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REAL ESTATE CONTRACTS ARTICLES

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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.…

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Transferring a Mortgage

Lease Option to Purchase Must Have Specific Terms

By Christopher Combs | July 11, 2019

Question: We are leasing a small building in a Chandler industrial park for five years. After five years we want to have the option to purchase this small building in “as is” condition. Our broker says that this option to purchase only needs to be in a lease addendum that states that there will be an appraisal for the amount of the purchase price, and that we will purchase the industrial building in “as is” condition. We don’t want to spend a lot of time and legal fees now because whether we exercise this option to purchase will depend on…

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driveways

Permission Will Prevent Future Adverse Possession Claim

By Christopher Combs | June 30, 2019

Question: We have an excellent relationship with our next-door neighbors. All of us even went to Glendale High School together years ago. Last week the husband came over to our house and said that, because they are widening their driveway, they would like to purchase a three-foot strip of our land. If we did not want to sell this three-foot strip of land, they would even be willing to rent this three-foot strip of land. Although we do not want to sell this three-foot strip of land or even take any rent money, we have no objection to our neighbors…

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Can the Home Builder Keep my Earnest Money?

By Christopher Combs | June 10, 2019

Question: We entered into a contract to purchase a new home in a subdivision in the San Tan area for $300,000. We deposited $30,000 earnest money in escrow. After 45 days while the home was still in the framing stage, my wife decided that she wanted to quit her job and return to school. With only one income we will not be able to afford this new home now, and we want the return of our $30,000 earnest money. Due to strong demand in our subdivision, the homebuilder has just raised the base price for our model home, and the…

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HOA Changes CC&Rs to Prohibit Street Parking

By Christopher Combs | June 6, 2019

Question: When we signed the purchase contract for a new home in Sun City, we were given a copy of the CC&Rs which allowed street parking for up to 24 hours. The day before closing we were given additional documents by the title company, including what we thought was just another copy of the CC&Rs, so we didn’t bother to read these additional documents. In actuality, these additional documents were amended CC&Rs that prohibit any street parking. When our daughter visits us now she has to park at the main entrance to our community and walk to our home. Are…

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Can Landlord and Tenant Create a Maintenance Deal?

By Christopher Combs | April 15, 2019

Question: We are negotiating a one-year lease for a North Phoenix home. The landlord wants us to be responsible for maintaining the heating and air-conditioning systems in the home. The landlord is willing to reduce the rent by $200 per month. Can we agree with the landlord to be responsible for maintaining the home in exchange for this $200 reduction in the rent? Answer: Probably. A landlord is required to maintain the premises in a fit and habitable condition.  This requirement includes having to keep all heating and air-conditioning systems in working order.  The landlord and tenant in the rental…

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Can Buyer Back Out of Purchase Contract for Seller’s Breach?

By Christopher Combs | April 8, 2019

Question:  When we purchased our Chandler home, we received the Seller’s Property Disclosure Statement (“SPDS”). The SPDS did not disclose any prior flood damage or mold. During our 10-day inspection period, our home inspector that did not find any prior flood damage or mold. After the 10-day inspection period had expired, however, we learned from a casual conversation with a neighbor that both the seller’s home and the neighbor’s home had flood damage and mold remediation two years earlier. We now want to cancel the purchase contract and get a refund of our $10,000 earnest money. Can we get our…

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No Commissions Owed Without Proper Documents

By Christopher Combs | February 27, 2019

Question: For several years I have owned a lot in the Wickenburg area that I inherited from my parents. I have been trying to sell this lot since last summer. One of my neighbors is a real estate broker, and he emailed me last week to ask if I would pay him a 5% commission if he found a buyer that would pay $300,000 for this lot. I emailed him back agreeing to his proposal. The next day this real estate broker emailed me a cash offer from a buyer for $300,000, with $25,000 earnest money. In the offer the…

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