissory note signed by my mother in-law regarding the family property in Hemet California.

My mother in-law passed away a few years ago. She and her husband (step-father to my husband) resided in the property that originally belonged to her parents. We just uncovered a promissory note regarding the family wishes that the property remain in the "family" should she pass away... Read more »

James L. Arrasmith
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James L. Arrasmith PRO label
answered on Sep 4, 2022

Likely not. First, this promissory note would have to be either handwritten or properly drafted as a Will -- e.g., have two disinterested witnesses.

Second, a statement of intention is usually not a valid testamentary disposition. The language has to generally be more clear.

Third,...
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law and Landlord - Tenant for California on
Q: Building acquired new management and it’s requesting to remove plants from balcony of our rental apartment. Can they?

A small garden is set up in the balcony, and that balcony has no public access. Just our family.

Louis George Fazzi
Louis George Fazzi
answered on Aug 31, 2022

Yes they can.

Given the little information you provided, it might be a safety issue regarding how much weight the balcony can handle. Whatever the reason, the new landlord can impose new rules. But nothing prevents you from asking the landlord to make an exception for your small garden.

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