Valerie Lynne Sacks’s Answers

Valerie Lynne Sacks

Los Angeles Land Use / Zoning Attorney.

Contributor Level 6
  1. My HOA has a "slope maintenance easement" without any dimensions. Is it legal for them to restrict partial use?

    Answered over 1 year ago.

    1. Alan James Brinkmeier
    2. Valerie Lynne Sacks
    3. Ryan Vancil Esq
    3 lawyer answers

    I'm not totally clear on the issue, but as I understand it, you should be able to use the portion of the easement area that is on your property, as long as you don't use it in any way that undercuts the purpose of the easement, i.e., slope maintenance. So landscaping it in a way that is consistent with that should be fine; building a structure or modifying the slope in a way that is not consistent with it would conflict with the purpose of the easement. I also agree with the other two comments.

    1 lawyer agreed with this answer

  2. What are the consequences of buying a property that has modifications without using permits?

    Answered over 2 years ago.

    1. Frank Wei-Hong Chen
    2. David S Hoffman
    3. Valerie Lynne Sacks
    3 lawyer answers

    I agree with the comments above. I would definitely be concerned about the modifications fromn both a CC&R and City perspective. An additional concern is that, if these improvements were done without permits, you don't know whether they were done in a way that is structurally sound. It depends on the nature of the improvements, of course. I would definitely seek a credit or other concessions from the seller.

    1 lawyer agreed with this answer

  3. Los Angeles, CA Landlord-Tenant Issue: Is an unreg'd rental unit illegal? Is the 2002 CofO void? Does the RSO kick in?

    Answered almost 2 years ago.

    1. Brad S Kane
    2. Valerie Lynne Sacks
    2 lawyer answers

    Are you asking on behalf of the landlord or tenant, or a prospective purchaser? I would want to pull up the address on the City planning departmnent's website to answer and advise. It might be a quick answer -- you can email me with the address and your contact information and I can look into it on Monday or Tuesday and call you.

  4. I bought my house in 2005 with 1 APN number, but 2 lot numbers. A year later, we separated lots and now each one has its own

    Answered almost 3 years ago.

    1. Frank Wei-Hong Chen
    2. Valerie Lynne Sacks
    2 lawyer answers

    I'm concerned as to how you separated the lots. Did you process a parcel map with the city or county in which you are located? If you didn't properly subdivide the lots (and just having separate APNs doesn't cut it), then the bank would still have the right to foreclose on all of it. Whatever the bank lent against, it would have rights to.

  5. Real estate property line encroachment, abandonment law

    Answered almost 3 years ago.

    1. Sean Sullivan Hanley
    2. Valerie Lynne Sacks
    2 lawyer answers

    If this is really just about the removal of ground cover, it's a very heavy handed approach. If it's just ground cover and it's on their property, why don't they just remove it themselves? It would be a lot less expensive then hiring an attorney to sue you. In fact, if the amount of damages is less than $7500, then they are in small claims court and must represent themselves (unless they want injunctive relief but you said damages). So I sense that there is more to this story. In terms of...

  6. How do I report a neighbor who houses three families in a single family dwelling? They don't keep the house clean.

    Answered almost 3 years ago.

    1. Valerie Lynne Sacks
    1 lawyer answer

    It sounds like you can report them on a bunch of different counts. If you are in the City of Los Angeles, you should go to this website and put in your neighbor's address: http://zimas.lacity.org/ It will pull up a bunch of information. For instance, from the sound of it I doubt your neighbors actually pulled a building perm it for turning the porch into a bedroom. You can look at the Zimas report and determine what is actually permitted on the property and pull recent building permit...

  7. My deed grants an easement "for ingress and egress across the existing road" to a single owner.

    Answered about 3 years ago.

    1. Bradford Timothy Doll
    2. Daniel Robert Hamad
    3. Valerie Lynne Sacks
    4. Stephen Fulton Shaw
    4 lawyer answers

    I agree with the other attorney, you should hire local counsel. In the meantime, however, you should go to the city/county archives and pull up all the old records you can related to this. I imagine there should have been some kind of subdivision process to divide the parcels (there would need to be in California but I am unfamiliar with Washington law). I would also try to get a title company to provide you with documents, which would include the exact parameters of any easement. You're...

  8. What Can I do?

    Answered about 3 years ago.

    1. Valerie Lynne Sacks
    2. Stephen Fulton Shaw
    2 lawyer answers

    It seems like you might be able to sue them for an ongoing nuisance. You might also call the local jurisdiction's code compliance section. In many jurisdictions, a complaint will be investigated and if a violation is found then they can be liable to pay daily fines to the City/County until the matter is resolved. It's a little difficult because they would essentially have to catch them in the act. I don't know if it would help but if I were you I'd try the fire department, the police...

  9. We are having a legal issue with a neighbor concerning a utility easement. What is a Order Setting a Scheduling Conference?

    Answered over 3 years ago.

    1. Andrew Svitek
    2. Valerie Lynne Sacks
    2 lawyer answers

    I agree with Andrew's answer, but would also add that the title company that issued the policy when you purchased your property might be able to help you understand your rights regarding the easement issue a little better. This is a long shot, but depending on the type of policy you have, you might have a claim against the title insurer regarding the diminished value of your property as a result of an additional easement. (Unlikely with a typical homeowner's policy but you should at least...

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