Author: Carrie B. Reyes

DRE license may not be suspended due to a civil judgment without evidence of intentional misrepresentation

After a buyer entered into a purchase agreement, he discovered the broker had unknowingly misrepresented the square footage of the property and cancelled the transaction. The buyer sued the broker for misrepresenting the home’s square footage, and a judgment was entered against the broker in favor of the buyer based on the broker’s breach of his fiduciary duty owed to the buyer. In response to a complaint based on the judgment, the Department of Real Estate (DRE) suspended the broker’s license. The broker sought to have his license reinstated, claiming the DRE’s decision was not based on clear and...

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Redemption price for common interest development unit includes owner’s repair expenses

An owner of a unit in a common interest development (CID) failed to pay his monthly homeowners’ association (HOA) fees and the HOA initiated a trustee’s foreclosure which resulted in a trustee’s sale. The unit was purchased at the trustee’s sale by a high bidder other than the HOA, subject to the owner’s right of redemption and recovery of title. During the redemption period, the high bidder at the trustee’s sale made numerous repairs to the unit necessary to maintain a habitable living space. The owner filed a petition to determine the redemption amount due to recover his title...

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Landlord not liable for tenant’s lost business during renovations

A nonresidential tenant entered into a lease agreement with the landlord for possession of space in a shopping complex. A landlord liability exemption provision in the lease agreement stated the landlord will not be liable for the tenant’s lost business incurred due to any renovations undertaken in the complex by the landlord. During the tenancy, the landlord began renovations, not exercising what the tenant deemed to be reasonable care, causing the tenant to lose business due to reduced customer visibility and construction activity at the tenant’s space. The tenant sought to recover lost business income caused by the renovation,...

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Trees obstructing view are considered a fence

A property owner and his neighbor had a dispute over trees the neighbor planted along their common border which blocked the property owner’s view. The neighbor then retaliated by planting additional trees exceeding ten feet in height between the two properties, further obstructing the property owner’s view, and refused to trim them. The property owner made a demand on the neighbor for the money loss resulting from his decreased property value and loss of comfort and enjoyment of his property since the excessively tall row of trees violated the California “spite fence” statute as they exceeded ten feet and...

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Landlord who collects overdue rent is not a debt collector

A landlord raised the rent at his apartment complex. A tenant claimed the increase was excessive and sought to return the rent to the previous rate. The landlord and tenant entered into a forbearance agreement requiring the tenant to only pay the original rental amount until a judicial decision was reached. During the forbearance period, the property went into receivership and a new landlord purchased the apartment complex. A judgment was awarded affirming the rent increase, imposing liability on the tenant for the unpaid amount of rent. The new landlord issued a collection notice on the tenant demanding the...

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Zestimates are great conversation starters with sellers and buyers. Zillow has done more for our bottom line than NAR ever has or will. Don’t fight the current of the river, learn to run with it. Disruption is inevitable in any industry that is fragmented or inefficient. Granted, it does feel like armchair experts and platforms are plentiful in real estate these days, but when the tide rolls out we will see the value proposition of the truest professionals in this industry shine once again.

Justin Bonney, on Zillow’s impact on the real estate industry

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