Seller Not Liable for Unknown Roof Leaks

By Christopher Combs | February 2, 2013

Question: Three months ago, we sold a small office building in midtown Phoenix. During the escrow period, the buyer hired a building inspector. We gave permission to the inspector to inspect the building, including the flooding of the roof to determine if there were any roof leaks. There was no problem with the roof. We have now received a letter from the buyer’s attorney saying that the roof is leaking and that the cost to repair the roof will be $8,000. We never had any problems with the roof. Does the buyer have a claim against us for the roof…


Seller Must Disclose Noise From Airport

By Christopher Combs | January 19, 2013

Question: We moved to Phoenix from Boston last fall. Immediately after we moved into our home, we realized that we were in the flight path of jet planes from Luke Air Force Base. We are very angry with the seller for not disclosing this fact to us, but our letters to the seller have been unanswered. Believe it or not, we are getting used to the noise from the jet planes, but we are concerned that as honest people we will have to disclose this noise problem with the jet planes to potential buyers when we sell our home next…


Short-Sale Buyer Has Legal Recourse

By Christopher Combs | January 5, 2013

Question: Our brokerage firm represents a buyer that is purchasing an industrial building in the Scottsdale Airpark area. This purchase is a short sale that has recently been approved by the bank, and our buyer is completing the due diligence for the purchase of the industrial building. The market has improved since the purchase contract was signed almost three months ago. Our buyer just received a letter from the seller’s attorney stating that the seller is no longer willing to sell this industrial building, and is willing to release the earnest money back to our buyer. The seller’s attorney says…


Trustee’s Sale May Recoup Land Debt

By Christopher Combs | December 29, 2012

Question: Seven years ago, when the land market was booming, we sold 40 acres of our farmland near Tonopah in western Maricopa County for $1,200,000. The buyer paid $200,000 cash to us, and we did seller carryback financing for seven years of annual payments, interest only, on the balance of $1,000,000. The buyer has made only the first annual payment. The buyer is a Utah limited liability company with significant Utah assets, and we have personal guarantees from two of the members of the Utah limited liability company. What do we need to do to get the money owed to…


Homeowners May Have Cause For Suit

By Christopher Combs | December 8, 2012

Question:  Several years ago, we purchased a home in a subdivision near Tucson with an airstrip. The developer’s sales agent told us that, after all of the homes in the subdivision were sold, the airstrip would be deeded to the homeowners by the developer. We had nothing in writing, and all of the homes in the subdivision now have been sold. The developer, however, has apparently sold the airstrip to a California company, and this company is now demanding rent payments for the use of the airstrip. Do we have to pay rent payments to this company for the use…


Sex Offenders Don’t Need to Be Disclosed by The Seller, but Seller Cannot Lie

By Christopher Combs | December 5, 2012

   On November 27, 2012, the Arizona Court of Appeals ruled that under A.R.S. §32-2156 the seller had no obligation to disclose to the buyer that a level-one registered sex offender lived next door. The seller, however, did have an obligation to respond truthfully to any questions from the buyer, including the question from the buyer as to the reason that the seller was moving.  The seller stated that the reason for moving was to be closer to friends.    Therefore, if the buyer could prove at trial that this statement was untrue, and that the actual reason for the…


Conspiring on Lot Splits to Skirt Rules is Illegal

By Christopher Combs | November 24, 2012

Question: We live in an area of Yavapai County surrounded by national forest. Most of the privately owned land in this area is at least 5-acre parcels. Last year, a rancher split his 50-acre ranch into five 10-acre parcels and was able to sell all of the parcels except one 10-acre parcel. We have been told by a local real-estate broker that the rancher has now sold this last 10-acre parcel to an investor’s LLC for a much higher price than the four other 10-acre parcels. In addition, the investor’s LLC does not have to make any mortgage payments to the…


Who is Liable For Faulty Roof Repairs?

By Christopher Combs | November 5, 2012

Question:  We owned our home in Queen Creek for eight years. A year ago, we had a significant roof leak. We got three estimates for roof repairs, and we paid a roofing contractor almost $5,000 to make the roof repairs. Almost six months ago, we sold our home. After the recent monsoon, we received an e-mail from the buyer saying that the roof repairs that we had made were bad, and that the roof now needs to be repaired properly for $8,000 to $10,000. The buyer wants the name of the roofing contractor that made the repairs. Do we have…