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

8 Steps to Preparing a 3-Day Notice of Eviction

Preparing a 3-day notice to pay rent or quit? Use this checklist to be sure that you get the form and content of the notice right. Continue reading

How Far Does a Landowner’s Liability Go?

Couple crossing a street from shopping to the parking lotLandowners’ duty to maintain their premises in a reasonably safe condition has a pretty far reach, but the California Supreme Court recently curbed it. Continue reading

10 Tips for Attorneys on a CEQA Project

legally balancing the environmental effects under CEQAThe California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA)(Pub Res C §§21000–21189.3) applies to most public agency decisions to carry out, authorize, or approve projects that could have adverse effects on the environment. Attorneys are frequently called on to work as part of an overall team handling a project undergoing CEQA review. The attorney’s role in such project teams varies widely, but there are some general ways that attorneys can minimize misunderstandings and delays, and help reduce the cost of the CEQA process. Continue reading