How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask LawTalk Your Own Question
LawTalk, Attorney
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Satisfied Customers: 34884
Experience:  I have handled Real Estate and Landlord Tenant matters for more than two decades.
Type Your Landlord-Tenant Question Here...
LawTalk is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

In California. Was renting a commercial building when landlord

Customer Question

In California. Was renting a commercial building when landlord passed away. Was paying property taxes as part of the lease agreement. Blding was reassessed after the passing and the property taxes increased from $3000 a year to $19,000 a year. Am I responsible for the increase? Does it depend on whether I have a lease or not that was in place when the landlord passed?
Submitted: 6 months ago.
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Expert:  LawTalk replied 6 months ago.
Good afternoon,I'm Doug, and I'm very sorry to hear of your situation. My goal is to provide you with excellent service today. If there is a binding lease agreement that obligates you to pay a share of the property taxes, then if the taxes increase, you are still obligated under the contract to pay that share. However, if a lease was not in effect as of the date of death of the owner, and you are merely a month to month tenant, you may terminate the rental agreement and avoid future tax payments. The tax increase was not retroactive, but rather applied only to the time following the death of the original landlord. You may reply back to me using the Reply link and I will be happy to continue to assist you until I am able to address your concerns, to your satisfaction.I hope that I have been able to fully answer your question. As I am not an employee of JustAnswer, please be so kind as to rate my service to you. That is the only way I am compensated for assisting you. Thank you in advance.I wish you and yours the best in 2016,Doug
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
There was no lease at the time of her death (our lease had expired 5 days before she passed), but we continued to pay rent to the trust of the landlord and then to the person who inherited the building until we bought the building from this person (we bought one year after the landlord passed). Like I said in my original question, the taxes after the death went up over $15,000 a year. The question is "Are we responsible to pay this huge increase if we have no lease?".
Expert:  LawTalk replied 6 months ago.
Good afternoon, Without a valid lease agreement, you were deemed a holdover tenant and while thereafter your rental term obligation was changed to a month to month tenancy, the same terms of the original lease agreement, with the exception of the term of the lease, still applied. And unfortunately while you could have terminate your month to month tenancy on 30 days’ notice and eliminated any future obligation for the increase in taxes, the fact that you remained in possession for a year after the death of the landlord meant that you also obligated yourself for the increase in taxes----either because you rented the entire building, or as part of the CAM (which often includes a pro-rate share of property taxes) when you rent less than the whole of the building. I understand that you may be disappointed by the Answer you received, as it was not particularly favorable to your situation. Had I been able to provide an Answer which might have given you a successful legal outcome, it would have been my pleasure to do so.If you have additional questions, you may of course reply back to me and I will be happy to continue to assist you further until your questions have been answered to your satisfaction.Would you please take a moment to positively rate my service to you based on the understanding of the law I provided by clicking on the rating stars---three stars or more. It is that easy. That is the way I am compensated for having helped you.Thank you in advance. I wish you the best in your future,Doug
Expert:  LawTalk replied 6 months ago.
Good afternoon,Do you have any additional questions that you would like me to address for you?In case you would like a phone call to further discuss these issues you have raised, I will make that offer to you. You are certainly not obligated to accept a call offer, but many people do find it helpful for clarification purposes, as well as to allow them to ask additional questions.As I have provided you with the information you asked for, would you please now rate my service to you so I can be compensated for assisting you?Thanks in advance,Doug

Related Landlord-Tenant Questions