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Clifford L. Tuttle Jr.
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Clifford Tuttle’s Answers

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  • What are the documents I have to prepare while buying a single home directly from the owner.

    Buying the property directly from my friend, no realtor is involved.I am thinking to draft the documents like buyer-seller agreement .I am not sure what are the other documents I have to prepare.

    Clifford’s Answer

    In addition to an agreement of sale, the seller must provide you with a Real Estate Disclosure and a disclosure and booklet regarding lead paint.

    Then, for closing, there must be a deed and a settlement sheet.

    In order to do these things correctly, you need a lawyer. who knows something about real estate You could agree to split the cost with the seller.

    Clifford L Tuttle, Jr
    Attorney at Law
    Pittsburgh, PA

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  • Do they get to fire me and keep my earned commissions ? Would I be entitled to unemployment?

    I was hired 9 months ago to manage a real estate sales office because someone was retiring. She decided not to retire and they want to relocate me to a location that is an hour and a half drive each way. The person who is currently at the new ...

    Clifford’s Answer

    Do you have a written contract? If so, see what it says] about your compensation. Are you a real estate broker or agent? Did you register the listing or the sale? I wouldn't give it up without a fight.

    As for unemployment, the answer is probably yes, if you are an employee and not an independent contractor. I say probably because they may surprise you with an unanticipated accusation. However, you would not be denied unemployment strictly because you refused to accept a lateral move that is an hour and one half commute from your current location.

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  • Can my ex-landlord sue me for the weeks rent if I never had a lease

    I just recently moved out of an apartment where I had never signed a lease or paid any up front costs when I moved in. I recently moved out and was in the apartment for a week into the new month. My landlord is making me pay a weeks rent cause I w...

    Clifford’s Answer

    Many people do not have written leases and the oral leases are enforced on a month-to-month basis by the Magisterial District Judge (Magistrate.)

    If I were in your situation, I'd gladly pay the week's rent. If you don't and your landlord sues you, he would probably get an award for a full month from the Magistrate -- assuming he asks for it. Save yourself a trip to court where you will end up paying the court costs. Give him a check and mark it "in full" on the memo line.

    Clifford L. Tuttle, Jr.
    Attorney ay Law
    Pittsburgh, PA

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  • Is the landlord responsible for fixing this problem? How can this be on us to fix this?

    We just moved in this rental property on January 4th. Never had any problems with bed bugs until we moved in here. We told the landlord about it and he said it was our problem to get it rectified!!

    Clifford’s Answer

    Landlords have a duty to provide you with a habitable residence, although in the case of bedbugs, the landlord frequently defends on the theory that you caused the problem.
    Since you just moved in and had no prior bedbug problems, you would think that he cannot prove you were the source. However, he will probably say that the property never had a bedbug problem until you moved in. All of your solutions will probably end up in court and you are not guaranteed to win. You can move -- something I am sure you are not anxious to do. Moreover, you will probably take bedbugs with you in your furniture. Moreover, he will probably sue you for rent -- possibly for the entire lease term if the lease form permits. You can treat them and deduct from your rent. Chances are good that he will sue to evict you, again on the theory that you had to do the treatment because you caused the problem or because the lease contains language requiring you to treat the bedbugs. If you are going to end up in court, you should try to find independent evidence that the house was already infected. However, be aware that present tenants of adjoining units will usually not testify against against the landlord and prior tenants may be afraid of being found to be liable for starting the problem. One other possibility is to contact the Health Department. They may order the landlord to treat the problem and if you live in a qualified City, they may suggest rent withholding through the City. For some reason, other municipalities(like Boroughs and Townships) are not qualified under the statute and it is rarely used. Moreover, the landlord has six months to correct the problem or the tenant gets the escrowed rent. It is possible for a landlord to wait almost 6 months, fix the problem and take the rent in escrow. There is a popular belief that tenants can simply put rent aside in a bank account, but there is no statutory protection for this practice.

    Sorry. Although you have choices, all of them have major drawbacks.

    Clifford L Tuttle, Jr
    Attorney at Law
    Pittsburgh, PA

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  • Can the land lord evict her with no place to go.we are appealing her disability.

    My sister is on dialysis and my ex was paying the rent then he moved out .my sister has no income .can the landlord evict her when she has a life threasting situation.there is no heat in the house and his well is ran off her electricity

    Clifford’s Answer

    Unfortunately, your sister cannot live there indefinitely without paying rent. The landlord does have a duty to provide a habitable residence and if the heat does not work, the house is not habitable. She needs to be in touch with an organization like the Salvation Army or Catholic Charities. They can give temporary assistance and direct her to the place where her problems can be addressed. Don't be afraid to move from a house without heat. That is a defense if he sues you in the Magistrate's court. But make sure that she goes to court to present her defense. A lawyer would be a very good idea, too.

    Clifford L Tuttle, Jr
    Attorney at Law
    Pittsburgh, PA

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  • Am I protected by law for unpaid rent due to serious issues?

    I moved in my place in April of last year. We have been having problems since early on. Currently we have no heat since our electricity is faulty. Can't plug in too man things on one side of the house. The stove has a broken burner, the tub leaks ...

    Clifford’s Answer

    • Selected as best answer

    The answer above is not correct. Your landlord has an implied duty to provide a habitable residence, and that means heat. However, I recommend you find a lawyer that knows something about the subject.

    Clifford L Tuttle, Jr
    Attorney at Law
    Pittsburgh, PA

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  • Landlord question heating issue

    I moved into a rental property 2 years ago and the heat has been acting up. I have been without heat for 4 days this year. My landlord said that I signed the lease that anything under 500.00 I am responsible for. I told him I have no problem payin...

    Clifford’s Answer

    You have the right to deduct your expenditures from the rent. He has a duty to provide you with a habitable dwelling and heat is essential. The provision that you pay the first $500 cannot trump the implied covenant of habitability.

    However, don't be surprised if your landlord decides to file for eviction. You are going to have to be prepared to prove your case. And then, when the lease is ended, you should probably plan to move. Unfortunately, your landlord may not be wiling to renew the lease because he will feel cheated.

    Clifford L. Tuttle, Jr.
    Attorney at Law
    Pittsburgh PA

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  • Confused about lease

    Back in April I was told by my old management company that a new agency would be taking over our leases and we should be getting a letter from them within the next few weeks with details about the change (till this day we have yet to receive anyt...

    Clifford’s Answer

    Send a letter to the new agent saying that you are ready to pay when they contact you.Clifford L, Tuttle, Jr.
    Attorney at Law
    Pittsburgh, PA

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  • Life time lease for hunting, we are selling property, how do we get out,

    My husband sign a paper in 2010 for his brother and 6 friends that said they have lifetime permission to hunt on his property, we have a buyer who is buying for hunting, not notorized, no money paid for permission to hunt. the buyer won't buy if t...

    Clifford’s Answer

    I disagree with the prior answer. If the so-called license is not notarized, it cannot be recorded. If it is no signed by you, the owner, it is not a valid grant. Nevertheless, it would be a very good idea to have a real estate lawyer look at the document and your deed in order to confirm this conclusion.

    Clifford L. Tuttle, Jr.
    Attorney at Law
    Pittsburgh, PA

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  • A potential home buyers: inspection report

    When selling a house does a potential buyers inspection report, become part of the sellers disclosure, if the deal falls apart.

    Clifford’s Answer

    Absolutely. You must disclose what you know and that is a continuing obligation.

    That is why it makes sense to make a reasonable deal with the buyer you have, rather than terminate. You will have to disclose the information you learn to the next buyer, who may reduce the offer accordingly.

    Clifford L. Tuttle, Jr.
    Attorney at Law
    Pittsburgh, PA

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