ARTICLES & NEWS

REAL ESTATE TRANSACTIONS ARTICLES

security deposit

Landlord Must Notify Tenant of Deposit Status Within 14 Business Days After Lease

By Christopher Combs | February 16, 2020

Question: We rented a small furnished home in Phoenix. A burning cigarette severely damaged a sofa which was worth no more than $1,000. When the lease ended, we told the landlord that he could take $1,000 for a new sofa, but that we wanted the rest of our $2,500 security deposit back because the home was otherwise in perfect condition. The landlord said ok. One month later, however, we still have not received any communication from the landlord, who has not responded to any of our texts or emails. How can we get the remaining $1,500 of our security deposit…

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golf course

Golf Course Must be Operated by New Owner of Golf Course

By Christopher Combs | January 26, 2020

Question: My husband and I are looking to buy a new home in the Southeast Valley. We looked at a Chandler development, and the CC&Rs said that an 18-hole championship golf course would be built on land not far from our new home. My husband loves to play golf but I have no interest in golf. I would rather buy a new home in a Gilbert community with access to the shops and restaurants in downtown Gilbert. Will the Chandler developer have to build the golf course because of the representations in the CC&Rs? If so, how long does the…

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burglary

Seller and Brokers Must Disclose Burglaries in Neighborhood Homes

By Christopher Combs | January 19, 2020

Question: After we purchased our Sun City home we learned from neighbors that our home had been burglarized at least three times in the preceding eight months, plus there had been several burglaries at other homes in our neighborhood. We are elderly people, and had we known of these burglaries we would not have purchased our home. The money we paid for our home went to the seller, the seller’s listing broker, and the broker that represented us. Shouldn’t someone have told us about these burglaries? If so, how do we calculate our damages? Answer: First, sellers and brokers in…

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Tenancy in Common

Sale of Tenancy in Common Home

By Christopher Combs | December 1, 2019

Question: My next-door neighbor and I wanted to build a “spec” home in Peoria. My next-door neighbor then bought the lot for $100,000, and we took title to the lot as tenants in common. My next-door neighbor did not have good credit, so I took out the construction loan of $300,000 to build the home. The home has been completed with an appraised value of $600,000. If the home sells for $600,000, how will these $600,000 sales proceeds be divided between me and my next-door neighbor? Answer: In order to calculate the division of the $600,000 sales proceeds, you should…

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girlfriend can rely on promise

Girlfriend Can Rely on Boyfriend’s Promise to Deed the Home

By Christopher Combs | October 20, 2019

Question: In a recent column you discussed what happens to a jointly-owned Scottsdale home after the boyfriend tells the girlfriend that he is moving out, and that he will deed the home to her. You told the girlfriend to immediately get something in writing, even an email from the boyfriend. Is an email from the boyfriend enforceable if he later changes his mind? Answer: The email itself would not be enforceable as an email doesn’t meet the requirements of a deed, e.g., notarization of grantor’s signature. Under the doctrine of promissory estoppel, if the girlfriend relied on the boyfriend’s promise…

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Owner liable for dog bite

Owner of dog in Arizona has strict liability for dog bites

By Christopher Combs | October 6, 2019

Question: We wanted to sell our Glendale home, so we contacted a local real estate agent who “farmed” our neighborhood. This real estate agent came to meet us at our home to sign the listing papers. Our son had left the back gate open, and our dog severely bit the real estate agent’s foot in our front yard. We then drove the real estate agent to the emergency room.  We understand that she had minor plastic surgery the next day. The agent was very upset with us for not warning her about our dog, and even returned the flowers we…

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auction

Bidding at a Trustee’s Sale

By Christopher Combs | August 4, 2019

Question: Two years ago we loaned my wife’s sister $70,000 to buy a small home in Glendale. The $70,000 loan was secured by a $70,000 promissory note and a deed of trust on the home. My wife’s sister never made one monthly mortgage payment to us, and she moved back to Iowa a few months ago. She has refused to sign a deed to us because she eventually wants to come back to Arizona. We started foreclosure proceedings with the title company that drafted the original paperwork, and a foreclosure sale is scheduled next month. What do we need to…

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My Boyfriend Is Moving Out of Our Townhome

By Christopher Combs | July 30, 2019

Question: My boyfriend and I own a townhome in Scottsdale. He has a new girlfriend and is moving out next month into a new apartment with his girlfriend. Although my boyfriend paid the $12,000 down payment, we have been splitting the mortgage payments, and the costs of repairs and maintenance of the townhome. I think my boyfriend feels guilty because he said that, if I can make the mortgage payments, I can keep our townhome without paying him anything. What do I need to do, and when should I do it? Answer: First, get an email, text, or something in…

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