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Court sides with HOA in case against Short Term Rentals

Court sides with HOA in case against Short Term Rentals

Case of the Month:  Almanor Lakeside Villas Owners Association v. Carson Almanor Lakeside Villa Owners Association (“HOA”) filed a lawsuit in Santa Clara County Superior Court against property owners, James and Kimberly Carson (“Carsons”), after they rented out their properties as short term vacation rentals. The subdivision in question was originally designed with several lots […]

It’s mine! Case decided in court as heirs via for real property

It’s mine!  Case decided in court as heirs via for real property

By Jennifer Felten Carne v. Worthington This case involves a dispute over the ownership of a property owned by Kenneth Liebler before his death. Liebler’s daughter, Melanie Carne, as successor trustee to the Kenneth Liebler Irrevocable Trust dated December 21, 2009 (the “2009 Trust”), filed a petition in probate court to confirm the validity and […]

Defendant sentenced to 14 years for bilking Financial Institutions out of $16 Million

Defendant sentenced to 14 years for bilking Financial Institutions out of $16 Million

By Jennifer Felten United States v. Vera Kuzmenko In this case the United States government brought an action against defendant Vera Kuzmenko, a real estate agent, and others, on account of a massive real estate fraud she orchestrated. The scheme involved the defendant obtaining real estate commissions by submitting grossly fraudulent loan applications to lenders […]

State Law Prohibits Cities from Enforcing Brown Lawn Ordinances: Brown is the New Green

State Law Prohibits Cities from Enforcing Brown Lawn Ordinances: Brown is the New Green

By Jennifer Felten The state of California is a little low on water. In fact, on January 17, 2014, the Governor proclaimed a State of Emergency relative to the water shortage and directed state officials to take all necessary actions to make water immediately available. Despite the water shortage, local ordinances in many areas require […]

HOAs & Landlords Required to Permit Clotheslines — California is now a ‘Right to Dry’ State

HOAs & Landlords Required to Permit Clotheslines — California is now a ‘Right to Dry’ State

By Jennifer Felten The environmental movement has won another battle in California; they’ve brought clotheslines back in an attempt to save energy. As such, California is now a “right to dry” state. The new law, which went into effect January 1st of this year, voids provisions in HOA governing documents that effectively prohibit or unreasonably […]

Man transfers title to himself: City stuck trying to reclaim home of San Diego Padres

Man transfers title to himself: City stuck trying to reclaim home of San Diego Padres

By Jennifer Felten Case of the Month: People v. McQuaig The City of San Diego is learning the hard way that real estate fraud can be both a criminal matter and a civil matter. Apparently, in 2014 Derris McQuaig decided that he wanted to own Petco Park, the baseball stadium for the San Diego Padres. […]

California Approves Use of Transfer Upon Death Deed

California Approves Use of Transfer Upon Death Deed

In California, where property values are high, the cost to probate an estate for the transfer of a home is costly. As such, savvy homeowners take action to avoid such costs via trusts or via property ownership which includes a right of survivorship. Thanks to the Assembly Bill 139, which becomes effective on January 1, […]

Parking Fail — Don’t let anyone park a car on your roof

Parking Fail — Don’t let anyone park a car on your roof

By Jennifer Felten An 83-year-old woman in Michigan, Joyce Kingsley, has found out the hard way that living on a hill has its challenges. The woman was inside, watching television when she heard a loud noise. Upon questioning the woman said, “I was just watching TV inside. I had it up pretty loud – but […]

In Chicago Weeds Not Protected As Free Speech

In Chicago Weeds Not Protected As Free Speech

By Jennifer Felten Many cities have ordinances that require property owners to control the weeds on their property or face fines. Proponents of these types of regulations argue that they are needed for: the prevention of serious fire hazards, the removal of obstructions that interfere with streets and sidewalks, the prevention of noxious weed infestation, […]

An act of ‘Love thy Neighbor’ began with ridicule

An act of ‘Love thy Neighbor’ began with ridicule

By Jennifer Felten Last month, 75-year-old Leonard Bullock was the recipient of a kind gesture by one of his neighbors. The neighbor, Josh Cyganic, had waved to Leonard every morning for about 4 years as he walked by on his daily route to work. The two had never spoken until Josh overheard a couple teenager […]