4 Negotiating Tips for Tenants’ Attorneys

When defending a tenant facing eviction, you need to create negotiating opportunities for the tenant while proceeding with the unlawful detainer case. This requires developing a bargaining strategy for deciding what, if any, settlement offers or counteroffers to make to the landlord and when to make them. The following tips will help in formulating that strategy. Continue reading

Can Tenants Post Political Signs?

Can landlords stop their tenants from posting signs for a political candidate or proposition the landlord doesn’t support? The answer generally is no. Since 2012, the law in California allows tenants to post political signs, but there are some restrictions. Continue reading

Pros and Cons of Filing a Lis Pendens

If you want to put later buyers on notice of a legal claim involving real property, you can record a lis pendens (also known as a notice of pendency of action) with the recorder in each county where the property is located. CCP §§405-405.61. Recording a lis pendens, however, isn’t without its own set of risks.  Continue reading

7 Tips for Recording a Real Property Interest

Regardless of the type of interest, it’s absolutely crucial to record your client’s newly acquired real property interest. By recording the transfer, grantees, buyers, and lenders are protected against both future purchasers for value and unknown prior interests in the same property. Additionally, title insurance companies generally will only insure an interest if it’s recorded. These benefits may not attach, however, if the recordation—or the recorded instrument itself—was defective. Continue reading

12 Actions Cities Can Take to Mitigate Tort Liability

Cities get sued. A lot. One of the most common kinds of lawsuits against a city arises from injuries caused by an allegedly dangerous condition of city property (like a sidewalk, road, or trail in a city park). Although it may not always be possible to avoid lawsuits based on the dangerous condition of city property, there are actions a city can take to at least make them easier to defend. This list may also be useful to plaintiff’s counsel going on the offensive.  Continue reading

New Year, New Laws for Real Property Lawyers

The California legislature has enacted new laws that may affect your real property law practice. Here are some of the key statutory changes you need to know about. Continue reading

How to Compute 30- or 60-Day Notice for Eviction

check your dates to get your eviction notice rightWhen serving a 30-day or 60-day notice to terminate a month-to-month tenancy, keep in mind these rules for computing the days so that you don’t get it wrong. Continue reading

Challenging CEQA Processing Fees

Complying with the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) is very expensive business. The costs of preparing a typical environmental impact report (EIR) range from $200,000 to more than $1 million. The lead agency incurs those costs initially, and then bills the project applicant a “reasonable fee” for reimbursement of those costs. See Pub Res C §21089(a). Project applicants irked by excessive fees may ask their attorney whether there’s any way to challenge a lead agency’s processing fees under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). Would you know how to respond? Continue reading

Checklist for Disputes Over a Neighbor’s Home Business

home businesses may cause disputes with neighborsA home may be a person’s castle, but it can’t always be his or her office. More home-based businesses (including short-term rentals and home food production) means more neighbor disputes. Here’s a look at what constitutes a home business and a checklist to review whenever you’re asked to consider a dispute involving one. Continue reading

Are Landlords Liable for a Tenant’s Biting Dog?

tenant's vicious dogWhen a tenant’s dog bites someone, the injured party may want to go after the deeper pocket of the landlord. Whether this will be successful or not depends on what the landlord knew. Continue reading