Owning real estate is a fairly common practice in the United States, with 65.4 percent of the population owns at least one home, according to the United States Census. This is true especially in areas like Los Angeles where there are plenty of residential and commercial opportunities.
But if you’re the type of owner with multiple real estate properties, have tenants living in your property, are an investor, faced with foreclosures, or any other real estate issue, you could be vulnerable to legal issues and ramifications that could affect you and your family financially and legally. That’s why we recommend having a real estate lawyer to help you manage your Los Angeles properties. Here are a few reasons why we can help.
Buying And Selling Property
While having a real estate agent is the obvious choice when it comes to buying or selling property, having a real estate lawyer during the closing of either type of deal can protect you and your property. A few examples include:
- Examining the title to ensure the legitimacy of the deal
- Making sure all the legal documents, deeds, and other processes check out
- Communicating with the lenders and the other party’s real estate agent and attorney
- Drafting and negotiating the terms of the contract
- Reviewing the settlement statement before closing
A real estate agent alone may not be able to perform all these tasks. While they can direct you to their own network of real estate attorney, it may be in your best interests to find your own real estate lawyer to be on top of the situation, as they’re likely to understand the legal process and your situation better.
Foreclosure And Bankruptcy
If you’re defaulted on a loan or filed for bankruptcy, there’s a chance that your creditors may come after your properties – including your home. On your own and without years of legal experience, however, you might not realize that the law might have stipulations that allow you to protect your home. Having a real estate lawyer ready allows you to protect your assets as soon as possible.
Let’s say, for example, that you’ve filed for bankruptcy. One scenario that can happen is that you, the property owner, will lose your home as it is liquidated to pay off your creditors. But what some homeowners don’t realize is that there are exemptions under both the Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy laws that can give you the chance to save your home from liquidation. And the sooner you have a real estate lawyer on your case, the faster you can prevent losing your home.
Landlord And Tenant Issues
Unless you have a property manager or real estate management in LA handling your properties for you, the role as landlord falls on your shoulders, including your legal responsibilities to your tenant. Other than collecting your rent, you also have a responsibility to perform major repairs to the home and making sure your home is in a livable state.
And then in case of an unruly tenant or an unwanted guest that’s overstayed their welcome, you’ll have to undergo the legal eviction process. In Los Angeles, it’s illegal to evict your tenant without notice. It’s also illegal for you to try to force them out through means like changing the locks or cutting off utilities. This means it’s your best bet to have a real estate lawyer to begin the eviction process so that the law is on your side when you’re trying to have your tenant vacate your property.
Estate Planning: Managing Your Properties In Case Of Your Demise
If you have multiple properties and various people who can inherit your property upon your death (i.e. spouse, children, grandchildren, etc.), it’s in your family’s best interest for you to draft a will with your real estate lawyer to prevent any conflict as to who gets what when you pass away.
Real estate lawyers can perform estate planning to ensure the right beneficiaries inherits the properties as you want. This is beneficial for your family as it can reduce conflict, unnecessary probate proceedings, and can save them from the estate taxes that could pass to them when they inherit your properties.
There are many ways your properties can be legally compromised, so it’s best to have a real estate lawyer in Los Angeles ready to act on your behalf. At The Law Office of R. Grace Rodriguez, we have you and your properties’ best interests at heart and will legally represent you to ensure you get the best possible outcome.