Matthew F. Davis’s Answers

Matthew F. Davis

Appeals Lawyer.

Contributor Level 8
  1. Construction Contract - penalty clause

    Answered over 1 year ago.

    1. Roger M. Townsend
    2. Matthew F. Davis
    3. Saphronia R Young
    4. David A. Kulisch
    4 lawyer answers

    I am going to take a stab at this too. I gather from your question that you are the owner, and your general contractor has changed the completion date and asked for change orders. Neither of these will strike an attorney as unusual in the abstract. It seems that almost every construction project ends up late and over budget. You ask what penalty clauses should be included in the contract. Unfortunately, that is not really the question because you already have a contract. You first...

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  2. Can a neighbor demolish your fence line being it has been in since 1980 & putting in his own according to survey?

    Answered over 1 year ago.

    1. Matthew F. Davis
    2. Samuel Michael Meyler
    3. Michael Martin Hanis
    3 lawyer answers

    In the context of boundary disputes, this is what is referred to as "self help." Some one has a survey done and find out that the recognized boundary is not the same. If your neighbor starts ripping out your fence, calling the police won't accomplish anything because it is a "civil matter." Unfortunately, some of those civil matters escalate into violence. So my first suggestion is not to remember that it is a fence, and not to put yourself into an unsafe situation. In Washington, if you...

    7 lawyers agreed with this answer

  3. What type of real estate sales contract is best in a FSBO transaction for a vacant lot, where the seller carries a contract?

    Answered over 1 year ago.

    1. Matthew F. Davis
    2. Richard Paul Patrick
    3. Shawn B Alexander
    3 lawyer answers

    My advice in this situation has changed recently. If you are simply selling your own real estate for cash, then most of the commonly available forms are probably going to do the job, as long as they are specific to Washington State. We do things differently from other states, so a generic form would not work. Real estate agents mostly use the Northwest Multiple Listing Service Vacant Land Purchase and Sale Agreement form in your situation. It is NWMLS Form 25. You probably could locate a...

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  4. Overgrowing Bamboo in the Yard

    Answered over 1 year ago.

    1. Matthew F. Davis
    2. Daniel Garrett Wilmot
    2 lawyer answers

    Bamboo is the relative who comes to stay for a weekend and never leaves. A few simple rules. First, unless prohibited, you can pretty much plant what you want on your property. As plants grow, they do not respect boundaries. If your neighbor's plant grows onto your property, you can cut it off at the boundary, whether below, on or above the ground. But you can't kill the plant and you can't cross the boundary. Second, bamboo is kind of like a child. They start out little and...

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  5. It is 14 days until our tenants rent is due again (due on April 15th). We want to serve a 20-day Notice to terminate Tenancy.

    Answered over 1 year ago.

    1. Matthew F. Davis
    2. Ryan J. Weatherstone
    2 lawyer answers

    The short answer is no. The notice is effect at the end of the lease period twenty days from the delivery of the notice. So it must be give at least 20 days before the end of a lease period or will not be effective until the end of the following period. Based on your facts, I would say that you could terminate the lease effective May 15. In this kind of case, you may find that paying the tenants to leave on April 15 is the best alternative available to you. If you do enter into such an...

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  6. Are commercial landlords only required to give 30 days to vacate a premises?

    Answered over 1 year ago.

    1. Matthew F. Davis
    2. Christopher Daniel Cutting
    2 lawyer answers

    If you have a commercial lease on a month to month contract, the landlord has to give you 20 days notice, and the notice is effective at the end of the month at the end of the 20-day period. For example, if the landlord gave you notice on April 9, it could terminate the lease at the end of April. Now that it is April 13, notice given today would not run out until May 3, so the notice would terminate the lease at the end of May. A month to month lease allows either party to terminate on...

    5 lawyers agreed with this answer

  7. Threat by tenant's attorney for entering abandoned property

    Answered over 1 year ago.

    1. Matthew F. Davis
    1 lawyer answer

    Ordinarily, a landlord must give notice before entering a leased property. However, one exception to that rule is when the premises have been abandoned. RCW 59.18.150(5) provides that "The landlord may enter the dwelling unit without consent of the tenant in case of emergency or abandonment." If the letter that you received from the tenant stated that the property had been vacated (as opposed to was going to be vacated), then you would appear to be well within your rights, at least to...

    4 lawyers agreed with this answer

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  8. In Washington State (Seattle), if I cosigned on a lease that is expired, can the landlord still come after me for damages?

    Answered over 1 year ago.

    1. Matthew F. Davis
    1 lawyer answer

    Probably not. A guarantor or a co-tenant is liable under the lease, and usually for any extensions or amendments of the lease. However, the lease was not extended, but expired. Unless the documents that you signed dealt with post-termination issues, the landlord would have a very hard time holding you responsible. You have not occupied the lease under the month to month tenancy. The only caveat is that the original lease could have contained terms stating that you would remain liable if...

    4 lawyers agreed with this answer

  9. What happens if I can't pay my condo dues in full and I own my condo outright?

    Answered over 1 year ago.

    1. Matthew F. Davis
    2. Valerie Farris Oman
    2 lawyer answers

    This happens more frequently that you might think. Condo dues have gotten very high, and they can look like an expense that can be put off in hard times, but they aren't. The condo dues are what allows the homeowners association to maintain the property and keep the lights on so to speak. Associations work on an annual budget, and if one owner does not pay, all the others feel the consequence. You don't say where the condo is, but in most states the association has the right not only to...

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  10. What are my rights as a tenant if I am being served a 10 day notice to remove pet from property of apartment complex?

    Answered over 1 year ago.

    1. Matthew F. Davis
    1 lawyer answer

    Let's start with your lease. If it contains a no pet clause, then you can be given a 10-day notice to remove the pet or fact eviction. If it does not contain a no pet clause, the next question would be whether a landlord rule prevents them. In that case, it would probably matter which came first, the rule or the pet. It would be very hard for a landlord to make a new rule prohibiting pets and then try to apply it to pets that were already there. The altercations may be a different...

    3 lawyers agreed with this answer