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John Donald Sullivan

John Sullivan’s Answers

116 total


  • I was given a quit claim deed for a home because the owner wanted out of the payments etc.

    The owner had also given a quit claim deed to her daughter over 4 years ago that she never filed. Can I still file mine since I know about the other one?

    John’s Answer

    If owner gave deed to daughter first, then the owner had nothing to deed to you because the daughter owns the property. However, if you held a mortgage or deed of trust on the property, it still encumbers the property even if the owner transferred the property to the daughter. If the owner is in default under the mortgage or deed of trust, then you can foreclose. You should consult a real estate attorney.

    PLEASE BE ADVISED: This answer and any information contained herein is not intended to be treated, and should not be construed, as legal advice. Rather, this answer is offered solely for general information purposes. This answer does not create an attorney-client relationship, nor does it create any kind of legal relationship, duty, or privilege. This attorney is licensed only in Washington.

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  • Is there another form required to sign to assure that property purchased during Marriage is transfered to other spouse at death.

    Or is the properties both where we live and other real estate automaticully transfer to other spouse at time of death. Even if the Deed of trust is in the others name. The Loan for each property was paid by the couple during marriage.

    John’s Answer

    Washington is a community property state. Each spouse owns a 50% interest in all property acquired during marriage. Upon death, the deceased spouse's 50% passes according to his/her will. If no will, it passes to spouse. You should consult estate planning attorney to ensure your assets will pass as you want upon death.

    PLEASE BE ADVISED: This answer and any information contained herein is not intended to be treated, and should not be construed, as legal advice. Rather, this answer is offered solely for general information purposes. This answer does not create an attorney-client relationship, nor does it create any kind of legal relationship, duty, or privilege. This attorney is licensed only in Washington.

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  • According to pl 111-22 the new owner has to give me 90 days of notice before eviction. Do I have to pay rent during these 90

    According to the law in Washington state do I get these 90 days to save up to move or do I still have to pay rent and still try to save money. I am a month to month tennant with no lease.

    John’s Answer

    I disagree. Absent the federal law, a Washington lease entered into after the deed of trust/mortage would be immediately extinguished by the act of foreclosure, whereupon the tenant would have no right to be in possession of the property; however, by statute, Washington tenants have 60 days to vacate following foreclosure. The federal law means that the lease is not extinguished by foreclosure. Therefore both landlord and tenant have all the rights and obligations of the lease. If either party breaches its obligations, the other party has all their remedies. So if the tenant fails to pay rent, the landlord may declare a default and exercise its remedies (including termination and eviction).

    You should consult an attorney about your specific situation.

    PLEASE BE ADVISED: This answer and any information contained herein is not intended to be treated, and should not be construed, as legal advice. Rather, this answer is offered solely for general information purposes. This answer does not create an attorney-client relationship, nor does it create any kind of legal relationship, duty, or privilege. This attorney is licensed only in Washington.

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  • Can a quit claim deed change community property into separate property?

    I am trying to get approved for a short sale, my husband and I are on the deed but I am the only one on the loan. I don't have a job and my husband doesn't want to make the payments anymore. I don't want the home to go into foreclosure but with hi...

    John’s Answer

    I agree with both of the above answers. In addition, you need to have a lawyer review your loan documents and situation. It is likely that a change in ownership (including the quitclaim deed you propose) would result in a default under the loan.

    You should consult an attorney about your specific situation.

    PLEASE BE ADVISED: This answer and any information contained herein is not intended to be treated, and should not be construed, as legal advice. Rather, this answer is offered solely for general information purposes. This answer does not create an attorney-client relationship, nor does it create any kind of legal relationship, duty, or privilege. This attorney is licensed only in Washington.

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  • Can my neighbor build fences on my 60' utility and access easement?

    I have a 60' utility and access easement to my property that runs through my neighbors property. He has built a fence on one side of the existing driveway and is now getting ready to build a fence on the other side. Is he legally able to build f...

    John’s Answer

    I agree with Ms. Powell. In addition, if the easement is of record and its language prohibits structures or other improvements on the easement area, you would have an absolute right to have the fences removed and would not even need to show they interfere.

    You should consult an attorney about your specific situation.

    PLEASE BE ADVISED: This answer and any information contained herein is not intended to be treated, and should not be construed, as legal advice. Rather, this answer is offered solely for general information purposes. This answer does not create an attorney-client relationship, nor does it create any kind of legal relationship, duty, or privilege. This attorney is licensed only in Washington.

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  • I own some property in the snohomish area, and i have an easment that runs through it, that lends onto my neighbors property,

    wich befor i bought it it was all family, now i have a neighbor who thinks they have the right to use my land for there self, and they have an easment that runs up on the other side of my property that goes right to there house. but they blocked...

    John’s Answer

    There is more information needed to answer your question and you should consult with an experienced Washington real estate lawyer. If the easement has been recorded, you are deemed to have had knowledge of it when you acquired the property. So long as the neighbor is using the easement for its intended purpose (access), he/she is entitled to do so. It does not matter whether they have other access nor does it matter how old it is or how much it was used in the past.

    You should consult an attorney about your specific situation.

    PLEASE BE ADVISED: This answer and any information contained herein is not intended to be treated, and should not be construed, as legal advice. Rather, this answer is offered solely for general information purposes. This answer does not create an attorney-client relationship, nor does it create any kind of legal relationship, duty, or privilege. This attorney is licensed only in Washington.

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  • The bank took over the building I lease. Is my lease still good,can they change it?

    The bank claims it is no longer a good lease because it wasn't notarized. Now the bank wants me to pay triple-net.

    John’s Answer

    I'm not sure what you mean when you say "the bank took over the building." If the bank acquired the property through foreclosure and the deed of trust (or mortgage) existed at the time you signed the lease, then your lease likely was extinguished by the foreclosure; i.e., you no longer have any lease at all. If that is the case, the bank can demand/negotiate entirely new terms.

    You should consult an attorney about your specific situation.

    PLEASE BE ADVISED: This answer and any information contained herein is not intended to be treated, and should not be construed, as legal advice. Rather, this answer is offered solely for general information purposes. This answer does not create an attorney-client relationship, nor does it create any kind of legal relationship, duty, or privilege. This attorney is licensed only in Washington.

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  • Is a two-year lease enforceable by the tenant if landlord wants to cancel after one year?

    I signed a 2-year lease in Washington and the landlord's condo is about to be foreclosed on. The landlords has told me that the contract is only enforceable for 1 year and that I have to leave at the end of 12 months. I want to stay for the full...

    John’s Answer

    While the statute of frauds requires a lease for more than a year to be in "deed form" (i.e., in writing, with legal description, signed and notarized), you may have a strong case that you are entitled to the full two year term based upon two principles: part performance and the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing. If the landlord prepared a two year lease knowing it would not comply with the statute of frauds, he/she was not acting in good faith. If you moved in, paid rent, and otherwise expended money in reliance that you had a valid lease, a court likely would apply the doctrine of part performance to determine you have a valid two year lease.

    However, you should consult an attorney about your specific situation.

    PLEASE BE ADVISED: This answer and any information contained herein is not intended to be treated, and should not be construed, as legal advice. Rather, this answer is offered solely for general information purposes. This answer does not create an attorney-client relationship, nor does it create any kind of legal relationship, duty, or privilege. This attorney is licensed only in Washington.

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  • How to change an existing rental lease

    Can I as the landlord make changes to an existing rental lease or should I void that one and create a new one? The tenant also agrees with the changes. Thank you.

    John’s Answer

    Either of your approaches will work. You can terminate the existing lease (in writing with both parties signing) and sign a new one; or you can modify the term of the existing lease either by lining out and replacing language and both of you initialing or (better) a separate first amendment that states the changes in terms.

    You should consult an attorney about your specific situation.

    PLEASE BE ADVISED: This answer and any information contained herein is not intended to be treated, and should not be construed, as legal advice. Rather, this answer is offered solely for general information purposes. This answer does not create an attorney-client relationship, nor does it create any kind of legal relationship, duty, or privilege. This attorney is licensed only in Washington.

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  • How do I change a 12 month rental lease to a month to month lease?

    The tenant has been late with her payments and will probably continue to be late in the future due to recent financial problems. How should I go about terminating the current lease in place and changing the terms to month to month? Should I giv...

    John’s Answer

    I understand that your main reason for wanting to convert to month-to-month is so that you can sell the property without a tenant. Either of your approaches will work. You can terminate the existing lease (in writing with both parties signing) and sign a new one; or you can modify the term of the existing lease either by lining out and replacing language and both of you initialing or (better) a separate first amendment that states the changes in terms.

    You should consult an attorney about your specific situation.

    PLEASE BE ADVISED: This answer and any information contained herein is not intended to be treated, and should not be construed, as legal advice. Rather, this answer is offered solely for general information purposes. This answer does not create an attorney-client relationship, nor does it create any kind of legal relationship, duty, or privilege. This attorney is licensed only in Washington.

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