Contract on Wrong Home Can Be Canceled

By Christopher Combs | September 13, 2013

  Question: In a large Chandler subdivision, we were shown several houses that had all been re-possessed by a major bank after foreclosure. We decided to make an offer on one of the houses, and we signed the contract prepared by our real-estate agent. A few days after escrow was opened, however, we attempted to meet with the home inspector at the house and we realized that we had bought the wrong house. The mistake occurred because our real-estate agent had used information from the bank about another house in preparing the contract that we signed. The bank refuses to cancel the…


Supreme Court Says That Builder Must Be Able To Perform

By Christopher Combs | June 25, 2013

   On June 14, 2013, the Supreme Court of Arizona ruled in Thomas v. Montelucia Villas, CV-12-0156-PR that, payments by the buyer to the builder can be forfeited for breaching the contract only if the builder can show the ability to perform under the contract at the time of the closing date.  In other words, if the builder could not get a certificate of occupancy by the closing date, the buyer would be entitled to the return of payments made to the builder even though the buyer breached the contract.  See Facts below. Facts    The buyer and the builder…


Listing Agreements Only Void If Both Parties Agree

By Christopher Combs | June 15, 2013

   Question: We signed a six-month listing to sell our home in Globe. After four months, the real estate broker has only shown our home to one potential buyer. We are panicking because we need to sell our Globe home to finalize the purchase of our new home in Mesa, which is closer to our children.    We want to list our Globe home now with another real estate broker. When we contacted our real estate broker, however, he said that the listing was not cancelable. Is there anything that we can do?    Answer: A listing agreement is a bilateral contract…


Tenants Protected During Foreclosure

By Christopher Combs | December 22, 2012

Question: We have four months remaining on our one-year lease of our Chandler home. When we came home yesterday, we noticed a piece of paper posted on our garage door saying that there is a foreclosure auction scheduled in less than three months. When we contacted our landlord, he said he was trying to refinance the home so that the foreclosure auction will be cancelled. If there is no refinancing, will we have to move before the end of our lease? If the house is in foreclosure, do we have to continue to pay rent to our landlord? Answer: If…


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…


Do I make lease payments during a “shelter-in-place” order?

By Cameron Combs | March 25, 2020

Question: Our real estate brokerage firm in Phoenix leases a small office building. Our lease is up at the end of July of this year, and I have been negotiating with the landlord for a one-year extension. Because of the coronavirus pandemic, however, I am questioning whether I should sign a one-year extension. In fact, having many of my employees work from their homes the past two weeks has been so successful that I may significantly downsize the office. Last week when I spoke to the landlord he said that, if Governor Ducey issues an executive order mandating Arizonans to…


Liability for Law-Breaking Tenants

By Combs Law Group | December 9, 2015

Liability for Law-Breaking Tenants   A landlord could be liable for knowing or having reason to know that tenants are conducting criminal activity on its rental property. If a landlord suspects criminal activity is taking place on its rental property by the tenants, and the landlord fails to take reasonable action to stop the criminal activity or at least address the issue, the landlord should pursue an immediate termination of the lease under Arizona law, or take other appropriate action in order to avoid liability.   Common types of illegal activity by tenants include illegal gambling, criminal gang activity, and…