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David A Barra

David Barra’s Answers

55 total


  • So my landlord has started to make it really hard to live here and someone told me my lease is not even legal.

    So in my lease is placing restrictions on times i can use common area's. Someone told me that if anything in a lease is illegal then the contract is void. He told me that Landlords living in buildings or units with their tenants have all the sam...

    David’s Answer

    Generally even if some portions of a written lease are not enforceable those portions that are legal can be enforced. In almost any litigation a court would find some rent owing even if it found that a particular restriction was not allowed.

    If you are considering moving away, you may want to discuss terminating the lease with your landlord beforehand.

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  • Can a tenant be sued if moving before payment of rent owed and what happens if tenant moves after default but before actual evic

    Tenant wants to move after default but begore eviction

    David’s Answer

    The amount owed for back rent is a separate question from possession of the rental property. A landlord can obtain a judgment for back rent even after a tenant has moved away. The judgment can be reported to credit agencies and collection can be pursued.

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  • What legal action do I have on a tenant that lives in a house I own and neither of us can find the lease agreement?

    I rented my house out with an option to purchase. I wasn't aware at the time that rent-to-own agreements were illegal in Texas. The agreement was the tenant would pay $1200 per month and that $300 per month would be deducted from the purchase pric...

    David’s Answer

    This question is clearly worth seeing an attorney who practices in your area about. The legality of the rent to purchase agreement is only one of the issues you should be concerned about. If you do nothing you risk losing your property. An attorney can help you figure out the best course of action to respond to the tenant who thinks he owns your house.

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  • Breaking Section 8 tenant lease

    I own property that I'm renting as section 8 housing and there is currently a tenant, however, I would like to try to sell the property soon but would need to break the lease with HUD. Is that possible? If so, is there a penalty? I'm out-of-state ...

    David’s Answer

    The reasons to evict a tenant under section 8 are set out in your lease. Generally you won't be able to evict without cause.

    Are you sure you need to evict before selling? Wouldn't the new owner prefer to have a tenant in place?

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  • My attorney admitted to me that he cant locate my originals, its has taken me three years to put this file together ,

    what can i do he is now asking me for medical records and bills, but it not exempt where is the file that has all the originals, the attorney even said that he would reduce my bill by a 1000 if we win, but dont tell anyone. even if i get my medic...

    David’s Answer

    Losing original documents can be a serious blow to a case or it may have no impact at all. What the documents are will determine how significant a loss it will be. Most medical records and bills can be gotten again from the provider.

    It doesn't sound right that your attorney is telling you not to tell anyone about reducing your bill. Do you have a written fee agreement? If not, getting a written fee agreements may be a good way to reduce misunderstandings about bills. As for the promise to reduce your fee, is that in writing? If not, you may have difficulty enforcing that.

    Discussing your issues with your attorney seems appropriate. If you can't resolve your concerns, seeing another attorney to help may be your best course.

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  • As a resident of Oregon, can I be forced to attend a civil trial as a witness in California for a workplace related incident?

    Person A was fired for a minor assault on person B. Person A filed a civil suit against the company for wrongful dismissal. Person B was informed by the company that a subpoena for attendance to the trial will be submitted. Person B worked at the ...

    David’s Answer

    In federal court if an out of state resident is properly served a subpoena, he can be compelled to attend a lawsuit in another state under certain circumstances. Distance from the court house is one consideration.

    In state court if an out of state resident is served while in the state, his presence can be compelled, especially if he is found in the state again. Before ignoring a subpoena it makes sense to run it by an attorney who practices in the court where the subpoena was issued to determine if it's something safe to disregard.

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  • An attorney has not provided an itemized bill of the services his law firm has provided. Is there a law to protect people?

    He continuously asks for an additional $5,000. It feels as if they are not documenting what they are doing but instead it seems as though he is working on what he feels has been reasonable for each $5000.

    David’s Answer

    Generally a lawyer needs to provide an explanation for the bill he wants his client to be paid. Some states require the fee agreement to be in writing and address issues like the one you raise about providing itemized bills.

    What you owe your lawyer will typically depend on what your agreement with the lawyer was. If you have it in writing, it should spell out how your bill will be determined and how you will be billed. If it is oral, it will be more difficult to determine what is appropriate.

    There is likely a service at the attorney's bar association that can help you with questions about attorney's fees. And if you have a complaint about his performance the bar association can point you in the direction of where to make that complaint.

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  • A question of legality for board appointments that are a conflict of interest in the state of PA

    A Township Supervisor had himself appointed to a sewage board while currently in litagation with the office employee in the sewage office. The same supervisor then appointed another man who the office employee is also in litigation with. Is this...

    David’s Answer

    The authority to appoint to a sewage board is probably controlled by statute or rule. You should look at the appropriate document by which the appointment was purportedly made to determine if this appointment was legal. It sounds a bit unusual that someone can appoint themselves to another board. Did this appointment actually come from a vote of another municipal board?

    As for the second appointment, the same questions: who actually made the appointment and under what authority?

    To the question of whether it is appropriate to appoint someone to a board that supervises someone who the new appointee is involved with in a lawsuit, I'd say that a lot depends on whether the litigation involves the business of the sewage board and who brought the suit.

    Whether or not the appointments are legal, there may be applicable conflict of interest rules, policies or statutes that may apply to any decisions that the appointees would make that involve the employee.

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  • Am I entitled to a copy of everything in my file from my landlord?

    I live in low income housing. I understand I am entitled to one free copy of everything in my file with housing from my landlord. I've requested this in person and by certified letter and she stated she does not have to legally give me a copy of...

    David’s Answer

    Section 8 rules allow you to see your file. I am not aware of any federal requirement that the landlord has to make a free copy of the file.

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  • Are filings with the court considered "public record"? If so, what does that mean in terms of ability to post them publicly?

    for years I was the victim of covert abuse and that has only been amplified ever since legal proceedings were initiated. Slander and all out lies regrinding our family law case have gone full tilt and it's gotten to the point that I wonder if it m...

    David’s Answer

    Whether the documents are public or private depends on California law and/or whether the court has issued an order making them private. In general records filed with the court are public and can be shared.

    This sounds like a sufficiently important question for you that I think you should find a lawyer in your area to all about your options.

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