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Gideon Dionne

Gideon Dionne’s Answers

17 total


  • How do I get a lien removed from my property. A garage door company placed. it. When does it expire and how do I get it remove

    The repair caused injury to the property.

    Gideon’s Answer

    To get a lien removed you will generally need to pay the debt underlying the lien or contest the lien. If you believe you do not owe money to the garage door company, you may be able to contest the lien as frivolous. This would be the shortest and easiest way to get the lien removed. However, the standard for a frivolous lien is very high (meaning it is very difficult to show that a lien is frivolous). More likely, you will need to contest the lien as inaccurate or work out a settlement with the garage door company that includes a lien release. How difficult and costly this will be, and what you may end up paying the garage door company, depends on the nature of your agreement with the company and extent of the damage to your property. Generally, a lien does not expire, so you will have to deal with the lien one way or another.

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  • Should form an LLC or an S. corp?

    I am working on starting a real estate investment business. I was thinking about forming three divisions; the parent company, a rental property division, and a real estate renovation division. I have been leaning toward an LLC because I can crea...

    Gideon’s Answer

    • Selected as best answer

    This question is generally more tax than strictly legal related, and I recommend you consult with a CPA to optimize the entity structure for your particular business (and individual) tax situation. That being said, I think this situation would generally call for three separate LLCs, with the "subsidiary" LLCs being taxed as partnerships (default taxation) and the "parent" subsidiary being taxed as either an S Corp, a C Corp, or a partnership, depending on your particular situation, your goals, how many investors/owners you have (if any), and where your investors/owners come from (US or foreign?), among other issues. You will also want to consider whether it is sensible to have a a wholly owned subsidiary entity for your renovation and property divisions--those divisions are generally much higher risk, and you should ensure your assets are properly shielded from liability from the high risk subsidiaries activities. I think this is certainly a situation where it will pay off (likely immediately) to consult with a CPA and a business attorney.

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  • Apt LL gave me notice to move with no reason. I have no lease violations. Do I have to move?

    This is property with over 300 units located in Texas. Do I have to move? If I move, do I now have to give LL a 30 day notice to move?

    Gideon’s Answer

    The landlord is not required to give you a reason unless your lease says they are required to do so. If the notice was proper (consult your lease, but generally thirty days notice provided on or before the first of the month is proper), then you must move out or be subject to eviction and a lawsuit by the landlord for damages. You do not have to provide notice to the landlord if the landlord provided notice to you, unless for some very odd reason it says you must do so in your lease. Bottom line: consult your lease and be prepared to move.

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  • Do I have to give 60 days notice on a week to week rental agreement?

    My lease says we pay weekly and asks for a 60 day notice. Without the notice it says 500 dollar penalty. Is that legal. We did sign it.

    Gideon’s Answer

    Does it ask for a 60 day notice or does it require a 60 day notice? If it requires a 60 day notice and you signed it, it is very likely "legal" in the sense that your failure to provide the 60 day notice would be an actionable breach of contract.

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  • My company gave me an agreement and general release form. the cover letter has my name however the other pages had another name

    The other pages were intended for another employee and his his name on it instead of mine.i was planning on suing them and now this is the second time they are showing negligence. Can I sue them for breaching the other employee's right to privacy

    Gideon’s Answer

    The literal answer to your question is that you can sue anyone for anything. However, to have chance at success and avoid penalties for filing a frivolous lawsuit, you must generally have a claim to damages. Accordingly, you cannot (successfully) sue your employer for breaching another employee's right to privacy, because you were not injured by the breach (if the breach even exists).

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  • How difficult is it for an employer who recently bought out the company that I work for to set up direct deposit?

    Our facility was recently purchased, and the new owners have used every excuse in the book not to set up direct deposit for us. It has been 9 months, and their excuse now is that our previous owners have not signed something over to them. However,...

    Gideon’s Answer

    It is very likely there is no legal reason that your employer is not able to set up direct deposit. It sounds instead like your employer just does not want to set it up. If you haven't already, I would consider explaining to your employer the advantages of direct deposit and requesting they consider doing what is necessary to put direct deposit in place. Keep in mind, there are valid reasons an employer would not want to set up direct deposit and it is their option to choose not to do so. Good luck.

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  • I have a lease agreement, but my business is about to go under. I am required to give 3 months notice, but will not last till th

    My business is failing, bankruptcy is not an option as we filed personal in 12/2010. I still have 2 1/2 years on my lease contract that requires a 3 month notice for early out, plus 1 month rent up front. We do not have any more money, & are behin...

    Gideon’s Answer

    The answer to this question largely depends on whether you signed in your capacity as a member or officer of the business entity (as opposed to personally) and, if so, whether you personally guaranteed the lease.

    If you signed in your capacity as a member or officer (e.g. if it says "John Doe, President XYZ, Inc." rather than simply "John Doe" on the signature line) and you did not personally guarantee the lease, you may be able to "walk away" from the lease without personal liability and without very much risk assuming your entity has few assets and is already failing.

    If you signed individually or personally guaranteed the lease, you will need to negotiate with the landlord to try to mitigate the damages you would have to pay in the event of a lawsuit. As previously mentioned, you may be able to barter with the landlord. Also, I know from personal experience (I am a landlord) that the landlord may have a tenant interested in the space or a similar space and would be willing to negotiate to let you out of the lease if you are forthcoming. Regardless, it is almost always the best course of action to communicate early and often with your landlord.

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  • If two firms merged should one of the merged firm dissolute?

    Two firms merged. one year after merging one of the merged firm was dissolute.

    Gideon’s Answer

    • Selected as best answer

    I assume the merger included all assets and liabilities of the "abandoned" firm. The firm does not necessarily need to dissolve. However, it "should" be dissolved if it no longer has a purpose by filing a notice of dissolution with the secretary of state. (Though because the secretary of state charges for this filing, I can see why many entities do not comply.)

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  • Can an employer do this?

    My husband works for a company. He partially gets hourly pay but other wise works off of commission. Today, he lost commission because he had to write up a coupon that another salesman sold. That salesman got the commission but didn't lose any...

    Gideon’s Answer

    While it is certainly unfair for your husband to recognize the discount in his commission despite another salesman actually making the sale to which the discount applied, whether this is "legal" would likely depend on the employment agreement your husband has with the company. The employment agreement should detail how the commission is figured and would likely give you guidance as to how a situation like this should be handled. The company's general policies may also be relevant. However, this seems like a situation where your husband would be better off simply explaining to his manager the unfair nature of the situation and asking for help in making it right. If the manager won't do that, your husband would likely be better off searching for a job where management is respectful rather than searching for a lawyer, unless you believe this is part of a larger scheme to discriminate against your husband or others like your husband.

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  • Must I refund a portion of the pre-paid rent to a tenant who did not occupy the property for the last 2 months of the lease?

    Mr. X signed a 6 month lease. The 6 months expire 5/28/2012. Mr. X has not occupied the property since early March, 2012. Yesterday, he called me asking for a refund of the rent and deposit. The lease states the he must "occupy" the property for n...

    Gideon’s Answer

    I agree the deposit forfeiture clause would not likely be upheld. However, if there were specific circumstances that you discussed with the tenant as a reason for the forfeiture clause, there is a chance that it could be upheld. An attorney would need additional information to be able to advise you on the risk that the clause would be invalidated. However, the risk for failing to properly account for and return a deposit is significant.

    You should consider any damages carefully before returning the deposit. You will need to complete an accounting of the damages, and the damages must be reasonable, but you are able to offset the damages against the security deposit and are only required to return the amount that is left after you pay for your reasonable damages.

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