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Short-Term Rental Can Significantly Boost Income

By Christopher Combs | January 12, 2020

Question: We own a rental home in Scottsdale that is not in an HOA community. We have had a good tenant for the last two years who pays us $2,000 a month rent. We have been reading so much recently about short-term rentals in Scottsdale. If we refuse to renew the lease with our good tenant, and we convert this rental home to a short-term rental home, what are the advantages and disadvantages? What if the law is changed by Scottsdale to require minimum 6-month leases? Will we have lost our good tenant for nothing? Answer: The Arizona state legislature…


Constitutional Amendment Needed to Allow Regulation by Cities and Towns of Short-Term Rentals

By Christopher Combs | January 5, 2020

Question: In a recent column you said that if twelve Sedona homeowners wanted to prohibit Airbnb and VRBO short-term rentals in their small community of twelve homes, the twelve Sedona homeowners could form their own HOA to prohibit short-term rentals. In other words, if a group of homeowners already lives in an HOA community, or forms an HOA, the HOA can prohibit short-term rentals. If you don’t live in an HOA community, however, all of your neighbors can sell their homes to investors, and turn their homes into short-term rentals for up to 365 days a year. Why doesn’t our…

partition lawsuit

Partition of Home if Co-Owners Cannot Agree to Sell Home

By Christopher Combs | December 22, 2019

Question: Two years ago my boyfriend and I bought a home together in Chandler. Both of our names are on the deed and the mortgage as tenants in common. We are no longer happy living together, and I plan to move into an apartment. My boyfriend wants to continue to live in the home and doesn’t want to sell the home. He says that under the law I am required to continue to pay one-half of the mortgage. Can I require my boyfriend to sell the home now and split the sale proceeds? Answer: Yes. If you and your boyfriend…

affidavit of disclosure

Disclosure Requirement for Parcels of Land

By Christopher Combs | December 8, 2019

Question: We recently signed a contract to sell our three-acre parcel of land in Coconino County near Flagstaff. The title company says that we will be required to furnish the buyer with an Affidavit of Disclosure relating to the condition of this three-acre parcel. What is this Affidavit of Disclosure? Answer: Under A.R.S. §33-422 a seller of five or less parcels of land in an unincorporated area of a county is required to furnish an Affidavit of Disclosure to the buyer. Similar to a Seller’s Property Disclosure Statement in home sales, in the Affidavit of Disclosure a seller is required…


Pros and Cons of Lease-Option if Home Doesn’t Sell

By Christopher Combs | November 24, 2019

Question: We own a condominium in south Scottsdale which we have been trying to sell. Our listing broker has said that we should consider a “lease-option,” e.g., we rent to a tenant who has the option to buy our condominium at the end of the lease. What are the advantages and disadvantages of a lease-option? Answer: The advantage of a lease-option is that, if you are having trouble selling your condominium, a lease-option can “stop the bleeding.” In other words, you will receive rental income from the tenant that can be applied to the mortgage and other expenses of your…

warranty deed beneficiary deed

Subsequent Deed Revokes Beneficiary Deed

By Christopher Combs | November 10, 2019

Question: My mother recently passed away. Her only significant asset is her home in Sun City West. Three years ago when her boyfriend was living with her she recorded a beneficiary deed granting the home to him. They broke up a year ago, and my sister moved into the home to help my mother. My mother then recorded a warranty deed of the home to my sister. Just before my mother died, however, she executed a will in the hospital giving the home 50/50 to me and my sister. What a mess! Who owns the home now? Answer: Your sister…

stack of cash

Difference Between Liquidated Damages, Breach of Contract Penalty

By Christopher Combs | August 18, 2019

Question: Our daughter attends ASU, and we personally guaranteed a one-year lease for her Tempe condominium. The lease expiration date is May 31. Our daughter, however, moved out of the Tempe condominium one month early at the end of April to live with us until she goes to Europe for three months. My daughter’s friend is going to ASU summer school, and she immediately signed a new lease for the same rent and moved into the Tempe condominium on May 1. My daughter’s lease provides for damages in the amount of a 60-day rent payment for early termination of the…

break lease

Early Move-Out Due to Abuse Won’t Breach Lease

By Christopher Combs | August 11, 2019

Question: Eight months ago my husband and I signed a one-year $1,200 month lease for a condominium in Peoria. We have lived there with our four-year-old and six-year-old sons. Although my husband has been verbally and physically abusive to me almost from the beginning of our marriage, I am used to it. My husband is unemployed, and is home with our two sons during the day while I am at work. Last week he got angry and severely beat our two sons while I was at work. I moved out immediately and filed a complaint with the Peoria police department.…