Real Estate Law

Close up of a hand giving Airbnb keys to another hand

Airbnb and Vacation Rental Issues

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 their entire home, to Airbnb 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 and Rules and Regulations have language restricting lease terms which would arguably fall under the short term rental umbrella. In the City of San Diego, 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/7days. Single family homes zoned for that use do not currently have any restrictions in place under the Municipal Code, however the City Attorney has declared them to be a non-permitted use. Short term vacation rentals 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. 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.

Landlord and Tenant Disputes

Whether you are a landlord or a tenant of a commercial or residential property, there are rights and responsibilities owed by both parties with regards to the lease agreement. Our office is here to assist you with landlord and tenant questions concerning breach of lease, unlawful detainer actions, implied warranty of habitability issues, security deposit deductions, and lease terminations and renewals. Attorney Peterson will fully explain your rights as a landlord or a tenant under the applicable California laws, and will diligently assist you in the leasing process.

Close up of a rental agreement paper with a key on top
Photo of buildings taken from the ground angled up

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.

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 will walk you through each step of this complicated transaction, assist in negotiating the letter of intent, explain all the terms and conditions contained in your purchase and sale agreement, and carefully review all due diligence documents. If you are selling your property, our office will assist you in the negotiations of the sale terms, prepare the purchase and sale agreement, prepare all necessary seller due diligence disclosures and assist 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.

Photo of a hand giving a key to another hand
Two books that say Deed Record on the edge

Land Use and Title Issues

When reviewing a preliminary title report on a property you intend to purchase, you may find there are existing deeds of trust, easements, encumbrances, and other restrictions recorded against the property. In other situations, title may not have been property transferred after the death of a co-owner. Depending on the type 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 the close of escrow.
The San Diego Municipal Code Land Development Code (Chapters 11-14) contains regulations pertaining to Planned Districts adopted by the City which designate the use and development of land in the City of San Diego. Figuring out the zoning designation of your property will be essential in determining whether your intended use is permitted, and the building regulations that apply. If the intended use is not permitted, you may be able to obtain a permit from the City which can be a costly and time intensive process. Our office can assist you in preparing a property profile which will set forth the City regulations applicable to your specific property address, and advise you on the permit application process for your particular intended use.

Our Approach

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.