Adverse Possession in Washington

Adverse possession is a legal doctrine which allows a trespasser to obtain good title to real property through “use or enjoyment over a specified period of time.” Black’s Law Dictionary (9th ed. 2009). The doctrine was created as means to encourage property owners to make good use of their land and assert their property rights […]

What is a Mechanic’s or Materialmen’s Lien and How Can it Affect Me as a Property Owner?

What is a Mechanic’s or Materialmen’s Lien? In its most basic sense, a lien is a conditional interest in property which provides security for a lender by allowing the lender to collect amounts owing from the property if the borrower fails to satisfy their obligations under a contract. The most common example is the lien […]

What is a Purchase Option and What Can it Do for Me?

What is a purchase option? If you have ever purchased an item on layaway, you are familiar with the concept of a purchase option. Essentially, a purchase option is a contract whereby the Buyer (the “optionee”) reserves the right to acquire title to some defined property or asset from the Seller (the “optionor”) In other […]

What is Community Property?

What is Community Property? Many people are unfamiliar with the concept of community property. If you are a married individual living in one of the nine states that have adopted community property laws (including Washington and Idaho), community property can have a big impact on your property rights. Holding an asset as community property means […]

What are Covenants, Conditions, and Restrictions and How Can They Protect My Property?

What are covenants, conditions and restrictions? A common way to explain the complexity of property ownership is a “bundle of rights.” The title owner of property has the right to use, occupy, modify, destroy,mortgage, lease, sell, subdivide, and create restrictions regarding the use of real estate. Covenants conditions and restrictions (“CCRs”) are promises made by […]

A Landlord’s Guide to Tenancies

By AARON DUNHAM, Attorney at Law Landlords should know what type of tenancy their rental agreements create. The differences between the tenancies are important for several reasons.  First, each tenancy is terminated in a different manner. Second, the type of tenancy may affect how and when an eviction action may be commenced against a tenant. […]

Assignment and Subletting: A Landlord’s Perspective

Circumstances sometimes arise where a tenant needs to leave the rented premises during the lease term. When this happens, the landlord may want the tenant to remain liable for rent and other obligations under the lease. The tenant’s continuing obligations may differ depending on whether the tenant assigns or sublets to a third-party. A carefully […]

What the Deed?!? What is a Quitclaim, Bargain and Sale, and Warranty Deed?

If you are a first-time buyer or seller of residential or commercial real estate, you probably have questions regarding the deed that will be used in your transaction. What does the deed do, aside from transferring title to real estate? A savvy buyer or seller should understand the important promises that a deed may contain. […]

Tenancy in Common: A Brief Overview

When two individuals consider purchasing property together, or when an individual devises real property in his or her will, the question inevitably comes up as to what type of ownership interest should it be? There are different types of concurrent estates in real property, including: tenancy in common, joint tenancy, and tenancy by the entirety. […]

Nuisance: What is it and How Can I Stop it?

A couple purchases a home after extensive research and painstaking investigation. After living in the home for less than a month, the couple finds out that their neighbor is rebuilding an adjacent fence which borders their property. Much to couple’s dismay, the neighbor decides to build a fence that is 10 feet high, partially obstructing […]