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Abusive Husband

Abusive Husband Enables Wife to Cancel Lease

By Christopher Combs | February 18, 2018

Question: My husband and I have leased a home in Scottsdale through next September. Although my husband has physically abused me in the past, this time I had to get a court protective order. I am filing for divorce, and moving back to Colorado to stay with my parents.  Do I still have responsibility for lease payments until September even though I am terrified to be near my husband? Answer: Probably not. A.R.S. § 33–1318 authorizes a victim of domestic violence to terminate a lease within 30 days if certain requirements are met, e.g., delivery to the landlord of a…

Vacation Rental

CC&Rs Can Prohibit Vacation Rentals

By Christopher Combs | February 4, 2018

Question: We live in the Desert Mountain community in North Scottsdale. Our understanding is that the community amended the CC&Rs to prohibit vacation rentals. We only live in our Desert Mountain home a few months of the year. We have rented out this home for a week or two throughout the year to friends and neighbors from Chicago. Can our HOA enforce these Desert Mountain CC&Rs? Isn’t there a statute in Arizona against CC&Rs prohibiting vacation rentals? Answer: There is no statute in Arizona that prohibits private regulation by CC&Rs of vacation rentals. One Arizona statute, however, prohibits public regulation…


Seller Must Disclose Solar Panel Lease

By Christopher Combs | January 28, 2018

Question: Last year we purchased a home in Arcadia. The home had solar panels on the roof. The purchase contract and the title insurance policy said nothing about a solar panel lease. After moving into our home, we started receiving notices from a solar panel company saying that we owed them monthly lease payments for the solar panels. Apparently, four years ago our seller had signed a 15-year lease for the solar panels, but never told us. Do we have to make these lease payments? Answer: Probably not. The seller should have disclosed the solar panels lease to you. There…

Locked Out By Landlord

Lockout by Landlord for Breach of Commercial Lease

By Christopher Combs | January 7, 2018

Question: We own a small industrial building in Gilbert with one tenant. Under our lease there is a clause that prohibits the storage of poisonous and noxious chemicals in the building. We became aware that our tenant was storing large containers of sulfuric acid in the building. We then gave our tenant the 10-day written notice to correct the problem as required by the lease. On the 10th day the tenant said that the large containers of sulfuric acid had been removed. However, I inspected the premises last night and the large containers were still there. Can we lock out…


Promissory Note to Pay Debt with no Date for Payment

By Christopher Combs | January 2, 2018

Question: I am a licensed home inspector. On a rainy day this summer, I did a home inspection on a home in Chandler for the buyers. I noticed some standing water in the backyard next to the guest house which I thought was due to rain fall. Three days after the buyers moved into the home, they called me to say that there was a major plumbing leak in the guest house. I went over to their home the next day and the buyers were right. I felt very badly. They already had a repair bill for an estimated cost of…


Should we Invest Money in a Private Full-time Mediator?

By Christopher Combs | December 11, 2017

Question: Three months ago we bought a beautiful older home in north Phoenix from a seller who had made significant attractive renovations to the home such as granite countertops. We found out after moving into the home, however, that the essential items of any home, the electrical wiring and the plumbing, are in terrible condition. The seller lied to us about these two items on the Seller’s Property Disclosure Statement, and our home inspector was apparently “asleep at the wheel.” The cost to repair these two items will be at least $60,000. The seller refused to mediate as required by our…


If Seller Lies, Can Buyer Cancel a Purchase Contract Before Closing?

By Christopher Combs | November 29, 2017

If Seller Lies, Can Buyer Cancel a Purchase Contract Before Closing?   Question: Last month we signed a contract with $10,000 earnest money to purchase a home in Sedona. In the Seller’s Property Disclosure Statement (“SPDS”), the seller said that there had never been any termites, or any termite treatment. During the escrow we had a home inspection and a termite inspection. Neither inspection discovered any termites or any termite damage. Two days before escrow was scheduled to close, however, we did a final walk-through. My wife looked in a kitchen drawer, and found a bill from a termite company to…


Reducing Claim to $3,500 – "Judge Judy" Small Claims Court

By Christopher Combs | November 13, 2017

Reducing Claim to $3,500 – “Judge Judy” Small Claims Court   Question: When we purchased our home in Apache Junction six months ago, the seller said in the Seller’s Property Disclosure Statement (“SPDS”) that there had been no roof problems. After the first monsoon rain we had significant water damage in our master bedroom due to a roof leak that we paid $4,800 to repair. Our roof repairman said that there had been prior roof repairs in the same location on the roof. In addition, our neighbor said that the seller had constantly complained about roof problems. After using all of our money…