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Partition Lawsuit by Sisters and Attorney’s Fees

By Christopher Combs | July 29, 2018

Question: My sister and I inherited our mother’s North Phoenix home after our mother died. My sister needs money and wants to sell the home immediately. I would like to make some improvements to the home and rent the home for rental income for both of us. My sister, however, says that she will not sign a lease to any renter of the home. If she won’t sign a lease to rent the home, can I sign the lease by myself? Can my sister require the sale of the home? If so, who pays for legal fees? Answer:  First, in…

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Solar Panels Foreclosure

Who Owns Solar Panels after Foreclosure?

By Christopher Combs | July 22, 2018

Question: Last month after a bank foreclosure our investor group purchased a home in Apache Junction. The home has solar panels on the roof. We recently received a letter from the attorney for the solar panel company that leased the solar panels to the former owner of the home. The attorney requested a time to come to the home to remove the solar panels. The attorney enclosed with the letter a UCC-1 financing statement that was recorded before the bank’s foreclosure deed to us. Who owns the solar panels now? If the solar panel company still owns the solar panels,…

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Solar Panel Company Must Agree to Re-Record Lien

By Christopher Combs | June 24, 2018

Question: In a recent column about an Arcadia home you said that after the close of escrow a solar panel company had no claim against the buyer of the home for the future lease payments owed to the solar company, even though this buyer has the benefit of the use of the solar panels on his roof. Why didn’t the solar panel leasing company record a lien for their future lease payments like a mortgage? Answer:  At the time that solar panel companies lease or finance solar panels they generally do record a UCC-1 financing statement or similar security document to…

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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…

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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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