Home Owners’ Association in Texas

Categories: Real Estate

Homeowners living in a sub development or condominium complex are likely to be members of a home owners association (“HOA”). HOA’s generally have the authority to set certain rules pertaining to the sub development as well as provide services to homeowners. In order to operate HOA’s are generally also authorized to collect money through assessments….

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Retaliatory Eviction in Texas

Categories: Real Estate

Unfortunately, tenants and landlords do not always get along. Disputes often arise over rent, repairs, and the general conditions of the leased property. Occasionally, tenants may be unlikely to report legitimate violations of housing and health codes or request necessary repairs from their landlords for fear that their landlord may retaliate against them and put…

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Restraints on Alienation in Texas

Categories: Real Estate

It is a longstanding and well recognized concept that the owner of property is free to dispose of or transfer that property as they see fit. Occasionally, however, the transferor of property may attempt to place restrictions on a buyer’s future ability to sell or transfer that property. This article will briefly examine such restrictions on alienability and the validity of these restrictions in property transactions in Texas. If you are involved in a transfer of property involving a restraint on alienation in the Austin, Round Rock, or Pflugerville area, contact the real estate and probate attorneys at the Law Office of Farren Smith for an initial consultation.

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Rights and Duties of Co-owners in Texas Real Estate

Categories: Real Estate

Property is often owned by more than one individual. Texas recognizes a variety of forms of co-ownership. Co-owners of property possess certain rights and owe their fellow owners certain duties that would not exist if there was a sole owner of the property. This article will briefly explore these rights and duties. If you are having a legal issue related to the co-ownership of property in the Austin, Round Rock, or Pflugerville area contact the real estate attorneys at the Law Office of Farren Smith.

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Class Gifts of Land in Texas

Categories: Future Interests in Property

Texas probate law considers a “class” as a group of persons having a common characteristic. A person may leave personal or real property to a class of persons as a group. For example, an elderly man may designate in his will to leave 200 acres of land he owns in Travis County to his children living at the time of his death. In this article we will discuss class gifts of land in Texas. If you are involved in a class gift situation, you may wish to discuss your case with Austin probate and real estate attorney Farren Smith to help determine how the class gifts are treated under Texas law.

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Texas Mechanic’s and Materialmen’s Liens on Real Estate

Categories: Mortgages and Liens

Just as a home mortgage lender keeps an interest in a home in order to secure payment on the mortgage, the law provides a method for contractors and subcontractors to keep an interest, or a mechanic’s lien, in the property they build or improve in order to secure payment for their services and materials. If the owner of the property fails to pay the debt, the contractor or subcontractor may then enforce this lien by obtaining a court judgment ordering foreclosure and sale of the property to pay the debt. By following the procedures to perfect this lien, or to give notice to other creditors of the lien, a contractor or subcontractor may also have preference under the law in the event of foreclosure on the property by other creditors, or in bankruptcy.

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Quitclaim Deeds in Texas

Categories: Deeds and Conveyances

Buyer Beware of the Quitclaim Deed! Deeds are written documents that convey real property from one owner to another. However, there are a variety of types of deeds that can be used to convey real estate in Texas. In this article we will discuss the particular type of deed known as a Quitclaim Deed and explain how it differs from a warranty deed. When you are selling or buying real estate in Austin, Round Rock, Cedar Park or Pflugerville, you should consult an Austin real estate lawyer to help guide you as to which type of deed works best, prepare the proper documents you need, and make sure that the transaction is handled efficiently.

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Adverse Possession in Texas

Categories: Adverse Possession

Although traditionally a rather uncommon cause of action, adverse possession, sometimes referred to as “squatter’s rights,” has become an increasingly discussed topic in Austin and other cities in Texas. Adverse possession refers to the process by which a claimant gains legal title to the land of another by possessing it for a period of time. This article will provide a brief overview of the elements of adverse possession in Texas. If you believe you have a claim of adverse possession or are facing a claim of adverse possession, contact Austin real estate attorney Farren Smith for an evaluation of your case.

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A Landlord’s Duty to Repair a Residential Rental in Texas

Categories: Real Estate

The tenant’s responsibility for damages he or she has caused to an apartment or other rental is usually clearly delineated in the lease agreement, with damages paid out of a security deposit. What is often less clear in lease agreements is what the landlord is responsible for repairing, what conditions must be satisfied before the landlord has the obligation to repair, and when repairs must be completed. Establishing whether a landlord has a duty to repair under certain circumstances is important not only for a tenant’s convenience or a landlord’s profitability–it can also determine liability for any injury caused by a faulty condition on the property. Whether you are unable to get your landlord to repair defects in your rental or you’ve been injured by such a defect, or you’re the landlord facing a claim from a current or former tenant, you should speak to an Austin real estate attorney as soon as possible to consider your options.

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Requirements for a valid deed in Texas

Categories: Real Estate

Drafting a valid deed or conveyance of land in Texas, in its most basic form, is subject to a number of statutory and common-law requirements, many of which date back hundreds of years to their basis in England during the Dark Ages. These broadly relate to (1) the language or form of the instrument transferring the land, (2) the proper designation of the parties to the transaction, (3) the legal description of the land itself, (4) the execution of the document or deed conveying the land, and (5) delivery of the deed to the person receiving the land, and that person’s acceptance of the delivery. These are only the basics of a rudimentary deed in Texas, and do not address more complex arrangements or potential liabilities, but should provide some insight into the law governing transfers of land. Austin real estate attorney Farren Smith has experience with a variety of land transfers and offers a case evaluation for deeds and other real estate matters.

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