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Steven R Bennett

Steven Bennett’s Answers

7 total

  • Is commercial tenant entitled to Non-refundable payment for improvements to property for business operations when tenant default

    commercial tenant paid landlord 11,000 so that landlord can make improvements to property for tenant's use. payment was due prior to construction. Tenant approved constructions drawings and moved in. 1 yr. later tenant paid 4,000 in security de...

    Steven’s Answer

    The rights and obligations of landlord and tenant under a commercial lease are governed almost exclusivley by the written lease, to the extent the lease covers the disputed issues. Here, it appears the $11,000 paid by tenant was expressly stated to be nonrefundable, so tenant likely gets none of that back. Landlord's request that tenant vacate should have been in writing, but if tenant acknowleges the request, the point is moot. It appears tenant has almost no rights, as a tenant in default. Landlord can re-enter the premises, but only if doing so does not disturb the peace. If tenant resists landlord's entry (ie, changes locks, or otherwise blocks landlord's entry), landlord must file court action and get a sheriff's assistance before entering. Landlord has duty to mitigate damages, by seeking a substitue tenant (ie, list building for lease, using broker or other commercial means). If landlord fails to do so, tenant has right to challenge landlord's claim for lost rent, and likey have such claim reduced by amount lanlord could have received in rent had landlord tried. There are numerous issue in these circumstances, and a careful review of the written lease is critical.

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  • Seller and buyer live in Oregon. Seller is selling total interest in timeshare located in California. What forms are necessary?

    Wanting simple buy sell forms, but need to know what is required in order for deed to be assigned?

    Steven’s Answer

    Unfortunately, this situation may not lend itself to simple forms. To start, the parties should contact the time-share administrator/management company, if any. That office would likely have an instruction sheet on procedures for transferring ownership, including forms. If there is no such office, buyer should proceed cautiously, as there are many different forms of time share ownership, and therefore different procedures for transfer. For starters, find out if the ownership rights include a deeded interest, or merely shared use rights for a term of years. If its the latter, find out how many years are left. In any event, a buyer must check into whether there are any restricitions on transfer, what the maintenance charge is per year, and whether the seller is current in payment of maintenance charges.

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  • Can a cosignor to a rental lease be held liable for unpaid rent if they are not named on the lease agreement

    i rented a townhouse for three years. i had a year to year lease. each time i wouldrenew my lease i was required to have a cosigner because of my bad credit. going into my fourth year i signed the lease and my cosigners name was not on it nor w...

    Steven’s Answer

    It is quite possible that the cosigner is liable, but it depends on the language used in the original document signed by the cosigner. Most co-signer forms have language stating that the co-signer is liable for all charges under the current lease, and all extensions or renewals of it. If that is not the case here, then the co-signer has a strong argument that the co-signer was released from liability when the landlord signed an extention of the lease.

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  • Business Lease laws/protections

    I have a month to month lease for my small business. Nothing is in writing as there have been two new owners to the property since I first signed a lease more than ten years ago. The current ownership group indicated they may be planning on cancel...

    Steven’s Answer

    If your original lease has not yet expired, it is likely still in effect. The change of owners does not normally terminate a lease; instead, the new owner steps into the shoes of the old owner with respect to any existing lease agreements. In general, a month-to-month lease is in effect if you pay your rent monthly and there is no written lease in effect. Under this type of commercial lease, you normally are entitile to 30 days' notice of termination, assuming you are current in payment of the rent, and are not otherwise in breach of your duties as a tenant (ie, you have not caused damage to the premises, you comply with landlord rules, etc.) Verbal notification is technically sufficient, but is alway subject to dispute, so landlords rarely rely on a mere verbal notice.

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  • Real Estate rights?

    I own a home with my ex. I moved out last March. He has not paid the mortgage for 9 months. His girlfriend moved in December. They still have not paid the mortgage. Do I have any rights to protect my credit? I do not want the house. Can I make hi...

    Steven’s Answer

    Based on the information stated in your question, it appears you do NOT have any rights to protect your credit. Apparently your ex got the house in the divorce, but the lender is always free to ignore what the divorce court ordered, and the lender can pursue collection against any of the orginial parties who signed on the loan. In the course of your divorce, there should have been some resolution of the mortgage. Typically a divorce court would order that the house be sold or refinanced within a certain period. If there was no such ruling, its up to you to negotiate with your ex, to persuade him to sell or refinance. If protecting your credit is a high priority, you may want to offer a financial incentive to your ex (ie, payment of money).

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  • My dad left his estate to an ex wife, under OR probate estate law can I contest the Will

    my dad died and left everything to an ex-wife, should I contest the will?

    Steven’s Answer

    Generally any interested party can contest a will. The question is, will you succeed? It is rare to have a will declared invalid, especially if the will was prepared by an attorney (as opposed to a will prepared by the testator or by any non-attorney). Also, a will contest can be a long, expensive process. Children generally have no right to prevent their parents from dis-inheriting them. Thus, a successful challenge to your father's will must establish a legal basis for declaring it invalid, such as undue influence, fraud, lack of capacity, or failure to comply with formalities regarding the will itself (it must be a written document, dated, signed by the testator, witnessed by 2 witnesses, etc.)

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  • How can you see the contents of a will of someone that is decased?

    Both of my children were left money by their grandmother. There was an amount to be given to each as well as that it was to be given to them when they turn 25. This is my ex-husbands mother. My children think their father spent the money that w...

    Steven’s Answer

    There is no universal right to see someone's will, even after that person is deceased. It is up to the testator (the person signing the will) to disseminate copies of the will to all intended parties while the testator is alive, and to leave the original of the will with a responsible party who will see that it is filed with the court after death, if necessary. Once the probate process is begun (normally initiated by the person named in the will as executor), the will becomes public record and is available for the public to inspect. Normally, the executor or attorney assisting the executor sends out the will, or at least a notice of the probate, to all beneficiaries mentioned in the will, and to all heirs who would inherit in the absence of a valid will.

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