When looking to make money from real estate investment, there are a number of avenues one may take. The two large categories are, essentially, purchasing property under one’s own name, or purchasing it under the name of a separate entity—whether a limited liability company (LLC) or a real estate trust.
Where it comes to sales and purchases, there are “as is” clauses, and there are “as is” clauses. Which is to say, the reach of an “as is” clause will depend on the legal context in which it is used. As one might expect, real estate law is an area in which the “as is” clause runs into some elements that narrow its scope.
The process for resolving disputes between Arizona homeowners and their homeowners associations (HOAs) has had a dedicated venue in Arizona law since 2011. Rather than needing to pursue conflicts via the civil court system, the parties to such a dispute instead pass through an administrative procedure.
Arizona’s Residential Landlord and Tenant Act is the primary source of regulations surrounding the relationship between parties to a rental agreement—as modified or specified by any contracts between the parties. Some landlords go into the relationship with an incomplete concept of the ways that their ownership property rights are altered by the new rights that inhere to a renter. A landlord is, generally, permitted the right to access the property they are renting. But there are some restrictions that are fully enforceable by a tenant as against a landlord, and the landlord would do best to be aware of these.
Why are real estate contracts so long? The initial REALTOR® Residential Resale Real Estate Purchase Contact was about one page – today, it is ten pages, not including the various addenda and disclosure forms. Excellent contract drafting aims to memorialize the parties’ agreement, including their rights and responsibilities, and tries to anticipate future events to minimize uncertainty and avoid conflict.
In early 2020, Arizona lawmakers introduced some proposed bills to the state’s House of Representatives that were aimed at increasing the number of regulations that would apply to short-term rental homes. The ostensible targets of the proposal were the sorts of properties available to lease briefly via vacation rental sites like VRBO and the more popular Airbnb.
The relationships between landlords and their tenants span the gamut from close (even familial or living in the same space) to the dreaded (and illegal) slumlord-tenant scenario. Naturally, someone considering becoming an investor in real property with the intent to engage in this active form of investment will want to become familiar with the laws in Arizona that pertain to landlord-tenant relations.
Like any other contract, an agreement for a sale and purchase of real estate is an enforceable document, and a breach of its terms entitles the party who was harmed to damages that must be supplied by the party who breached the contract. That said, the complex nature of real estate contracts has resulted in an amount of law arising around these agreements. These include, for example, the stipulation in Arizona’s statute of frauds that a real estate agreement is only enforceable if the party claiming breach can produce a written and signed document (an oral contract for the sale of the property is not enough). And most real estate purchase agreements contain contingencies—which are elements that, should they occur, permit the parties to exit the contract without it being considered breach. (For example, if the contract is made contingent upon the potential buyer having sold their previous home by a certain date, and that date comes without the sale of that previous home, then the contract may be canceled—the seller of the home in question may go on to entertain other purchase offers and the potential buyer may move on to search for other properties.) And then there is the fact that a given parcel of real estate is such a unique form of property that, in the case that a breach (not supplied for in the contract’s contingencies) should occur, a court may determine that specific performance is called for.
As any property lawyer can tell you, property law is a complex area of law, whose rights and duties are often defined by interweaving and conflicting interests. A potential interest in a piece of property can be affected in the present by defects in the property’s title that are the result of a misstep made sometime in the distant past;and interest can be equally affected in the present by a conflict occurring in the present whose outcome still remains to be determined at some future date. An example of the latter is the legal concept of “lis pendens.”
Failure to pay property taxes in the state of Arizona results in tax liens. Sometimes other lienholders are the ones to foreclose on the property. Among the liens applied to a property, tax liens are considered most “senior.” This means that when a property gets foreclosed upon either under the tax lien or by a more “junior” lienholder, though other liens that are “junior” to the tax liens are wiped out, the tax liens remain.