Very often, people who are not legally married own land together. Of course, this scenario leads to issues when the relationship turns sour or ends. Commonly co-owners do not agree on when to sell a property, or one owner may contend that the other has breached the contract.
Jennifer Gardner has handled numerous cases of this type. When parties can not agree on whether to sell their real property, she has litigated partition disputes to force the sale and have the proceeds divided. These lawsuits are usually maintained by former romantic partners, siblings, and friends, and usually also involve allegations of breach of contract and fraud. Jennifer Gardner handles partnership disputes of every kind – whether between former domestic partners, or business partners, members of Limited Liability Companies, or shareholders vying for corporate control.
Information Concerning Typical Real Disputes Handled By Los Angeles Real Estate Attorney Jennifer Gardner
Disputes Between Adjoining Landowners
In Los Angeles it is not unusual for adjoining landowners to disagree over the location of a boundary line, or the obligation to maintain trees and landscaping or boundary line fencing. This is especially true in neighborhoods, such as the Hollywood Hills, where there are many non-conforming, curve-linear lots.
The California Civil Code codifies the obligations of adjoining landowners. (California Civil Code Section 840, et seq.) Excessive shrubbery or fences or structures that exceed 10 feet in height may be considered a private nuisance. (California Civil Code Section 841.4) “Adjoining landowners are presumed to share an equal benefit from any fence dividing their properties and, unless otherwise agreed to by the parties in a written agreement, shall be presumed to be equally responsible for the reasonable costs of construction, maintenance, or necessary replacement of the fence.” Civ. Code § 841(b)(1). However, if a fence is entirely on the property of one adjoining land owner is not a division fence, there is no mutual responsibility for its upkeep.
Land Use/Zoning Disputes
Los Angeles County and the numerous cities that comprise it (i.e., The City of Culver City, The City of Beverly Hills, The City of West Hollywood, Pasadena, and the like) have municipal codes which govern how land owners can use land owned within their borders. The three main types of districts (“zones”) that are established in a municipality are residential, commercial and industrial zones. Cities have elaborate restrictions and rules establishing what types of buildings can be built or permitted, the size/height/location of the structures, the number of rooms within the building(s), and more.
Landlord and Tenant Disputes – Commercial and Residential
Landlord-tenant disputes can include who is responsible for property repairs, issues of rent, tenant rights, rules on entry and upkeep, and more. If a lease is not thoroughly understood or is unclear when signed, misunderstandings frequently lead to disputes. A commercial landlord’s failure to provide services required by a lease can lead to business disputes with a tenant claiming lost profits from interference with business in addition to breach of the lease. In rent controlled cities, such as The City of West Hollywood, an extra layer of statutory provisions govern the rights and remedies of landlords and tenants – often but not always to the tenant’s advantage.