Legal Updates

Flooding House representing California special flood zone notification

Now Prospective Tenants Must Also Be Informed if a Property is in a Special Flood Zone

Changes in California Law: Disclosure Requirements Flood Zones California’s legislature within the past year made the following findings and declaration: (a) In February 2017, several neighborhoods within the City of San Jose experienced severe flooding that forced the evacuation of 14,000 residents and caused significant damage to public and private property throughout the city. ARead More

forest wildfire

“My Client’s Home Was Destroyed in the Wildfires – Now What?”

In early October 2017, a series of 250 wildfires started burning throughout Northern California, bringing terror and destruction to the region. The wildfires broke out throughout Napa, Lake, Sonoma, Mendocino, Butte, and Solano Counties. These fires included the Tubbs Fire (which grew to become the most destructive wildfire in the history of California), the AtlasRead More

residential swimming pool

2018 Swimming Pool Inspection Law – California

The California Senate Bill 442 was passed,  signed by the Governor, and codified as Business and Professions Code, Section 7195, effective January 1, 2018.  This Statute provides standards for new residential swimming pools and spas, or any remodeling of an existing pool or spa.  The new law requires at least two of the seven drowningRead More

man surprised with hand on head

Dealing with Malicious Acts by Tenants – a Guide for Property Managers

It’s every property manager’s and property owner’s worst nightmare —  when a tenant does malicious damage. This is why it’s important to know what the liabilities are, and what you can do to reduce your risk of a lawsuit. Not only does it allow you to protect your clients by offering sound advice, but itRead More

buyer signing disclosure

Disclosing and Documenting Before Closing

Document All Client Advisories about Third-Party Experts Do you advise your clients in writing to consult with third-party experts before closing? And if you do, do you document it in the client’s file? If you want to reduce your risk of a real estate lawsuit, the answers should be yes and yes. I’ve defended manyRead More

real estate agent writing contract

How to Ensure Offer Terms Survive the Real Estate Closing: the Doctrine of Merger

Errors and Omissions claims against real estate agents or brokers are often based  on the Purchase Agreement and Sales Disclosures. Clients who feel their interests were not adequately protected often turn to filing a claim against their agent or broker. Often, claims arising from the Purchase Agreement are based on a legal concept called theRead More

house with utility pole easement

Real Estate Agents: Understanding Easements and How to Minimize Liability

Easements are a non-possessory right to use land or a portion of property belonging to another person. Failing to recognize and educate clients as to the existence of any easements can curtail an otherwise routine real estate transaction and potentially lead to litigation. An easement may exist in one of two forms: affirmative easement orRead More

paper with withdrawn stamp

How to Withdraw Counteroffers to Prevent Real Estate Lawsuits

The good news is that you’ve gotten multiple offers on an open listing. The bad news, you accidentally sent out two counter-offers. What should you do? One of our clients faced that exact situation. Our client realized that this put the seller in a potential situation of being under contract to sell to two buyers,Read More

woman with questions

Is Zillow’s Joint Marketing Program a Violation of RESPA?

Increasing Scrutiny of RESPA Violations Joint marketing activities between real estate agents and lenders have been the subject of inquiry by governmental authorities as a potential violation of the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (“RESPA”). This oversight has taken on a more aggressive tone ever since the Dodd-Frank legislation created the Consumer Financial Protection BureauRead More

padlock on door

What to Do When the Tenant Will Not Allow Access During Your Listing?

Do you know what to do when a property is listed for sale with a tenant on the property and the tenant refuses to cooperate with requests for open houses and viewings by interested buyers? As the real estate agent, there are steps you and your seller client can take to help address and avoidRead More

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