Skip to main content
Mark Elliott Saltzman

Mark Saltzman’s Answers

60 total


  • Both of us owned or houses prior to our marriage. Does the other spouse have rights to make escrow decisions?

    Now we have filed for divorce and I am selling my home. Does my souse have rights to be included on escrow processes, documentation and fund disbursements? I paid for her home for years. She hasnt paid anything on my home.

    Mark’s Answer

    Your question is, often, the subject of litigation that is decided by the Court or by agreement. When you got married, the property that you brought into the marriage was separate property. That is, each of you owned your homes, unless you had an agreement to the contrary. After that, issues can arise as to whether the properties remain separate or one or both of you acquired an interest in one or both houses. For example, if you paid the mortgage on your wife's home from community funds, you may be entitled to reimbursement of one-half the money. (It's only 1/2 because the other 1/2 was hers.) You may, also, be able to argue that you became an owner of 1/2 or some other portion of the home. Before you can direct the escrow holder to include you in any distribution on the sale of her house, you need to establish your interest in the property or the sale proceeds. For that, you need a court order or an agreement. I suggest that you contact an attorney to get the process started. It would be urgent to get an attorney right away, if the sale process is already in progress. You or your attorney can go to court and get an order that directs the sale proceeds in a particular way, stays the sale, or other relief that could preserve your rights, while the issue is being litigated.

    See question 
  • Does your landlord have to renovate a bathroom if it is literally not cleanable?

    We have lived in our apartment complex for 9 years now. There have been no renovations besides switching out old carpet and blinds once. One of the bathrooms in the unit has started to rust and blacken in the shower and tubs just from tenants comi...

    Mark’s Answer

    Unless your lease provides that you are responsible for maintenance (which would be unusual for an apartment), your landlord would be responsible for fixing the problem. Every lease, oral or written, has an implied warranty of habitability. If the problem has interfered with the habitability of the apartment, the landlord has breach the implied warranty and would be responsible for damages. You have several possible paths to explore. I suggest that you consult with an attorney, with your specific case or, at least, check the State of California website, dca.ca.gov.

    See question 
  • Can a Landlord legally collect rent after a MTM lease has been terminated by the Landlord?

    My former landlord served me a 30day Termination of Tenancy notice that was up 4/30/14. I stayed in the unit until 5/24 and then moved and unit was cleaned properly. I paid April rent in full. Landlord is now trying to collect for May,although the...

    Mark’s Answer

    Why would you think that you could live at the apartment for free, for 24 days? Not only can the landlord sue you for the rent, in fact, the rent for this 24-day period would be the fair rental value of the unit - not the lease rate. It may be that the fair rental value far exceeds the lease rate. I suggest that you pay for the 24 days. Try to get an agreement with the landlord.

    See question 
  • Custody settlement between me and my ex was 80/20 for the past 2 years now. He is fighting for 50/50 and he got it.

    When we got divorced, my ex asked for spousal support and he got it. My spousal support is deducted from his child support. He is trying to convince me that he will drop the spousal support if I don't ask for child support. He is convinced tha...

    Mark’s Answer

    You have reached conclusions, based on popular belief, rather than the law. This may help. Child support is a function of several criteria, such as percentage of custody, income, and who pays expenses, such as insurance. So, if the custody is changed from 80/20 to 50/50, there may be a change in the support payment, but custody is only one criterion that will be considered. You might go to your local court and fill in the figures on the Dissomaster program, generally available to the public. As for the length of support, it is common for a court to order support for half the life of the marriage, but it is not a requirement. First, check your settlement agreement. It is likely that the agreement set the term of the support payments. If not, the term can be in the final judgment. If not, you may want to bring a motion to determine that missing issue.

    See question 
  • If the landlord provided pest control for the first half of the lease and cancels them, do we have an implied contract?

    The landlord provided the gardener and pest control, the gardener is in the leas agreement; however, she intends to cancel both. She also stated she would install a new heater and garage door opener, the heater was installed; however, the garage d...

    Mark’s Answer

    You don't have an implied contract. You have a contract. Look at your lease. It probably contains a provision that the lease document is the final expression of the parties' agreement, and nothing that was said or written before the lease was signed is part of the agreement, unless it's in the lease document, itself. This clause is called an integration clause. If your lease contains one, then you are, likely, out of luck for the garage door opener, on the basis of a contract action. On the other hand, if your current garage door opener is broken, making access to your residence difficult or impossible, then you could have an action based on the implied warranty of habitability.

    See question 
  • I have just gotten a call from a retaine atterney and he told me that I had an out standing payday loan out .what can I do?

    I haven't had any payday loans for 12 or so years I can;t remember any of this? AND HE'S TELLING ME i'M GOING TO BE SAPIENA at my work

    Mark’s Answer

    Contact the attorney and find out what the purported loan is all about. Ask to see the paperwork and why you owe the money. If you get a lawyer, he or she can contact the creditor. Then, the creditor can not contact you, directly, to collect the debt. If you do nothing, you may be sued. Then, you will have an opportunity to find out what the debt is. I suggest that you find out everything you can, before a lawsuit starts. Best of all, get a lawyer to help out.

    See question 
  • What is quickwsr way to fix state tax on credir report

    werecently denied space rental at mobile home park. shows 3 state tax. 200 2004 2005. i became disabiled in 2003. on social scurity and and unable to pay.. i am on fixed income and homeless..

    Mark’s Answer

    If the credit report is accurate, the only way to fix it is to take care of the tax problem. Believe it or not, both the federal and state governments are very accommodating to help people get through tax problems. They set up payment plans, reduce the amount owed, and make other arrangements that will remove a lien or resolve the situation. You can contact the IRS and/or the Franchise Tax Board for information, or you can see an attorney or tax specialist, who can do the work for you.

    See question 
  • If you stayed in an apt. just 1 year and smoked inside sometimes and the walls look clean do you have to wash walls & paint?

    2 senior, disabled senior women on low income.

    Mark’s Answer

    The tenant is responsible for "ordinary" wear and tear. What's ordinary? It depends on the circumstances. For example, if it had been a long time since the walls had been cleaned and painted, it would not be reasonable to charge all the cleaning to the last tenant. Also, if the lease allowed for smoking, it may very well be that a smoke smell is ordinary. On the other hand, burns, probably, are not.

    See question 
  • Judge states in court "you have to ANSWER TODAY", does that mean I have to file by the end of the court day?

    Unlawful Detainer, CA: I went to a hearing today, this was my 3rd attempt to motion for a quash, without getting into too much detail, the judge basically said "ANSWER THE COURT NOW" ...I asked the judge "don't I have five more days to answer"? ...

    Mark’s Answer

    • Selected as best answer

    I must disagree with a portion of the other attorney's response. Your motion to quash did not waive your right to demurrer. See Code of Civil Procedure §418.10(e)(1). That said, it is likely that the Court, in denying your motions to quash, ordered that you have a certain number of days to reply. From your question, it appears that you replied, twice, with more motions to quash. After your third attempt, the court made it clear that it expects and answer. The court may have reasoned that you already had two opportunities to demurrer, after the first motion to quash was denied. Where I agree with the other attorney is his advice that you need legal counsel.

    See question 
  • In my lease it reads to my tenants that a 30 day notice is required mutually before leaving and before being asked to leave...

    I am the Landlord and I don't think my tenants are going to leave on the date they submitted on their 30 day notice, what recourse as a Landlord do I have to get the tenant out?...How long will it take?...And it is a month to month lease of a room...

    Mark’s Answer

    Your remedy is an unlawful detainer action. There is a lot of information, on line, about how to do the action, yourself, but I suggest that you use and attorney. The process is pretty quick. You could have a judgment to evict the tenant in about 4 weeks and have the tenants out in about another 2 weeks. But, if you fail to follow any of the technical laws, you could have to start over and, possibly end up with a judgment against you. Attorneys who handle unlawful detainer actions are usually quite inexpensive, compared to those who practice in other areas. Generally, you'll pay around $500-$600, plus expenses.

    See question