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Houston Legal Blog

What is the difference between Lease Listing Agent & Leasing Agent?

Just as there are two side in a real estate sales transaction, there are generally two sides represented in a leasing transaction.

Lease listing agent - a Texas Real Estate Commission (TREC) license holder who is hired to work in the best interests of a landlord and represents the landlord in the transaction

Leasing agent - a TREC license holder who earns a fee by finding a qualified applicant for a particular property and obtains a signed lease. Leasing agents represent the best interests of the prospective tenants in the transaction. By determining the wants and needs of the prospective tenants, leasing agents are charged with

* showing appropriate properties to prospects,

* interacting with the listing agent,

* presenting the application(s) to the listing agent along with all the required paperwork, and

* determining financial requirements.

Lease listing and leasing agents might use the following questions in leasing:

* Which qualifying criteria should be considered?

* Does the applicant have satisfactory leasing or mortgage history?

* Does the applicant have a satisfactory work history?

* Does the applicant have adequate income to fulfill the terms and conditions of

the lease?

While some real estate attorneys may believe that there are vast differences between the commercial and residential leasing practices, the basics of both specialties are the same. In all legal cases relating to this topic, real estate agents are required to follow the TREC Canons of Professional Ethics, which include Fidelity, Integrity, Competency, Consumer Information, Discriminatory Practices and Information About Brokerage Services. 

Trouble with your homeowner’s association? Know your rights

Living in a home that requires joining a homeowner's association can be a blessing or a curse, depending mostly on the individuals involved. Many people who participate in homeowner's associations, or HOAs, see the benefits but recognize that these organizations often give people an opportunity to create conflict over relatively small disagreements. Unfortunately, some homeowners find themselves on the wrong end of a dispute and face legal action, often over something trivial.

If your HOA threatens you with a lawsuit or claims that you violated the guidelines, it can seem like an easy thing to ignore. This is not a wise course of action, in most cases. If you do not resolve the conflict properly, it may make living in your own home difficult and uncomfortable, along with potential consequences like heavy fines.

Deconstructing wrap-around loans: How do they work?

The word sounds pretty simple: "wrap-around." But that doesn't mean everyone understands what they're getting into when they say "yes" to a wrap-around mortgage. These loans are not uncommon and they can work well for a seller-financed loan when the seller still owes money on the mortgage.

To understand a wrap-around mortgage, first we need to understand seller financing:

Can I reclaim my home after foreclosure?

Homeownership has long been viewed as a pillar of American independence and a benchmark of upward mobility, but the realities of owning a home are often far more complicated than homeowners realize when they finalize their purchase.

Life is full of hidden twists and turns, and a streak of bad luck or a large-scale downturn in the local or national economy may mean that a homeowner simply cannot make their mortgage payments. If the homeowner cannot get back on track with their payments quickly, then the bank will probably foreclose on the home.

Resolving boundary disputes with neighbors

When you purchase a piece of real estate, the condition of the property and the opportunities or restrictions innate to the space are not the only issues you must address. You may also find that your property comes with complications you did not anticipate with your neighbors, especially where it concerns the legal boundaries of the property.

This is common in both residential and commercial settings, and deserves direct, effective attention. Failing to properly resolve a boundary dispute with a neighbor may create an ongoing source of contention that can significantly impact your time in the property and the ways you use the property.

Protecting your home purchase from legal complications

Buying a home is a complicated process with many opportunities for unforeseen complications. Whether a buyer is considering his or her first home or is relatively familiar with home buying, each potential sale requires detailed attention to ensure that purchase is fair and complete, and that the buyer understands the benefits and potential hazards within the property itself.

Without proper understanding of the many potential problem areas in home buying, it is still possible to purchase a home successfully, but only as long as nothing goes wrong during the process and no other party attempts to take advantage of the buyer. A buyer may even have friends or family who experience little or no problem while buying a home, and think that this is the norm. Unfortunately, problem-free real estate purchases are not the norm, and the consequences of failing to identify and address these issues ahead of time or as they arise may prove disastrous.

What is seller financing and how does it work?

There are many people who want to become homeowners but aren't able to qualify for a mortgage. These individuals will sometimes turn to the seller of a home to see if the seller will provide financing. This is a big decision for sellers because of the financial risks involved.

If you are considering owner financing, make sure that you understand what this means. Because these situations must be handled in precisely the right way, using a lawyer familiar with this component of real estate law is a good idea.

Lawsuits filed over Addicks and Barker dam water releases

A group of Harris County homeowners and businesses sued the federal government on Tuesday due to the flood. The claim is that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers knowingly condemned their properties by releasing water from the Barker and Addicks reservoirs after Hurricane Harvey.

A lien is the first step toward a condominium foreclosure

If you've decided to live in a condominium, one of the things you may know is that the homeowners' association has the right to make rules and regulations for the condos in their development. Homeowners' associations manage entire communities in some cases, taking care of building maintenance, repairs in common areas and even lawn care.

While individual condo owners pay a fee for these services, one thing some people don't count on is the risk of being kicked out for doing something against the homeowners' association's wishes. Depending on the kind of transgression, the homeowners' association may be able to penalize you with fines, eviction or foreclosure, depending on the severity of the situation and your willingness, or lack thereof, to conform to their wishes.

Pitfalls in equity financing and loan transactions for real estate investment.

Loan Transactions / Financing
. During the purchase and sale process, clients utilize attorney services to assisting them in reviewing the financial documents associated with the real estate purchase. Also, at the time of closing, an attorney's review of the closing documents sometimes shows that the closing documents are not always accurately prepared in association with the details of the loan.
 Even after the closing, certain issues regarding national bank loans come to controversy. Attorneys represent homeowners in defending against mortgage lender claims, some which include issues of non-payment or loan modifications. Even during the loan modification process, we find that the lender's right hand often does not speak with its left hand. Often times this means that while a loan modification is supposedly underway, the lenders are still instituting their foreclosure action. Attorneys also assist in short sales if needed to protect the client. We assist clients in arraigning seller-finance deals, putting together the deed, note and deed of trust. Part of this process sometimes begins where the parties originally want to arrange a contract for deed, but after the Texas Property Code requirements are explained, a seller-finance situation is preferred.

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