August 2016 Real Estate Law Newsletter

 

The Nature of Success

The world is composed of naturally-occurring elements that make up the essence of life — from the water we drink to the air we breathe to the cells that make up our human anatomy. Elements in their purest form cannot be divided into simpler substances; in this indivisibility, there is an inherent strength. Connecting with what is natural, or being “in your element”, offers an internal fortitude that often triggers success.

At the Law Offices of Peter N. Brewer, we are in our element when we are delivering excellent legal services and an outstanding client experience. Part of that fundamental mission is providing relevant resources for the broader real estate community. In this month’s edition of our real estate law newsletter, our firm focuses on the theme of being in your element. We join forces with a master arborist to present a joint webinar about the critical elements of tree care and urban responsibility. We provide a library of resources about the legal basics of neighbor disputes over trees, shrubs, and roots. Finally, we discuss important elements of rent-to-buy arrangements and homestead exemptions in blog articles from Ashlee D. Adkins and Henry Chuang.

Highlights in this month’s issue:

–Register for our upcoming webinar about tree maintenance, boundary disputes, and neighbor tree rights, presented in conjunction with A Plus Tree, Inc.

–Access a wealth of resources about the legal implications of trees, shrubs, and roots

–Check out recent blog articles published by Henry Chuang and Ashlee D. Adkins

–Catch up on recent updates from the firm, including trips, speaking engagements, trial victories, and more.

We hope you enjoy reading the August edition of our newsletter!

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Join us for a free webinar on Tuesday, September 6th at 10:00 AM PST, covering important information about tree care in California. The expert panel, featuring master arborist Jeremy Tibbets and real estate attorney Simon Offord, will discuss the importance of tree maintenance and care, as well as the legal considerations for planting, trimming, and removing trees. Homeowners and REALTORS® will learn critical information about tree maintenance, and will better understand their rights and responsibilities. Commercial property owners and HOA managers will discover the proper methods for managing their trees and maintaining a healthy, natural landscape. All attendees will come away with a better understanding of tree care and full-cycle urban responsibility.

We have already exceeded our original webinar seat limit. However, more seats have just been added, so register today!

Panelists:

Jeremy Tibbets, Founder/CEO, A Plus Tree, Inc.

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Jeremy Tibbets is a Board Certified Master Arborist, and the founder of A Plus Tree, Inc., a TCIA-Accredited professional tree care company serving the entire West Coast, with the mission of inspiring Urban Forest Management.

Simon Offord, Senior Attorney, Law Offices of Peter N. Brewer

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Simon Offord is a senior real estate attorney with the Law Offices of Peter N. Brewer, whose practice focuses on real estate matters including boundary and tree disputes.

Legal Considerations of Trees, Roots, and Shrubs

As a primer to both the impending Autumn and our firm’s upcoming tree webinar, we have pulled together a compendium of articles about trees, roots, leaves, and shrubs. Over the years, our firm has helped many clients with these thorny issues, and we hope that you find our insights valuable.

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The most common neighbor dispute involves trees on an adjacent property creating a nuisance. Simon Offord provides an overview of neighbor’s rights relating to roots and branches.

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California has had a spite fence law since 1885, but some crafty neighbors have tried to circumvent the law by planting rows of trees. Julia M. Wei discusses trees, shrubs, and hedges as spite fences.

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Leaves that fall from tree branches can become more than just a hassle to clean up. Ashlee D. Adkins writes about what happens when leaves are neglected, or when leaves cause a nuisance.

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Neighbors that recklessly cut down trees or trim branches can be held liable for tree damage, and forced to pay huge sums of money. Simon Offord discusses how damages can be awarded in tree disputes.

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Simon Offord highlights the importance for California homeowners to understand their rights and responsibilities with regards to line trees, such as investigating city ordinances before resorting to self-help.

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Disputes between neighbors over issues that affect property, such as encroaching roots, are usually handled through a civil suit. Simon Offord discusses the mechanics and processes of civil litigation.

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NEW BLOG ARTICLES

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Rent-to-Buy Real Estate: Can a Seller File an Unlawful Detainer After a Default?

While it is rare in real estate, it is possible for a buyer to rent a property for a period of time from the seller, and then purchase the property for a discounted price. However, in a “rent-to-buy” arrangement such as this, what happens when the buyer/renter defaults on the rental payments? Attorney Ashlee D. Adkins discusses a recent case where a seller filed an unlawful detainer against a buyer who defaulted on a rent-to-buy agreement.

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How to Determine Your Primary Residence — the Homestead Exemption

During bankruptcy proceedings, borrowers can claim a homestead exemption for their property, which provides immunity for some of the equity in a property from being liquidated by creditors. The borrower must demonstrate that the property is his or her primary residence. However, what qualifies as a primary residence was challenged in a recent US Bankruptcy Appellate Panel decision. Henry Chuang discusses the case and its impacts in his blog article.

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DID YOU KNOW?

You can find all of our firm’s published resources in one place on our website!

Access all of our resources, including

  • Past Newsletters
  • Articles
  • E-books
  • Infographics
  • Published Industry Materials
  • And much more!

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  • Peter N. Brewer and his wife Laura Brewer enjoyed a three-week European vacation — first sailing aboard the Queen Mary II, and then disembarking to explore England and Ireland
  • Simon Offord assisted in the negotiation and completion of a business purchase and lease for a grocery store in San Francisco
  • Julia M. Wei and Clayton Dodds gave a co-presentation about social media, marketing regulations, and ethics to the Silicon Valley chapter of the California Association of Mortgage Professionals (CAMP) on August 12th
  • Charlie Bronitsky and Ashlee D. Adkins successfully executed a Stipulation for Entry of Judgment in an unlawful detainer case, so that the commercial real estate client could collect over $20,000 in past-due rent
  • Simon Offord gave a presentation about deposit disputes in residential home purchases at the Silicon Valley Association of REALTORS® (SILVAR) Los Altos/Mountain View tour meeting on August 19th
  • Clayton Dodds and his partner enjoyed a week-long vacation in Maui, Hawaii
  • On August 31st, Simon Offord appeared as a guest on the Brian Copeland Show’s monthly real estate segment, which aired on KGO810
  • Ashlee D. Adkins attended the Lawyer Rainmaker Retreat in Las Vegas on August 19-20
  • Simon Offord and his wife Elizabeth enjoyed a week-long family vacation in Cancun, Mexico

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