Real Estate Law
Commercial and Residential Property Purchases and Sales
Purchasing a home is a very exciting endeavor, and one of the most significant financial commitments that you will make in your life. Whether you are purchasing a residential or commercial property, it is essential that you order a preliminary title report from a title officer, open escrow, and work with an attorney to review title to the property at the outset to ensure there are no hidden issues that could cause a cloud on title, or subject you to litigation down the road. If you are a buyer, our office ewill walk you through each step of this complicated transaction, assist in negotiating the terms of the deal, draft the purchase and sale agreement and explain all terms and conditions contained in your purchase and sale agreement, and carefully assist you in completing or reviewing all due diligence documents and seller statutory disclosures. If you are selling your property, our office will assist you in the negoitations of the sale terms, prepare the purchase and sale agreement, prepare all necessary seller due diligence disclosures, and assis you throughout the escrow closing process. For any prospective clients considering a “for sale by owner” without a real estate agent, we strongly recommend you contact our office to ensure the sale process complies with all California laws.
Lease Negotiations and Terminations During the COVID Pandemic
COVID-19 has created many challenges for both landlords and tenants. When you sign a lease, there are obligations owed by both parties with regards to the lease agreement. For commercial tenants, our office is here to assist you with attempting to terminate or renegotiate your lease in light of the COVID pandemic. For landlords, we are here to help advise you with regards to lease termination rights and tenant obligations. Attorney Peterson will fully explain all your rights as a landlord or tenant under the applicable California laws, and will guide you through this constantly changing leasing process in the time of COVID.
AirBnb and Vacation Rental Questions
AirBnb has become the new norm for short term and long term vacation rentals throughout the globe. In beach cities like San Diego, short term rentals for less than 30 days are particularly popular. Clients frequently contact me asking whether they are permitted to rent out a room in their home, or rent out their entire home to short term rental guests when they live in a common interest development governed by a Homeowners’ association. In most of these cases, a disgruntled neighbor reported the Airbnb host to the HOA. In order to determine whether the HOA permits Airbnb rentals, it is essential to review the Covenants Conditions and Restrictions (CC&Rs) and Rules and Regulations implemented in the particular Homeowner Association. More often than not, the CC&Rs have language restricting lease terms which would arguably fall under the short term rental umbrella. In the City of San Diego, as of February 2021, the only restriction on short term rentals is in a Residential Multiple Unit Zone which requires non-owner occupants to reside in the unit for a minimum of 6 nights/7 days. Single family homes zoned for that use do not currently have any restrictions in place under the San Diego Municipal Code, however the City Attorney has declared them to be a non-permitted use. Short term rental restrictions are regulated by each individual city, so in each case it will be necessary to review the zoning regulations and governing documents for your particular property. Our office can assist you in preparing a short term rental agreement for your property which is strongly recommended. The Law Office of Ashley M. Peterson specializes in short term rental regulations, and we would be happy to speak with you regarding your particular situation.
Drafting and Reviewing Commercial and Residential Leases
Selecting the ideal location for your home or business can be an involved and time consuming process. It is important for landlords and tenants to discuss their expectations and responsibilities prior to entering into the lease agreement in order to prevent unexpected disputes down the road. Generally lease agreements tend to be one-sided, which is why it is important to have an attorney review the lease agreement prior to execution to ensure the terms are fair and reasonable. Our office can assist you in negotiating the letters of intent, lease agreement terms, preparing amendments and renewals, and ensuring your interests are protected. Clients often forget that real estate brokers cannot advise them on the legal implications of the lease which is why it is essential to contact our offices before signing the lease.
Zoning and Title Issues
When reviewing a preliminary title report on a property you intend to purchase, you may find that there are existing deeds of trust, easements, encumbrances, and other restrictions recorded against the property. In other situations, title may not have been properly transferred after the death of a co-owner. Depending on the type of encumbrance, it may be advisable to have the encumbrance removed from title before purchasing the property to avoid potential liability. Our office has experience working closely with title officers in removing such encumbrances from title, and we can assist you in reviewing the preliminary title report for your property and clearing title before close of escrow.
At the Law Office of Ashley M. Peterson, we understand that each client’s legal issues are unique. We ensure our clients’ needs are our top priority, and maintain open communication throughout the course of the case. We guarantee strict confidentiality in all legal matters, and endeavor to build lasting relationships with our clients based on trust and quality representation.