What is Title Insurance?

In most real estate transactions, the purchaser desires property with “good and marketable title.” Marketable title is generally understood as title to property that allows a purchaser to be reasonably certain that he or she will not be subject to a dispute or lawsuit that would deprive the purchaser of his or her investment. See […]

Washington Homeowner’s Associations and Legal Marijuana

A recent article in the Spokesman Review, Homeowner Groups Cope with Legal Pot, highlights a budding issue for many Washington homeowner’s associations. Although I-502 decriminalizes certain cultivation, sale, possession, and use of marijuana in Washington state, can a homeowner’s association adopt rules to limit marijuana use in planned communities? Washington statute authorizes a homeowner’s association […]

A Landlord’s Guide to Screening Tenants

Many first-time landlords overlook the importance of evaluating prospective tenants to determine the likelihood the tenant will comply with the terms of the lease and maintain the rental property. Leasing to an unreliable tenant can have significant consequences for a landlord, including but not limited to: unpaid rent, legal fees and costs, and property damage. […]

What is a Real Estate Contract Forfeiture Action?

A real estate contract is an alternative method to buy sell real estate. The purchaser of the land promises in a written contract to pay a specified price for the land over time. The seller, sometimes referred to as the “vendor,” promises to convey title to the property to the purchaser when all payments under […]

Unlawful Detainer (Eviction) in Washington

An unlawful detainer action is a court proceeding designed to give landlords an efficient, cost-effective means to evict a tenant for breach of a lease agreement or other unlawful activities at the leased property (i.e. gang related activity, illegal activity, or waste). Residential evictions are generally governed by Chapter 59.12 RCW and the Residential Landlord […]

Real Estate Contracts: Pros & Cons

A real estate contract is an alternative mechanism for buying and selling real estate that does not involve a promissory note and mortgage or deed of trust. Instead, a contract is used to create the buyer’s obligation to pay the seller and the seller’s obligation to convey the land to the buyer. Both buyers and […]

What is an Easement?

By CHELSEY THORNE, Legal Intern  An easement is a right to use someone else’s land, for a specified purpose, without owning the property.  Kiely v. Graves, 173 Wn.2d 926, 936, 271 P.3d 226, 232 (2012)  Easements fall into two categories: in gross and appurtenant.  M.K.K.I., Inc. v. Krueger, 135 Wn. App. 647, 655, 145 P.3d […]

Boundary Line Dispute Agreements

By LUKE O’BANNAN, Legal Intern Washington State law allows for straightforward resolution of boundary disputes between neighbors. See RCW 58.04.007. Disputes over boundary lines may arise when public records are ambiguous or a neighbor is claiming ownership by adverse possession. Although the law allows for these disputes to be decided in court, RCW 58.04.007 can […]

I Transferred an Interest in an Entity that Owns Real Estate in Washington. Is Excise Tax Due on the Transaction?

The Washington Department of Revenue imposes excise tax on each sale of real estate. See RCW 82.45.060. The term “sale” includes the transfer of a controlling interest in any entity with an interest in real property located in Washington for valuable consideration. See RCW 83.45.010(2). The transfer or acquisition of the controlling interest must occur […]

Non-Judicial Foreclosure of a Deed of Trust

A deed of trust is a security instrument whereby legal title to real estate is transferred to a trustee, who holds title as security for a loan (debt) between a borrower and lender. The borrower is referred to as the grantor and the lender is referred to as the beneficiary. In the event a borrower […]