Other Areas of Practice

Landlord/Tenant

The most common reasons for eviction are (1) unpaid rent and (2) holdover by the tenant (i.e. remaining in the property after the lease has expired).

Both landlords and tenants need to know that eviction notices must meet very specific requirements set by the Texas Property Code.  A lawyer with experience in landlord/tenant issues can tell you whether the notice is sufficient under the law. The situation and type of lease may affect whether the notice is sufficient. For example, if the eviction is based on unpaid rent, the landlord must formally demand unpaid rent before seeking eviction for this reason. Also, for tenants living in public housing, the landlord must serve a “notice of proposed eviction”and provide the tenant an opportunity to respond to that before filing an eviction suit.

Furthermore, a tenant who is serving in the military may be able to hold off eviction proceedings for up to 90 days. Likewise, a tenant who has filed bankruptcy is also entitled to a stay of eviction proceedings as part of the protection afforded to debtors in bankruptcy.

Breach of Lease

Sometimes tenants breach the lease agreement. How the tenant breaks the lease and the circumstances involved determine whether the tenant is liable. For example, a tenant who is a victim of domestic violence may be able to terminate a lease early and avoid the usual penalty for doing so. The tenant has to give the landlord some proof of the domestic abuse.  The tenant must also typically give 30 days’notice of his or her intention to terminate the lease, and this notice must fall within six months of the domestic violence incident. This protection also extends to parents of children who have been sexually abused, even if the parent himself or herself has not been a victim of the abuser.

This firm handles many types of landlord/tenant disputes in addition to the ones described more particularly above, such as:

  • Breach of Lease Agreement
  • Eviction
  • Intentional Property Damage by a Tenant
  • Interruption of Utilities
  • Landlord’s Failure to Repair
  • Lockout
  • Premises Liability
  • Reentry
  • Retaliation by the Landlord

Real Estate Preparation of Deeds and Easements

Did you know that there are many different types of deeds, each of which conveys different types of rights to property? Deeds can also place restrictions on how property is used. Here are a few examples of the various types of deeds:

  • Warranty deed. This type of deed is used in many residential real estate transactions. It conveys all of the grantor’s interests/rights in the property and warrants the title to the property.
  • Special warranty deed. This type of deed is used in a divorce when one spouse is transferring his or her interest to the other spouse.
  • Executors deed. This type of deed is used when property needs to be transferred from a deceased person’s estate to one or more heirs or devisees.
  • Mineral deed. This type of deed conveys only mineral interests, not surface interests, though the surface rights may be impacted by what type of rights are conveyed with respect to the minerals.
  • Quitclaim deed. This “deed”is not really a deed in the same sense as the other types of deeds. This document basically states that one party is acknowledging that he/she/it has no right or claim to the property.

The list of deeds above includes just a few examples of the most commonly used deeds.  It does not constitute an exhaustive list of the types of deeds nor does it cover the various restrictions that parties to a real estate deal can place on land use.

An experienced real estate lawyer can walk you through the options you have whether you are buying or selling land and can explain other real estate issues that may arise such as whether or not to grant an easement on your property or what to do if you have a boundary dispute with a neighbor.

Criminal Defense Misdemeanor and Felony

If you or someone you care about has been charged with a crime, you need to consult with an experienced criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible. A conviction can follow you for the rest of your life and affect your ability to get a job, get into college, obtain student loans, find housing, etc. This is true even if you are convicted of a misdemeanor. Having a criminal defense lawyer in your corner is essential.

The police and state and federal prosecutors must have evidence against you to secure a conviction. But sometimes, evidence is not properly obtained or collected. Eyewitness testimony, particularly with respect to violent crimes, is notoriously unreliable. A good defense lawyer knows how to identify and attack unreliable evidence that the prosecution is trying to use against you. Exclusion of bad evidence can make the difference between a conviction and an acquittal—or at least a favorable plea deal.

Whether you are innocent or whether you made a mistake, it’s extremely important to hire an experienced criminal defense attorney to protect your rights and to protect your future.

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