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REAL ESTATE TRANSACTIONS ARTICLES

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…

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Mortgage Application

Can a girlfriend take over a boyfriend’s mortgage?

By Christopher Combs | February 11, 2018

Question: You had a recent column about a daughter not having to pay off the mortgage on a Phoenix home she inherited from her mother. You said that the daughter could just continue to make the monthly payments, even though there was a due-on-sale clause in the mortgage requiring immediate payment of the entire amount of the mortgage upon any transfer of the home. Here is my question: My boyfriend and I live in a home in Goodyear. Because of my bad credit, the deed and the $180,000 mortgage are both only in my boyfriend’s name. The $180,000 mortgage has…

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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…

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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…

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Is Disclosure of Partying Neighbors Required?

By Christopher Combs | January 14, 2018

Question:  We have lived in our Goodyear home for more than 20 years. We never had any problems with our neighbors. Last year a young couple moved in next door. Every weekend there are parties, and I think that drugs are involved. We have listed our home for sale because we want to move into a smaller home now that our children are grown. Our listing agent said that we have to disclose to buyers any material and adverse fact regarding our home. Do we have to disclose these new neighbors? Our son is a lawyer in Los Angeles, and…

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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…

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Problems with Lawsuits against Home Inspectors

By Christopher Combs | December 7, 2017

Problems with Lawsuits against Home Inspectors   Question: We closed on the purchase of a home in Chandler three months ago. Since closing we have had significant electrical problems. A licensed electrical contractor said that, among other things, two electrical panels need to be replaced. The cost of these repairs will be at least $3600. During the 10-day inspection period, we had a home inspection at a cost of $475 which showed no electrical problems. Is our home inspector liable for the $3600 cost of the electrical repairs?   Answer: If your home inspector was negligent in failing to discover the electrical…

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Transferring a Mobile Home Through Beneficiary Deed

By Christopher Combs | November 22, 2017

Transferring a Mobile Home Through Beneficiary Deed   Question: I am a senior citizen who lives on Social Security in a mobile home in Florence. My mobile home is my only significant asset, and I want my daughter to have the mobile home when I die. I read your column about beneficiary deeds that can transfer a home without any probate. I wonder if I could use a beneficiary deed to transfer my mobile home to my daughter when I die?   Answer: A mobile home itself is personal property. If your mobile home is affixed to your land, however, the mobile…

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