Only Golfer Who Hit Ball Has Liability for Damages

By Christopher Combs | December 15, 2012

Question: In a previous column, you said that a golfer would have liability for striking a lady in the mouth (which required dental work) in her backyard if the golfer failed to yell “fore” before striking the golf ball. I, too, was struck in the head by a golf ball in the backyard of our Sun City home that resulted in six stitches and medical expenses. Although the golfer who hit this golf ball apologized immediately, I had to go to court because he later denied that he had hit the golf ball. Nine months later, I finally got a…


Homeowners May Have Cause For Suit

By Christopher Combs | December 8, 2012

Question:  Several years ago, we purchased a home in a subdivision near Tucson with an airstrip. The developer’s sales agent told us that, after all of the homes in the subdivision were sold, the airstrip would be deeded to the homeowners by the developer. We had nothing in writing, and all of the homes in the subdivision now have been sold. The developer, however, has apparently sold the airstrip to a California company, and this company is now demanding rent payments for the use of the airstrip. Do we have to pay rent payments to this company for the use…


Sex Offenders Don’t Need to Be Disclosed by The Seller, but Seller Cannot Lie

By Christopher Combs | December 5, 2012

   On November 27, 2012, the Arizona Court of Appeals ruled that under A.R.S. §32-2156 the seller had no obligation to disclose to the buyer that a level-one registered sex offender lived next door. The seller, however, did have an obligation to respond truthfully to any questions from the buyer, including the question from the buyer as to the reason that the seller was moving.  The seller stated that the reason for moving was to be closer to friends.    Therefore, if the buyer could prove at trial that this statement was untrue, and that the actual reason for the…


Wife's OK Needed to Alter Her Right of Survivorship

By Christopher Combs | November 17, 2012

Question:  My husband and I own our Glendale home as community property with right of survivorship. We have been having marital problems and recently separated. I am still living in the home with the children, and I want us to get back together. My husband is very angry, however and told me that he has made a new will giving all of his assets to his parents. My understanding of community property with right of survivorship is that, if my husband dies before me, I will be the owner of our home. Am I correct? Or does my husband’s will…


Retired Son's Plan Puts Parents At Risk

By Christopher Combs | November 12, 2012

Question: After my son’s wife died, he used the life insurance proceeds to pay off the mortgage on their Gilbert home, and my son took early retirement. My son now wants to take out a home equity line of credit on his home and use the HELOC funds to buy one or two small investment homes. He wants us, however, to co-sign for the HELOC. We are elderly and we do not want to risk our financial security. Inasmuch as my son’s home is free and clear, why isn’t his home enough collateral for the HELOC? Will we be liable…


Who is Liable For Faulty Roof Repairs?

By Christopher Combs | November 5, 2012

Question:  We owned our home in Queen Creek for eight years. A year ago, we had a significant roof leak. We got three estimates for roof repairs, and we paid a roofing contractor almost $5,000 to make the roof repairs. Almost six months ago, we sold our home. After the recent monsoon, we received an e-mail from the buyer saying that the roof repairs that we had made were bad, and that the roof now needs to be repaired properly for $8,000 to $10,000. The buyer wants the name of the roofing contractor that made the repairs. Do we have…


State Law Prohibits HOAs from Forbidding Solar Heat

By Christopher Combs | October 22, 2012

Question: Under the Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions governing our Mesa homeowners association, no solar heating can be installed without the approval of the architectural committee. The architectural committee has disapproved requests from individual homeowners who want to install solar heating. We want to install solar heating. A real-estate broker told us that under Arizona law, the CC&Rs cannot prohibit the installation of solar heating. How should we proceed? Answer: Under Arizona law, any language in the CC&Rs that “effectively prohibits the installation or use” of solar heating is generally unenforceable. The CC&Rs, however, can reasonably regulate the installation of solar heating —…


Buyer Needs Legal Access to Property

By Christopher Combs | October 6, 2012

Question: I recently purchased from a bank 5 acres of land in the White Mountains. When I went to the county to request a building permit to build a home, my request was denied because there was no access to my 5 acres of land. I have access to my land over at least two roads that are well-maintained by the county. What can I do to get a building permit to build a home? Answer: Although you may have physical access to your 5 acres of land over those two county-maintained roads, you apparently do not have legal access.…