Author: Oscar Alvarez

May a county impose a documentary transfer tax on the transfer of a majority interest in a company owning property?

926 North Ardmore Avenue LLC v. County of Los Angeles Facts: An owner transfers their rental property into a trust benefitting them and names a successor trustee. The successor trustee forms a limited liability company (LLC) of which the trust is the only member, and a limited liability limited partnership (LLLP) which is primarily owned by the LLC. The trust conveys the property to the LLC. The LLC transfers its interests in the LLLP to a trust benefitting the successor trustee. The successor trustee pays a documentary transfer tax imposed by the county on the transfer of the property....

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Is an owner liable for the nondisclosure of a material defect they are not aware of?

RSB Vineyards, LLC v. Orsi Facts: A property owner hires a contractor to renovate a property. Unknown to the owner, the renovation leaves the property structurally unsound. The owner later sells the property to a buyer. After the sale, the buyer learns the building is structurally unsound and is forced to demolish it. Claim: The buyer seeks money losses from the owner, claiming the owner breached the implied warranty of habitability since they failed to disclose material defects likely known by their contractor and imputed to the owner in the contractor’s capacity as their agent. Counterclaim: The owner claims...

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Does issuance of a conditional use permit change a property’s occupancy?

Harrington v. City of Davis Facts: The owner of a residential property obtains a conditional use permit to use the property as a commercial space. When the permit expires, the owner reverts the property back to residential use but no certificate of occupancy is issued. The property is later sold and the new owner also applies for the same permit. The city’s building code requires compliance with accessible parking regulations when there is a change in occupancy. The owner does not provide accessible parking and the city approves the permit application. Claim: A neighbor seeks to block issuance of...

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Can energy systems be separated into solar and nonsolar components for property tax purposes?

Luz Solar Partners Ltd., III v. San Bernardino County Facts: An owner improves their real estate by installing an energy system that generates power through both solar and nonsolar energy. The county changes property appraisal procedures by valuing solar and nonsolar energy system components together, increasing the total tax burden. In the years following the implementation of this policy, the owner’s property taxes increase. Claim: The owner seeks a refund for the amounts overpaid in property taxes, claiming the county made an error in the property tax calculations since the only taxable energy system components considered in determining the...

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Is a landlord’s time-sensitive notice based on the landlord’s business hours?

Hsieh v. Pederson Facts: A residential tenant owes several months of unpaid rent to the landlord. The landlord serves the tenant with a 14-day notice to pay rent or quit, which specifies an address to mail payment to and hours during which the landlord is physically available to accept payment. The tenant fails to comply. The landlord files an unlawful detainer (UD) action 18 days after serving the notice. Claim: The tenant seeks to retain possession of the premises, claiming the landlord filed a UD action prematurely since the expiration of the notice is based on the landlord’s specified...

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