Articles Tagged with real estate law

underwood-escape-airbnbust-300x300In recent years, the growth of vacation rentals have driven the rise of purchasing investment properties in highly desirable areas throughout the country. For years, investment rentals were so profitable that many people jumped into the market and purchased properties to get a piece of the action. Unfortunately, in recent years, the sheer number of vacation rentals in these areas diluted the marketplace and made it increasingly more difficult to turn a profit from these investments, and in some cases, have lead to investment losses. 

As many people who previously saw the advantages of these investments have recently seen problems the problems with these properties, they have been looking for legal methods to leave these relationships and receive the return of their capital. Frequently, many people find that getting out of these investments is a lot harder than getting in, if they can even find a legal way out. Many cannot. The attorneys at the Underwood Law Firm, however, are well-versed in the legal tools for helping good people get out of these bad real estate relationships. 

What are the options for leaving a bad real estate relationship?

underwood-can-you-abandon-real-estate-300x300Generally, an owner can never legally “abandon” title to property. (Gerhard v. Stephens (1968) 442 P.2d 692, 713.) Instead, abandonment can only be found in situations dealing with personal property. Yet when the property interests in real property are in the nature of incorporeal hereditaments, the California Supreme Court has found that those interests can be abandoned. 

For a person to abandon property, or a right in property, there needs to be a nonuse accompanied by unequivocal and decisive acts on the part of the nonuser clearly showing an intention to abandon. (People v. Southern Pacific Co. (1916) 158 P. 177, 180.) Accordingly, in order to find abandonment, a trier of fact must find that the owner clearly and convincingly demonstrated the necessary intent to abandon. (Gerhard v. Stephens (1968) 442 P.2d 692, 713.)

What is an Incorporeal Hereditament?

underwood-what-is-ouster-300x300What is an Ouster (Civ. Code § 843)?

An ouster occurs when one tenant wrongful dispossesses or excludes another cotenant or cotenants from the common property. (Zaslow v. Kroenert (1946) 29 Cal.2d 541, 548.) Regardless of whether individuals share property as joint tenants or tenants in common, the property rights of cotenants are usually the same regarding possession. (12 Witkin, Summary 11th Real Prop § 41 (2023).) Each cotenant is entitled to share possession of the entire property and cannot be excluded from any part of the property by the other cotenant. (Id.) 

What Does an Ouster Require?

underwood-when-should-you-change-lawyer-300x300Generally, when obtaining representation for yourself and your property interests, you must make sure that your interests are indeed being protected and your wishes respected as much as legally possible. The moment it becomes clear that your attorney is not acting accordingly, it may be time to change your lawyer. 

What You Should Expect

You are the best advocate for yourself, so there will be things that will make it abundantly clear to you whether it is time to change lawyers. From the beginning, your attorney should provide you with a clear roadmap and plan for the litigation. Your lawyer should communicate with you about how they see the dispute, and their plan to win your case.  

underwood-code-lis-pendens-300x300The California Partition Law begins at Code of Civil Procedure section 872.010 and ends at Code of Civil Procedure section 874.323. Section 872.250 outlines the procedure for a plaintiff seeking a partition of real property to record a lis pendens with the county office. A lis pendens gives notice to any future persons who may acquire an interest in the property that there is a pending lawsuit on the real property which could affect the real property’s title. This statute is important because a lis pendens could have consequences in future transactions involving the affected real property. 

Code of Civil Procedure section 872.250 states:

(a) Immediately upon filing the complaint, the plaintiff shall record a notice of the pendency of the action in the office of the county recorder of each county in which any real property described in the complaint is located.

underwood-understanding-real-estate-contracts-300x300If you’re venturing into a real estate transaction and are daunted by the contracts, you’re certainly not alone. The jargon and intricate legal parlance can often make these contracts seem more complex than they actually are. Yet, the good news is that, armed with some guidance and understanding, these contracts become much less intimidating. Our friends at Cohen and Cohen delve deeper into the realm of real estate contracts below.

Key Aspects of a Real Estate Contract

Real estate contracts can be intricate and can have significant variation based on local laws and the specific details of the transaction. Nevertheless, there are several fundamental components that most real estate contracts should encompass to be deemed valid and enforceable:

underwood-disclosures-realtor-sale-300x300Generally, the seller of a home has disclosures that they are required by law to make to any prospective buyer. This also applies to the realtor, broker, or any other agent working for the seller to sell the home. Different types of sales, however, may have varying disclosure requirements. Generally speaking, trustee’s sales, probate sales, and foreclosures sales are exempt from the California statutory disclosure requirements. All sales, however, are subject to the disclosure requirements under California common law.

General Statutory Disclosure Requirements in Real Estate Sales

If the seller is being represented by an agent in the transaction, then the agent must ask the seller about the condition of the property and fill out the form accordingly. (Civil Code § 1102.6.) The agent must also complete a reasonable and diligent visual inspection of the property and note on the disclosure form if there are any items for disclosure. (Id.) The seller or the agent can also amend any disclosures in writing. (Civil Code § 1102.9.)

underwood-what-are-klopping-damages-300x300Oftentimes, the government will announce a public project which may affect the neighboring property’s value. Most of the time, the public project should increase the property’s value. Sometimes though, the announced public project may decrease the property’s value, which may make it difficult to rent the property. When that happens, the property owner may be able to sue for what is known as “Klopping damages”. This allows the owner to recover lost rental income due to the decrease in value from a public project.

Klopping v. City of Whittier: Paying Public Damages

The California Supreme Court case that set the rule for Klopping damages was Klopping v. City of Whittier (1972) 8 Cal.3d 39. In Klopping, the city of Whittier planned to form a parking district. (Id., at 42.) The plaintiffs, Klopping and Sarff, owned properties that were going to be condemned for the project. 

6282023-300x300Partitions sales and foreclosure sales are two different ways that a property can be sold. The main difference between the two is the purpose behind the two sales. For partition sales, the purpose is to divide the property and for the owners to get the proceeds in proportion to their ownership. The purpose of foreclosure sales is to pay off a borrower’s loan. 

The Partitions Sale Process

Usually, partition sales are ordered by a court. This is because partition lawsuits are often brought before courts by a property owner who wants to force a sale if the parties cannot come to an agreement.  

6212023-300x300Partitions sales and probate sales are two different ways that a property can be sold. A main difference between the two is that a partition sale is ordered and overseen by the court, while a probate sale is generally overseen by a personal representative, and the court can have minimal involvement. There are also specific steps that the personal representative must take in the probate sale process under California law. 

The Partitions Sale Process

Usually, partition sales are ordered by a court. This is because partition lawsuits are often brought before courts by a property owner who wants to force a sale if the parties cannot come to an agreement. 

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