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Anti-terrorism Clause in Commercial Leases

By Christopher Combs | May 24, 2015

  Question:  Our company is interested in leasing some office space.  In reviewing the proposed lease sent to us by the broker, we noticed that there is an “OFAC” provision.  The landlord’s broker said that this provision is just an anti-terrorism provision that is standard in most office leases and is required by federal law.   Answer:  Pursuant to Executive Order 13224, all United States companies are prohibited from doing business with any person that 1) has committed a terrorist act; 2) possesses a risk of committing or supporting terrorist acts; or 3) is identified on a list generated by…


Corporate Office Often Must OK New Home Deal

By Christopher Combs | May 10, 2015

Corporate Officer Signature and New Home Deals   Question:  A new subdivision is being developed near our Gilbert home.  Last Saturday we went and looked at several of the model homes in the subdivision.  One of the model homes we loved, and we spent all day negotiating price, upgrades, and other contract terms.  At the end of the day all of the paperwork was signed by us and the sales agent, who told us “Congratulations on your new home!”  My wife and I then went out and celebrated that night!  The following week we received a telephone call from the…


Home Offer Valid Despite Delay in Acceptance

By Christopher Combs | March 22, 2015

  Question:  We made an offer on a home in Fountain Hills.  Under the terms of our offer the seller had 24 hours to accept our offer.  The seller was out of state, however, and did not accept our offer by returning the signed purchase contract to us until four days later.  We still wanted this home, and we told our real estate agent to deliver the signed purchase contract and our earnest money to the title company and to order the home inspection.  The seller now has a higher offer from another buyer, and the seller says that our…


Apartment-Complex Sale Killed by Wife's Failure to Sign

By Christopher Combs | October 12, 2014

  Question: I made a written offer to purchase a 90-unit apartment complex in Chandler. The seller accepted in writing my offer. The seller said that because his wife was on the title to the apartment complex, his wife also would have to sign the contract. The seller’s wife was in Europe at the time, but the seller said that, because his wife was not involved in his business affairs, it would be no problem to have his wife sign the contract when she returned from Europe. The seller’s wife has now returned from Europe, but the seller said that she…


Death Affects a Plan for 3-Year Lease

By Christopher Combs | October 5, 2014

  Question:  Four months ago, my wife and I signed a three year agreement to rent a home in Carefree.  My wife passed away last month.  I would now like to move to Los Angeles to be near my children.  When I contacted my landlord to tell him I wanted to move out early, he was upset.  He said he would cancel the lease with me only when he found a new tenant.  In addition, he demanded that I sign a bill of sale transferring all of my furniture to him, surrender the security deposit of $3,000, and reimburse him…


No Right of Rescission for Improved Lot

By Christopher Combs | August 11, 2014

  Question: We recently signed a contract to purchase a home to be built within a year on a lot in a beautiful community in north Mesa. Although we love our lot, the day after we signed the purchase contract, we realized that, because both of us work in downtown Phoenix, the daily commute would be too difficult from north Mesa. Inasmuch as we believed we had a seven-day right of rescission after purchasing this lot, we immediately asked for our $10,000 earnest money back from the developer. The developer said we did not have a seven-day right to rescission and…


Tenant Has Option to Pay Advance Rent

By Christopher Combs | August 3, 2014

Question: We own a condominium in Scottsdale. For the past 12 years we have rented this condominium to a Canadian couple for January, February, March and April. They paid the rent for all four months in advance, along with a $1,500 security deposit. The husband died this past year, however, and his widow did not want to rent our condominium. In response to our advertising on the Internet, an attorney in northern California wanted to rent our condominium. We refused to rent to him, however, after he told us that we were not entitled to collect the four months of rent…


Payment Feud Entraps Owner

By Christopher Combs | June 15, 2014

  Question:  I recently signed an agreement with a contractor to install new kitchen cabinets in my Chandler home.  Without my knowledge or approval, this contractor subcontracted the work to a local carpenter.  The cabinets were built poorly and were not even the ones I wanted.  I paid my contractor after we settled for 20 percent off the original contract price.  Just two days ago I received a notice of a recorded mechanic’s lien from the local carpenter, who apparently is in a dispute with my contractor about being paid.  Even though I never signed a contract with this local…