Skip to main content
Matthew M Ellingson

Matthew Ellingson’s Answers

296 total


  • Instead of filing a lawsuit of partition of sale to obtain my interest in a joint tenancy property could I sale my interest?

    Could I sell my interest to a mortgage company or auction off instead of going through a possibly lengthy and expensive litigation process. I heard this process can go on for years. The 2 other owners aren't very smart and are unreasonable, it wo...

    Matthew’s Answer

    Outside of filing a lawsuit and then filing a lis pendens, there's nothing you can file that would prevent the other owners from taking advantage of their respective property interests.

    As for you selling, you are free, outside some agreement with the other owners that you may have, to sell your interest in the property however you like. Obviously, your sale cannot infringe upon the other owners' rights, so keep that in mind.

    With $400K in equity, there is certainly reason to want to protect yourself and your interest but if the other owners are unwilling to work out a compromise, it may not be possible for you to avoid filing the partition action. I've finished a partition action in about four months before (unusual however), but other ones can take a lot more time depending on how long it takes to dispose of the property. Even the question of how to dispose the property affects the time. For instance, does everyone agree to let the property sit on the market to achieve full value or does someone want it sold immediately which would cause a forced sale and a much quicker turnaround.

    You should set up a consultation with an attorney before you do anything. You have a host of issues, some of which need to be explored in more detail than I, or any other attorney, can do in this forum.

    Best of luck.

    Matt

    See question 
  • Do I need a real estate attorney? This is mainly due to a failure of not receiving my security/cleaning deposit.

    I turned the keys over on April 22 but my lease didn't end until April 30th. I thought that when I turned the keys in they would have done the move out inspection within 3 days. The real estate broker keeps on insisting that it didn't have to be d...

    Matthew’s Answer

    I don't think the fact that the home was being shown after you turned over the keys is ultimately an issue since you essentially relinquished the home at that time. I do understand that you still had the right of possession to the home through the end of the month, but I don't believe your issues or damages arise directly from that.

    The bigger issue is in regards to the security deposit. If you are out of state due to military orders, you may need to hire an attorney to get that money back. How much did you have on deposit?

    See question 
  • 3 of 4 partners in an LLC are contributing financially and 1 gives nothing. Can we dump him?

    All was to be equal. The one puts an unfair financial burden on the rest.

    Matthew’s Answer

    Very important question: do you have an Operating Agreement signed by all of the members?

    See question 
  • 3 people on a house title. Sale of the it is stalled due to one disagreeing on price with the other two. What can they do?

    A mother bought property and she, along with her son and his wife(now ex) are all on the title. The property has no loan on it. They all lived there until the ex moved to another state. They all wish to sell the property, giving the ex a third of ...

    Matthew’s Answer

    No, the majority does not rule. All owners must accept the sale price or the property can't sell since all of the owners must sign the deed to transfer ownership to the buyer. If it is a real impasse, then you can file a partition action to force the sale of the property. Working something out instead of filing a lawsuit is by far the wiser course of action here, but you may ultimately have no choice in the matter.

    See question 
  • My brother and I want to sell a house that we each have 1/3 ownership in; can we force the other 1/3 owner to go along with us.

    My brothers and I each became 1/3 owner's of the house previously owned by my mother (from a beneficiary deed) before she passed away. One of my brothers has been living in the house for over 20 years. My other brother and I want to sell the hou...

    Matthew’s Answer

    Yes, but only by filing a lawsuit called a partition action. Outside of initiating the partition action, you cannot force a property owner to sell his or her property. Partition actions can be tricky when it comes to the accounting used to determine the values each party is entitled to. And do note, just because you are 1/3 owners does not in any way mean you will automatically get 1/3 of the equity of the property after it is sold. If the brother who is living in the property has done all of the maintenance and paid all of the property taxes for a significant amount of time, the Court may find that the brother who is living in the property may end up taking most of the equity, and all that has been accomplished in the end is that the family home is gone, he's sitting on most of the money, and you and your other brother have seriously hurt your relationship with him. But, if you do nothing, the situation will just continue and the occupying brother's claim to the equity of the property continues to grow.

    In any event, there are some good strategies for dealing with these situations that can help you out in a potential lawsuit, but you should speak with an attorney about them in depth.

    See question 
  • I live in Phoenix & my neighbor has a 50' Eucalyptus tree and it's hanging in my yard. He refuses to trim. Law?

    The tree cannot be trimmed from my side. It has to be done from his yard. He does not want to spend anything on trimming it. He stated that I could pay a licensed contractor to do it, but the cost is to much for me. Plus it's not my tree. Wh...

    Matthew’s Answer

    You are legally allowed to trim the encroaching branches up to your property line, but at your expense.

    See question 
  • After locking out a commercial tenant for failure to pay, do I have to accept their late payment or can we simply re-rent.

    Tenant is late every month and we simply want them out at this point. They were late by 9 days (business)

    Matthew’s Answer

    You have to look to the contract's language on this to determine whether being 9 days late gives your the right to evict. It certainly may, but without seeing the lease, I don't think anyone here can be of too much help.

    See question 
  • I own a 8 unit apt building in Lompoc, CA. We discovered that when the tenant left, two adjacent units hot water lines are plumb

    ed together. This is a construction defect. It was built in 2007. I'm the second owner through a short sale. Any recourse?

    Matthew’s Answer

    You should direct this question to CA attorneys as California law will apply.

    See question 
  • Can I ask the previous owner of the vehicle I just bought to fix the engine problems?

    I just bought a truck from a private seller. I gave him the check and he gave me the signed title. As soon as I started it the check engine light was flashing. I have not signed the title for it yet. What can I do?

    Matthew’s Answer

    Arizona does have a used car lemon law which gives you certain rights if a major component of your truck breaks upon the earlier of either 15 days after purchase, or within 500 miles of use. The "check engine" light going on is probably not grounds to invoke the lemon law rights unless something is physically wrong with the engine. And then, if that's the case, you need to figure out if that's the case before your 15 days are up.

    See question 
  • Can a home be sold in AZ. if it was built without building permits and does not meet city codes?

    the home was built in 1981, remodeled and added 500 sqft in 1994, I bought the home in 2005, the city of Phx. issued a violation on the property not meeting code. I requested all the building permits on the property and found that there are no pe...

    Matthew’s Answer

    I had something very similar happen to me when I remodeled a house a few years ago so I can tell you from direct experience that 1) you are responsible for the property being up to code, regardless of what prior owners did or did not do, 2) that the Statute of limitations question would certainly require some investigation because different causes of action arise or accrue at different times, 3) you can sell a home that does not have building codes, BUT, you have to disclose that fact to the purchaser which will effectively eliminate any buyer, and 4) you should really consult an attorney with all of the facts and documents you have as there's a lot going on.

    I would say, that in the meantime, you will need to work with the City on correcting the violation. DO NOT LET THAT GO. That depends partly on who your inspector is, and partly on who's working the counter), but make no mistake, you are responsible for bringing the house up to code right now, regardless of whether someone down the line in title may also have liability on the issue.

    See question