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Richard Leigh Boyer
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Richard Boyer’s Answers

223 total


  • Am I a single lodger or a tenant?

    I have been living in a single family home for around three years, the space was to be rent free due to a bad business deal, and there is no written rental agreement. The owners asked me to pay rent after on year of living for free. The rental are...

    Richard’s Answer

    I would take the position that you are a tenant, with all rights of a tenant. If you have lived there over three years, you are entitled to 60 days written notice to vacate. You are responsible for the rent for any time you occupy the premises, which would include any time you live there after the notice to vacate was served.

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  • I have a suit in bc canada and I am in Hawaii. Does Hawaii have a reciprical agreement with BC for claims?

    its a civil suit

    Richard’s Answer

    I think you may be confusing criminal law with civil law. If you are a party to a lawsuit in B.C. Canada, the matter will be litigated there. A judgment rendered in a court in B.C. could be collected in HI, if the proper procedure is followed. If you are wondering if the case can be transferred to a HI court, the answer is no. With very few exceptions, any case brought in B.C. would not be transferable to a HI court. With more facts, I could provide a better answer. Mahalo.

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  • My neighbors car was parked illegally they have gotten several tickets in an alleyway underneath a window I broke.

    The glass caused scratches in the paint-am I required to pay for the damage?

    Richard’s Answer

    You could refuse and see how serious the owner is about forcing you to pay to fix the scratches. If the cost is low, the owner may decide not to pursue legal action. If she does, it would be in Small Claims Court, because the damages are under $10,000. You never know what a Small Claims judge would do with this. Some cases are decided at the Small Claims level more on an equitable, or fairness, basis, than on the law. While the car should not have been where it was, most judges would say that isn't relevant to your damaging the car. But in Small Claims Court, you never know.

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  • I moved into a small guest house behind the landlord's house. Almost immediately she involved with me with her family problems.

    Her son lives on the property as well and she has had to call the police when he gets violent and often calls me first. I do not even know her and she acts as though I am there for her family problem which I am not. Now I am caught in the middle o...

    Richard’s Answer

    If you haven't already, you should first speak directly to the landlord and let her know you would like her to stop involving you in her personal life. If you've tried that and she persists, you should consider moving out. Her conduct, arguably, violates your right to peacefully enjoy your rental, which would be a material breach of her obligations as a landlord. If it looks like you may need to do that, start documenting the landlord's conduct, so you will have sufficient evidence to support your version of the facts, in case you end up in litigation with her over the lease.

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  • Do I have a legitimate case in small claims if my landlord never disclosed the presence of asbestos?

    My building's roofing company recently started a fire, which subsequently caused most of the top floor of our building to burn (we are on the bottom floor out of three levels). When the fire department came to put out the fire, the top two floors...

    Richard’s Answer

    It certainly sounds like you have a legitimate case against both the roofing contractor and the landlord. As to the roofing contractor, liability sounds pretty clear - on your facts. As to the landlord, whether the landlord will be found liable will depend on whether she knew or should have known of the presence of asbestos in the building. If so, you may have not only a good case for negligence, but also a case for negligent or intentional misrepresentation. You will have to distinguish which of your damages are related to the fire and water damage, and which are related to the presence of asbestos. Interesting case. You should consult a lawyer.

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  • If someone is breaking a lease causing moving fees, buy out of lease, deposit, rent and all the financial stress imaginable.

    She moved already and has left me with decisions I would like to sue with lawyer if possible. She is still on the lease!!!

    Richard’s Answer

    As Attorney Chen advised, if your damages are $10,000 or less you should pursue your claim against the former co-tenant in Small Claims Court. However, it isn't clear from your question how much your potential damages are. To determine whether you might have a Superior Court case against the "wrongdoer" your lawyer will need to know all the facts: when did the lease begin; how much will you have to pay the landlord for breach of lease damages; how much is the security deposit, and is it lost; what are the circumstances leading to the roommate moving out? And, perhaps most importantly, if you were to sue the former roommate, does she have the financial resources to pay a judgment against her?

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  • How can I get the property management company to repair the damaged foundation in the condo I am renting?

    While remediating mold in my rental condo from a flood, they discovered the leak had been there for years causing the foundation to crumble.. There is black mold in the crumbled concrete and wall and the dirt outside the unit. The property manage...

    Richard’s Answer

    It isn't clear from your question whether the foundation is simply damaged, or whether it is failing, causing a dangerous condition. If the former, you probably should be patient, while being gently persistent with your landlord about the need to fix the problem. If the latter, you should be more aggressive and insistent that the problem be repaired. In theory, you could give your landlord notice that you intend to repair the problem yourself if he/she doesn't do it. Then, if nothing is done in, say, 30 days, you could hire someone to make the repairs and deduct the cost from your future rent. I say, "in theory", because these repairs could be prohibitively expensive. One good thing, if the mold is outside your unit, is that you probably aren't being exposed to it. If you are being exposed, you should take steps to contain and isolate the mold, so you aren't exposed to it. Unfortunately, there is not much you can do that will cause the repairs to be made immediately. Normally repairs like this require investigation, claims to insurance companies, bids from contractors, contracts prepared and signed, and work scheduled. Permits may even be required. You may just have to find a way to lower your stress level and give your landlord some time to make the repairs in due course. The landlord faces liability exposure if he/she takes an unreasonably long time in making the repairs, because the foundation could cause other problems, the mold could cause personal injury, etc., so the landlord probably let it go for very long.

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  • Evicting a subletter?

    A friend is leasing a condo, and has subletted two rooms to two individuals. There are rental agreements in place. One subletter refuses to pay rent and bills, and she has asked this person to pay and move out. The subletter is refusing both. The ...

    Richard’s Answer

    Your friend can serve the subtenant a 3 day notice to pay or quit. There are technical aspects to these that must be followed to a t, or she will have to start the process over again. If the subtenant doesn't pay or move in three days, she should then file and serve an unlawful detainer action in Superior Court. After the subtenant has answered or five days has passed, she can then obtain a trial date from the court. She'll then got to court and obtain a writ of possession that will require the subtenant to move out.

    If there is any violence or threat of violence, your friend may be able to short-cut the whole unlawful detainer process and obtain a Civil Harassment Restraining Order. If she isn't patient and good with documents, she should hire a lawyer.

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  • Can neighbors sue for marijuana smoke if there wasn't any?

    Our neighbors two doors down want to sue my father for marijuana smoke, but he doesn't smoke. He doesn't even smoke cigarettes. Is them suing us a valid concern? I know if you are caught with marijuana it's a ticket, but can a neighbor sue if they...

    Richard’s Answer

    There is a big difference between suing and winning. In California, as in all states, anybody can sue anybody for anything. The real question is, do they have a case and can they prove it? On the minimal facts you've provided, I would say extremely unlikely. I can't imagine what cause of action (legal theory of liability) the neighbor would plead, and what damages they could allege. If this is all your neighbors "got", you may safely ignore them. Now, if you are asking whether they can have your father arrested for a crime, that's a different analysis. Still, even though I don't handle criminal law, I doubt the police would even be interested in such an allegation. However, if your father is on probation, such an allegation could cause serious problems. If your neighbors are the kind who are looking for a reason to sue your father or otherwise cause trouble, you might want to find a new place to live.

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  • How can I get help without hiring a lawyer to sue someone? He lives in Maryland and I'm in California.

    I want to sue my stepfather for breach of fidicuary duties since he used his power of attorney to delete beneficiaries on my mother's IRA to benefit himself when she was incapacitated. He also is not complying with other aspects of her trust. I ...

    Richard’s Answer

    Based on the way you asked the question, it is evident that you have no legal training. As such, I would say it would be an enormous task for you to handle on your own. You're talking about a very complicated legal matter involving the law of another state, perhaps two states. You'll have to get some help from a lawyer to pursue your rights in this matter. I would expect that the lawyer you will need to get will be one who is licensed in Maryland.

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