Legal Updates

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CAR New Wire Fraud Advisory

Cyber crime targeting wire transfers is on the rise. Criminals have developed viruses that hack into email accounts of buyers, sellers, real estate agents and escrow companies. The malware records login information and then sits undetectable by commercial anti-virus software. When an email is sent or received that mentions a wire transfer, the virus alertsRead More

Couple looking at MLS on tablet with Agent

The Purpose of a MLS Listing of Real Property in California

The purpose of a MLS listing of a parcel for sale Throughout California there are many local real estate associations that provide an electronic service used by real estate agents and brokers called the “multiple listing service” (MLS). This service allows members of a given local real estate association to see each other’s listings ofRead More

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A Realtor’s and Seller’s Duty to Disclose All Prior Inspection Reports on a Listed Property

The duty to disclose all that is material affecting price paid or desirability Over the years, I frequently come across risk management inquiries involving whether a seller and his or her listing agent need to disclose prior property inspection reports of the property being listed for sale. Negative prior third-party expert reports on the listedRead More

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Is Your Website ADA Compliant? —A New Cyber Risk

The purpose of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), enacted in 1992, is to assure equal access and services to disabled individuals. The ADA makes it unlawful to discriminate against people with disabilities. Title III of the Act prohibits entities that own, lease, or operate a place of public accommodation from discriminating against the disabled.Read More

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How to Prevent a California Civil Code Section 1088 Violation

California Civil Code section 1088 Many real estate agents are not familiar with the provisions of California Civil Code section 1088. I am quite familiar with this provision having defended many real estate licenses over the years for placing inaccurate information in a listing posted in a given real estate association’s multiple listing service posting.Read More

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Americans with Disabilities Act Website Lawsuits

The 1990 “Americans with Disabilities Act” (hereinafter “ADA”) is a federal civil rights law designed to prevent discrimination based upon one’s disability. Disabilities covered, but not limited to those of hearing, mobility, and sight. Discrimination based upon one’s “disability” is illegal in all fifty (50) states and United States territories. The covered disabilities under theRead More

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Emails versus Texts in a Real Estate Transaction

The best way to prevent a claim or lawsuit against yourself as a licensed professional is to memorialize what was discussed in writing with your client starting with the log notes in your transaction file and then followed up with an e mail, facsimile transmission or a hard copy letter (preferably certified mail return receiptRead More

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How Does a Property Manager Minimize His or Her Exposure in Landlord Tenant Relations?

With the resurgence of the California real estate market after the “Great Recession” I find that many of my real estate clients have diversified their business and have become involved in real property management. In California, a property manager is a person who takes care of the many aspects of commercial, industrial or residential propertiesRead More

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Cancellation of Escrow Considerations

Invariably I have come across disputes in real estate sales where a cancellation of contract, release of deposit and cancellation of escrow on a California Association of Realtors© form CC has been sent to either the listing or selling agent for his or her client(s) to date, sign and return to the party sending theRead More

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What is a Fixture and How to Prevent Misunderstandings After Close

California Civil Code section 660 defines a “fixture” as follows: “A thing is deemed to be affixed to land when it is attached to it by roots, as in the case of trees, vines, or shrubs; or imbedded in it, as in the case of walls; or permanently resting upon it, as in the caseRead More

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