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David Robert Squeri III

David Squeri’s Answers

239 total

  • Can a property mgt co evict me if she hasn't given me a formal notice to vacate because the owner intends to sell the home?

    David’s Answer

    For reference, please review the Hawaii Residential Landlord Tenant Code and any related information that is available online from creditable organizations (such as Legal Aid or Nolo), but please understand that all information on the internet is not guaranteed to be current, correct, and/or applicable under Hawaii law. (if you google, you will likely find the Code, along with lots of secondary information).

    in general, for eviction under a monthly rental agreement, 45 days advance notice is required. If you do not leave on May 9th, it is likely that they will then establish legal action to evict you. You can likely then make your argument that the notice was incorrect to the Judge in these proceedings.

    The best bet is probably to negotiate with the Landlord to allow you to leave on May 31, 2022 (or maybe even later). It is likely that they will negotiate in an attempt to avoid the burden and expense of filing an eviction case in Court.

    Hope this helps - good luck!

  • If 4 of 5 siblings want to sell the family home which was passed to the siblings with each owning 20%, can the 4 force the sale?

    David’s Answer

    Yes, you can likely establish a partition action with the Court. In general, if the partition action is granted by the Judge, the Judge will likely either (1) divide the property between the owners (usually not possible as you cannot divide up a house or building); or (2) put the property up for sale under a judicial auction and divide the proceeds from the sale between the owners. As a property is likely to sell for a higher price in a private sale, usually a resistant seller will surrender and agree to do a private sale, as the lower amount of proceeds likely resulting from a judicial auction will likely diminish the amount of funds that they will ultimately receive. Hope this helps, Good luck!

  • Residential lease dispute

    David’s Answer

    It is likely that the strength of your position will depend on the language of the Lease. Depending on your Lease terms, there may be language in it that expressly precludes or limits outside representations or promises from affecting the Lease terms, and/or (if you received the Realtors email prior to signing the Lease) that all outside representations and promises are integrated into the Lease and are thus nullified as of the signing of the Lease. As the Landlord apparently used a professional Realtor, it seems likely that such language was probably included in the Lease, as this is very common. However, depending on the details of the situation, there may possibly be a case made for negligent or intentional misrepresentation, and/or other claims. Without seeing the documents or having a very detailed understanding of the situation, any determination on such potential claims cannot be made. However, I am going to guess that, as you signed the Lease with the understanding that it was a 1-year Lease, that it is probably not likely that you will prevail in any lawsuit. Federal or State COVID mandates may prohibit or limit evictions, however, as these rules change quickly and are often in flux, I cannot comment on whether they are likely to be applicable in this case. Hope this helps – Good luck!

  • Airbnb host cancelled my booked and paid-in-full reservation because they wanted to relist my dates at a higher daily rate.

    David’s Answer

    Likely to a breach of contract (among other possible claims) case, but it is likely that you would be taking action against the owner (maybe together with Airbnb). Unless this was an ultra-high end luxury rental, costing several thousands of dollars a day, it is likely that this would be a small claims matter. The limit for small claims court is $5000 (do an internet search for information on Hawaii small claims court). You might also be able to make a complaint at the State of Hawaii, Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs, Office of Consumer Protection.

  • Can I sue a massage therapist and her business for releasing my personal and medical information online and to family members?

    David’s Answer

    Yes, there are probably a wide assortment of claims that could be made (too many to list here) against this person. At the end of the day, apparently this massage therapist misused your private and confidential information to harass you and to retaliate; depending on the details, such behavior is generally actionable. The difficult part may be proving that it was this specific individual that released your information. If it can be shown (with sufficient evidence) that the massage therapist did post your information online and did disclose it to third parties, such as her family members, it is very likely (again, depending on the details) that you have a case against her. Furthermore, depending on the services rendered and the terms of the professional relationship, this massage therapist may also be obligated to keep your information confidential under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA).

  • Landlord locks out tenant from store for saying "I am moving out if you don't temporally reduce rent during covid"

    David’s Answer

    It seems likely that there are two main issues that probably will be determinative in this situation: 1) the specific terms of the Lease; and 2) what was said in the email. If you said in your email that you will absolutely be breaking the Lease and abandoning that space unless you get what you want, you may have made an anticipatory breach of contract. In very general terms, an anticipatory breach of contract occurs when a party engages in an act that shows their intention to breach the contractual obligations owed to the other party, and therefore, ends the second party's responsibility to perform its duties and obligations under the contact. However, there could possibly be language in the Lease that could be used to your advantage, or to make a claim against the Landlord, however it would require a review of the Lease to determine. You should also know that the Landlord could come after you for the money owed for the rent owed under the Lease until the termination date of the Lease or until they get a new tenant. In addition, the Landlord has a duty to mitigate damages, and should make efforts to market the unit and find a new tenant. If the Landlord fails to do so, then it is likely that they cannot receive an award for future rents.

  • How can I have mechanical lien removed from my house?

    David’s Answer

    Generally, an unlicensed contractor is unable to charge a consumer for and/or engage in any work in which a contractor’s license is required. Furthermore, an unlicensed contractor is usually unable to employ legal action to collect such fees. You can contact DCCA / RICO to make a compliant regarding this contractor, and if you have the financial resources, you may want to retain an attorney to guide you through this process.

  • What can I do if seller did not disclose a rat problem in a townhome I purchased?

    David’s Answer

    If it is just a couple of rats, you probably do not have a case. However, if the property is overrun and infested, you might have legal recourse. I say "might", as the issue is still not very clear, and it is likely that an argument will need to be based on legal research and analysis of the facts and law.
    Here is some third-party information, offered without representation or warranty, that might be helpful:

    From the article:
    - "A Hawaii case decided in 2012 involved disclosure of coqui frogs and a bad neighborhood. The Seller in that case disclosed that coqui frogs were in the area, but not the extent of the noise they were causing. The bad neighborhood was not disclosed by the Seller. The Buyer in that case sued over the perceived lack of disclosure."
    - "The Hawaii Intermediate Court of Appeals held that the Seller properly disclosed the existence of coqui frogs, even if they were a larger problem than the disclosure may have indicated, and that the Seller did not have a duty to disclose the social conditions of the neighborhood. Instead, the duty to disclose is kept to the more physical attributes of the area, such as a nearby garbage dump that may be leaking pollutants into the land."

    I have not read the case in a long while, but it seems that if there was any mention of rats in the disclosure it may be difficult to sustain a case. However, if there is infestation, to the level where it can be determined that the Sellers had knowledge, and there was absolutely no disclosure regarding rats or a grossly misleading disclosure, you may be able to take legal action under Chapter 508D Mandatory Seller Disclosures in Real Estate Transactions (§§ 508D-1 — 508D-20) and/or common law breach of contract claims.

    Hope this helps – good luck!

  • What are my rights if owner that I was caregiving for dies and new owner wants me to move?

    David’s Answer

    This is a very unusual situation, and it would require legal research to fully determine what rights, if any, you may have. If you do not have a Lease, at best, it is likely that you would be considered a month-to-month tenant. Normally, this means that they could evict you rather quickly. However, there may be COVID-19 protections in place that could slow this process. Thus, you might want to check if there are currently any legal COVID tenant protections remaining in place (the legal aid website may be able to supply you with information). Before surrendering any information, documents and/or assets to any person, it should be verified that the person actually has the rights to obtain the said information, documents and/or assets. As you are the caretaker and continue to accept living accommodations as such, you could possibly have personal liability for allowing unauthorized persons to take information, documents and/or assets from the estate. If someone shows up and begins moving items, you may want to consider contacting the police and ask them to come verify the persons authority for doing so. Hope this helps – good luck!

  • How do you pay yourself as a member of an LLC?

    David’s Answer

    I am afraid that I am going to give you an answer that may not be as satisfying as you wish, but like bitter medicine it is what you probably need to hear. From the earliest stages, you should start working with a CPA who can map out the financials issues for you. There could be taxation issues that you are not aware of, and a CPA should be able to advise you on how to proceed. Consider that even if it is an honest mistake, the IRS/Hawaii Tax authorities may still impose penalties and interest for any problem with your taxes. From the legal end, you should include the profit distribution terms within your LLC Operating Agreement (yes, if you have three LLC Members you probably need an Operating Agreement, and no, unless you have specialized training or experience, this is probably not something you should save money on by drafting yourself). I understand that things like CPA for financial advice, or a lawyer to draft your LLC Operating Agreement (or other documents) may seem like an unnecessary expense. However, in my litigation practice, I have had many litigation cases directly caused by someone not doing such things properly and/or by drafting their own documents when forming a company. Depending on the Court and the issues involved, LLC Litigation usually costs approximately $3,000 - $8,000 per month and can drag out for years; and can also destroy friendships and sour professional relationships. Hope this helps – good luck.