John Donald Sullivan’s Answers

John Donald Sullivan

Seattle Real Estate Attorney.

Contributor Level 11
  1. Definition for easement by prescription under WA state law

    Answered about 6 years ago.

    1. John Donald Sullivan
    1 lawyer answer

    Most easements are obtained by an express grant in the form of a deed. However, prescriptive easements arise when someone uses part of the owner’s property without his or her permission. This use may result in the loss of certain rights in a portion of the owner’s property, such as a bicycle path, a driveway or a footpath. The use generally must be for a period of at least ten years, and it must be adverse, continuous and uninterrupted, open and notorious, hostile to the owner's title....

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  2. WA state real estate law, maintaining an easement

    Answered about 6 years ago.

    1. John Donald Sullivan
    2. Roy Earl Morriss
    3. John M. Kaman
    3 lawyer answers

    If the neighbor's fence or shed (you don't say which) extends into the easement, you can bring a legal action known as ejectment to force him to remove it. However, there are two caveats. First, I assume there is a recorded easement document, in which case that document will govern who can do what in the easement area. Second, if the encroachment has been in place for more than 10 years, the easement could be extinguished as to that area under the doctrine of adverse possession. You should...

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  3. Neigbhor built fence blocking my access to property violation of easement, rights under WA real estate law

    Answered about 6 years ago.

    1. John Donald Sullivan
    1 lawyer answer

    The answer to your question depends on exactly what rights you own. This will depend on how the easement was obtained (by a deed or by implication) and, if it is by deed, exactly what the deed says. Generally speaking, the holder of an easement has the right to use the property for the purposes granted under the easement, and the owner over whose land it goes cannot do anything to prevent such use. However, under certain circumstances, the owner can install a gate across an access easement...

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  4. Home owners association violation

    Answered over 6 years ago.

    1. Michael Gregory Malaier
    2. John Donald Sullivan
    3. Brian J. Passante
    3 lawyer answers

    Yes, if authorized by the Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions (CC&Rs) affecting the a property and governing the homeowners association. The CC&Rs and other governing documents determine whether the association can lien the property for unpaid assessments and/or fines. The Washington Homeowners Association Act, RCW 64.38.020, expressly authorizes homeowners associations to adopt rules and schedules of fines for violations of the CC&Rs and/or rules. However, the adopted rules have to...

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

    Answered 4 months ago.

    1. William Henry Charbonneau IV
    2. John Donald Sullivan
    2 lawyer answers

    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...

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  6. WA real estate law, adverse possession

    Answered about 6 years ago.

    1. John Donald Sullivan
    2. Roy Earl Morriss
    2 lawyer answers

    The first thing you need to do is find out if they have any other legal basis to locate the driveway where it is, such as an easement. Given that the builder put it in, it is more likely they may have an easement. You likely obtained title insurance when you purchased the property. Your title insurance policy should tell you if there is an easement. On the other hand, if there was one, I would think your neighbor would give that as the reason for keeping it there. The doctrine of adverse...

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  7. Commerical tenant's rights, WA state landlord tenant act

    Answered about 6 years ago.

    1. John Donald Sullivan
    2. Perry A Warbrick
    2 lawyer answers

    I generally agree with Perry's answer. The terms of the lease will control and, as he says, the provision needs to be read in the context of the entire lease. Given the amount of rent involved, however, it is definitely worth having a real estate attorney knowledgable in commercial leasing review the lease and the detailed facts. A strong letter from an attorney explaining the landlord's obligations may be sufficient, without needed to file a lawsuit. Typically, costs are allocated...

    2 lawyers agreed with this answer

  8. What is r-20 zoning under WA state real estate law

    Answered about 6 years ago.

    1. John Donald Sullivan
    2. Roy Earl Morriss
    3. Knute Arthur Rife
    4 lawyer answers

    Zoning designations and permitted uses are not defined under state law; they are determined by the local jurisdiction -- the city, if the property is within city limits, or the county. You should check the City or County Code, as applicable and discuss with someone knowledgable at the City/County (probably in the Planning Department). 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...

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  9. Form 17 property disclosure form, in WA what is the penalty for a seller not providing full disclosure

    Answered about 6 years ago.

    1. Lincoln J. Miller
    2. John Donald Sullivan
    2 lawyer answers

    Under Washington law, the seller of residential property must provide a statutory disclosure statement (Form 17) unless the buyer waives the requirement in writing. The buyer has five days (unless agreed otherwise) to review the statement and cancel the contract if not satisfied with the disclosures. This right of rescission is the only remedy provided by the statute. However, a buyer may have a claim for misrepresentation for written statements (including in the Form 17) that the seller...

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  10. City demanded I go thru neighbors yard for waterline hook-up..neighbor did not give me easement, but gave me waterline license

    Answered about 6 years ago.

    1. John Donald Sullivan
    1 lawyer answer

    Neighbor has no obligation to allow you access through his property. Even if the license didn't say so, a license is personal and does not run with the land, so your buyer would need to get a new one from the current owner. In fact, you need a new one from the current owner because a license does not bind subsequent owners. Your use also does not create a prescriptive easement for you because your past use was with permission. It also sounds like the City just required you to have a means...

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