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December 2016 Archives

Commercial leases face new vulnerabilities

The commercial real estate landscape is changing rapidly, after the statewide legalization of recreational marijuana use has created a red-hot market for legitimate growing and distributing opportunities. However, the fundamentals of the real-estate business are not as quick to adapt to the shifting landscape, leaving both landlords and tenants in a tricky situation. While the use and regulated sale of marijuana is legal within the state, it is still classified as a Schedule 1 illegal drug at the federal level.

Three things you should know about commercial leases

As a small business owner, two of the major costs you are going to incur are related to wages and office rent. When looking for office space, leasing of commercial space would be an important aspect as you seek to grow and expand your small business. However, the process of negotiating and finalizing lease agreements is one that should be undertaken with due diligence. You should keep a few things in mind when going through this for the very first time. 

How can a landlord spend my deposit?

As a tenant, it can often feel like your landlord can get a way with anything, leaving you to pick up the pieces, especially when you are leasing a space in a competitive market. While it is true that a landlord often has greater leverage for negotiating than a tenant, landlords are still bound by law to operate within certain guidelines. One of the most common frustrations of tenants are landlords who seem to find creative and potentially illegal ways to deplete security deposits. It is helpful for tenants and landlords alike to have a reasonable understanding of what a security deposit can and cannot be used to cover.

Is your landlord treating you unethically?

Even though same-sex marriage has become legal nationwide, some people might still opt to use a domestic partnership as the legal basis for their cohabitation agreement. The domestic partnership has some benefits that you should be aware of so that you can decide if this is an option that you want to consider.

New law clarifies buyers' rights

The California Supreme court has made a ruling that may have widespread, if specific, implications for real estate salespeople throughout the state. After ample deliberation, the court has ruled that if a salesperson working with a seller of a property is licensed through the same brokerage as a salesperson working with the buyer, the seller's salesperson has a legal fiduciary responsibility to disclose all materially relevant information to the buyer.

Tenants face illegal pressure to vacate leases

It would nice to think that in 2016 tenants living in a famously forward-thinking area like Southern California would not have to contend with unfair targeting by a landlord because of their race. Unfortunately, the practice still exists more prevalently than you might believe. A group of tenants have filed charges against a California property management firm claiming that they have been systematically harassed and coerced toward leaving their homes, ostensibly to make room for younger, richer, white clients.