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Does selling real estate broker incur disclosure liability to buyer who relied on reference to 24 year old earthquake-zone study’s statement that property was “buildable”?

Posted by Steven Vartabedian on

Under the circumstances of Saffie v. Schmeling (filed 3/7/14) E055716, the answer is no. In 2006, seller’s broker posted in the multiple listing service (MLS) the listing of a commercial parcel that stated the property was within an earthquake study zone, but a fault hazard zone investigation by a licensed geologist had determined the parcel […]

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Can commercial tenant sue landlord based on inaccurate pre-lease estimates of shopping center pro-rata costs portion of its rent?

Posted by Steven Vartabedian on

In Thrifty-Payless, Inc. v. The Americana at Brand, LLC (certified for publication 8/14/13) 2013 DJDAR 10838, plaintiff, doing business as Rite-Aid, leased commercial space at defendant’s shopping center in Glendale. Prior to execution of the lease, the parties negotiated through a letter of intent (LOI). In their final LOI, defendants stated that, as a part […]

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In the Path of the High Speed Rail: An Overview of the Eminent Domain Process

Posted by Dowling Aaron on

On January 14, 2013, California’s Public Works Board authorized the California High Speed Rail Authority (“CHSRA”) to begin negotiating with property owners in Madera and Merced counties for the purchase of their property needed for the first construction segment of high speed rail (“HSR”) route. This action initiates a process, known as eminent domain, which […]

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Arbitration covenant that runs with the land binds homeowners and their association even though neither was a direct party to the covenant

Posted by Steven Vartabedian on

One of the earlier blog articles that I wrote on this site commented on the trend of California appellate cases questioning the fairness of arbitration clauses that often left the non-drafting party without any bargaining power. While many of these situations arise in the context of disadvantaged consumers and employees directly contracting with the drafting […]

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Triable issues of lender fraud requires reversal of summary adjudication of claims for damages caused by foreclosure

Posted by Steven Vartabedian on

The general history of the instant foreclosure is all too familiar. Home loan borrower starts with a low adjustable rate loan based on now-bygone high home values. The interest adjusts in a few years to more than twice the original rate, more than doubling the homeowners’ payment on a home that now is substantially “underwater” […]

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Doctrine of boundary by agreement: good fences don’t make good neighbors absent an agreement.

Posted by Steven Vartabedian on

With apologies to Robert Frost and his poem “Mending Wall,” there might be a circumstance when a good fence does make a good neighbor: that is where the fence marks an agreed-upon boundary between two neighbors. In Martin v. Van Bergen (filed September 6, 2012) 2012 DJDAR 12577, the Van Bergens contended the fence that […]

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Real Estate Recovery Program provides recovery for broker’s fiduciary breach if factual findings supporting judgment state conduct constituting deliberate fraud

Posted by Steven Vartabedian on

California Business & Profession Code section 10471 is a “remedial statute intended to protect the public from loss resulting from unsatisfied damage awards against licensed real estate personnel.” (Doyle v. Department of Real Estate (1994) 30 Cal.App.4th 893.) It is punitive in the sense that an agent’s license is immediately suspended if the state pays […]

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Slander of title cause of action may be maintained where the only pecuniary loss consists of attorney fees and costs incurred to clear the slandered title

Posted by Dowling Aaron on

For more than 20 years, homeowners at Sumner Hill, an isolated subdivision on the bluffs overlooking the San Joaquin River, enjoyed the privacy of living in a remote, rural location behind a locked security gate. They also enjoyed unrestricted access to the river on a dirt road within the subdivision known as Killkelly Road. Because […]

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Home Construction Defect Case Prelitigation Procedure Under California Civil Code Section 914 Backfires on Homebuilder Drafting Its Own Contract Provision

Posted by Steven Vartabedian on

In 2002, hoping to reduce construction litigation and the impact on housing costs, the California Legislature enacted Civil Code sections 895-945.5 that included a nonadversarial prelitigation procedure requiring home purchasers, who believe their home may be defective, to give the builder notice of the claimed defects and an opportunity to investigate and repair the defects […]

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