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COVID-19 California Real Estate Law Questions & Answers
1 Answer | Asked in Foreclosure and Real Estate Law for California on
Q: I applied for covid-19 mortgage relief and now face property foreclosure. How do I avoid losing my home???

I was able to resume monthly payments, however, new mortgage service has denied me a repayment plan and refinance option.

Leon Bayer
Leon Bayer answered on Jul 27, 2021

You should have an immediate conversation with one or more bankruptcy lawyers. Chapter 13 bankruptcy is designed to give you up to 5 years to catch up your mortgage, all the while protecting you from foreclosure.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning, Probate, Contracts and Real Estate Law for California on
Q: Can a person file probate lost will claim 10 years after they used same false documents in 2011 only to fail to show up

But took all assets and disappeared. Now back with same will after i paid off house and filed in blind behind my back duing lock down virus

Julie King
Julie King answered on May 26, 2021

It is difficult to know how to respond to your question without more information. Certainly, if someone has falsified a document and used it in court, there is no way a judge would allow the document to be used UNLESS no one testified or proved that the document was fake. On a different point, if... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Contracts, Criminal Law and Real Estate Law for California on
Q: Landlord ?: can I technically give “1 day leases” with 0 tenant/landlord obligations to have a gathering during covid?

Technically couldn’t I give unlimited leases just for one day to have all attendees be considered “household members”

William Stanger
William Stanger answered on May 3, 2021

The one day lease isn't the problem. A contract (including a lease) is not valid if it has zero obligations. You are also limited in the number of legal tenants to two per bedroom. Further, it seems likely that such a lease would be deemed to have an "illegal purpose" and be void... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for California on
Q: Neighbors turning on double flood lights which trespass directly into my second floor apt, all the way to my back wall.

I had a problem ten years ago, and now it is happening again with new tenants in this rental home property across the street. I alerted said neighbors to the issue, they explained homeless are trespassing onto the property. They turned on porch light and shut their gate for a few weeks. Now, the... Read more »

William Stanger
William Stanger answered on May 3, 2021

Depending on where you live, it may be a violation of a local law and contacting the City and waiting would be your cheapest option. I would also expect that you have a claim for private nuisance against the neighbor, and you could seek an injunction, but that would be expensive.

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 »

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 »

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 Real Estate Law for California on
Q: I need to file a motion to continue an eviction case.

I have an eviction case trial set for Oct. 27th. today i learned i have covid 19. I tried to file a motion to continue but they said i have to set a date for a hearing. there is no way to contact the court. what do i do.

Maurice Mandel II
Maurice Mandel II answered on Oct 20, 2020

Your post comes from Oak Park near Westlake Village, I believe this is in the County of Los Angeles. The Superior Court for LA maintains a very extensive website with all types of instructions on how to reserve motion dates, how to make Ex Parte applications and other matters, specifically for... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for California on
Q: Can I break my lease if I do not feel safe in the apartment bldg. due to COVID concerns (no one wears a mask here)?

No one wears a mask in the common areas of inside the apartment building. This includes the employees of the building (i.e. maintence crew). I have emailed the management and all they do is send a reminder to the community, but no one follows that.

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

Interesting question, answer, maybe. It sounds like, at least, the LL is in violation of local and state ordinances requiring the wearing of masks. This could be the creation of an unsafe condition affecting habitability. (think about a LL knowingly allowing another tenant to run a meth lab next... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law, Landlord - Tenant and Real Estate Law for California on
Q: During the moratorium am I allowed to give my tenant a 3-day notice for nuisance regarding a pet's constant barking?

my tenant got this dog during the moratorium, breaking our lease agreement. But since we can't do much with the moratorium in place tenant has kept the dog. now the dog is a nuisance he barks all the time cant enjoy our common areas because of it. The house is in Los Angeles, Ca, and is also... Read more »

Maurice Mandel II
Maurice Mandel II answered on Oct 2, 2020

You need to contact a local Real Estate attorney, there are several here that you could contact and review with them exactly what the moratorium protects. IMO it does not protect a tenant from breaking the rules of the lease from being evicted, it protects people who cannot pay the rent because... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law for California on
Q: Hi, i live at the Laguna Woods Village. I had friend visiting from Hawaii bc of Covid he couldn't get back. He stayed

Here and in Newport Beach.

Apparently, the assoc says that he has been living here and i broke rules. They sent me notice of this. So now.. They sent me a NOTICE OF DISCIPLINARY HEARING

Oct 8.

Do i need a lawyer? I am not allowed to attend ot has be the owner my he's... Read more »

Shawna Murray
Shawna Murray answered on Oct 2, 2020

Strictly speaking, no, you do not need to have a lawyer with you but having an HOA lawyer with you, especially one that knows the peculiarities of Laguna Woods, would be an excellent idea. You can bet that the Association will have a lawyer present to represent them at your discipline hearing. You... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for California on
Q: Due to covid my roommate died, and my pay was cut . Can I get out of my lease legally?

My credit is perfect. I’m 12 months into an 18 month lease, but want to leave now, with out ruining my credit, as I can no longer afford the rental amount.

Maurice Mandel II
Maurice Mandel II answered on Sep 18, 2020

It depends on the local ordinances passed by the City and County in which you reside as to the extent of the relief that you can obtain. You should definitely contact a local Attorney, housing assistance agency or your city to determine exactly what you can do. IMO you should present the... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law for California on
Q: I've been paying my apt rent through COVID. Can I terminate mid-contract and move out without losing money and credit?

I live in a residential apartment complex in Los Angeles. I've never had a late payment, despite COVID. Although, due to COVID all the amenities in this complex have been shut down (I believe my rent includes the cost of these amenities). Also, the general safety-level of the overall... Read more »

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

While you don't have any legal authorization to do what you suggest, here are some thoughts: 1. If the complex stopped providing amenities (gym, pool, cable, etc.) while continuing to charge you full rent, you are probably entitled to a rent rebate because they did not provide all the... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for California on
Q: I have lived in my rental for 4 years. The owner decides to sell the house. I am high risk of catching covid 19.

Do I have to move out in 60 days which puts us into winter?

Maurice Mandel II
Maurice Mandel II answered on Sep 10, 2020

Unless you negotiate a new lease with the new owner, when the property is sold, you may have to move out unless you are protected by a local ordinance or regulation that says otherwise. These vary from county to county and city to city, so you need to discuss your situation with a local... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for California on
Q: Can "frustration of purpose" be my legal reason to breaking the off campuse housing lease?

My classes and my roommates‘ classes are remote due to covid. I signed a one year lease on May. And my college update about most of classes will be online on August. I had negotiated with landlord about break lease. And had ask about buy out. The landlord say I need to pay the whole year rent to... Read more »

Maurice Mandel II
Maurice Mandel II answered on Aug 31, 2020

We charge by the question here, so you get one answer. Just kidding. Do not move in, notify the LL that you are breaking the lease because of Covid problems and "Frustration of purpose" is a pretty good defense. He will have to sue you but he does not automatically get one year's... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law and Landlord - Tenant for California on
Q: Can I break my off campus housing lease due to covid all classes are remotely? Landlord don't agree to break lease.

I am a student transfer to UC Davis in the fall 2020. I signed a one year lease with an apartment on May. But now most of the courses are remote. And find out all my and my roommate's classes are remote after we register the classes in the middle of August. We living in Bay Area with family,... Read more »

Maurice Mandel II
Maurice Mandel II answered on Aug 29, 2020

You should check into local ordinances that prevent evictions of tenants impacted by Covid. They could put you into the position of not having to pay rent and the LL not being able to evict you. Your LL thinks he has the strong hand right now but you may not have played all the cards yet.... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Landlord - Tenant and Real Estate Law for California on
Q: I am at high-risk COVID can landlord force entry into my apartment where I am sheltering in place as retaliation?

I exercised my rights for COVID rental relief (deferral) and in retaliation my landlord is harassing me and trying to gain entry into apartment where I am sheltering in place. His excuse is that if I won't pay rent he will sell apartment and needs to come and do an inspection and take photos... Read more »

Maurice Mandel II
Maurice Mandel II answered on Jul 31, 2020

I suggest that you call the police when he comes. This is a violation of your rights as a tenant, and potentially can be a defense to an eviction proceeding or a claim in Small Claims for invasion of privacy, and denial of your right to quiet enjoyment of the premises.

Justia disclaimers...
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1 Answer | Asked in Contracts and Real Estate Law for California on
Q: I broke lease but he says hes keeping deposit even though I wasnt going to move in until July 20th. Can he do that?

Informed today my income would be decreased(covid). I signed a rental lease 5 days ago, June 20th ago to move in July 20th(the current tenant moves out July 18th). Im 7 months pregnant and I'm not going to risk moving to a more expensive place if I am unsure I can afford it. I informed the... Read more »

Maurice Mandel II
Maurice Mandel II answered on Jun 26, 2020

The LL is supposed to actively look for tenants. You should consider going to small claims and seeking full refund of your deposit. It appears you will come under some renter protection provisions of recent government ordinances imposed by the Governor's office. You can research these... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant and Real Estate Law for California on
Q: what are our rights when it comes to landlords selling the house?

We are on a month to month lease. Our landlord is selling the house. We communicate directly through the real estate agent and not the landlord. She uses Facebook to communicate with us. She doesn't give us proper 24 hour notice and she's shows the house on the weekend. They force us to... Read more »

Maurice Mandel II
Maurice Mandel II answered on Jun 26, 2020

Many of your rights are set forth in the rental agreement, such as the amount of notice by the realtor showing the property. You should send written notice to your LL that the realtors are violating the rental agreement provision of advance notice by just showing up without advance notice.... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law and Probate for California on
Q: I inherited Mom's house that has a reverse mortgage on it.

I would like to refinance the loan so that I may remain in the home. I have Letters of Administration, and I just received the final distribution court date, but it isn't until October. Mom passed last December (not sure how long the reverse mortgage company will wait before they want the... Read more »

James Edward Berge
James Edward Berge answered on Jun 11, 2020

You can't transfer legal ownership of the property to yourself without a formal court order upon final distribution of the estate and that won't happen until October. The loan by its terms comes due within 1 year of the borrower's death. Keep your lender informed on the progress of... Read more »

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