Blog

Churches and For-Profit Tenants

It often becomes necessary for a church to seek out tenants in order to meet the financial needs of the congregation. Some are happy to open their doors to other churches, while other desire schools or other groups to make better use of their facilities. Regardless of the approach, the type of tenant sought after can make a world of difference regarding your property taxes, especially if the tenant is a for-profit organization. The following is a brief overview and the proper professional should be consulted as the laws in […]

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Residential and Commercial Eviction Limitations and Moratoriums During the COVID-19

The following information was provided by the California Business, Consumer Services, and Housing Agency. This guidance is directed to landlords regarding eviction of tenants during the COVID-19 pandemic and to local jurisdictions considering instituting restrictions or moratoriums on residential or commercial evictions as a means of offering relief to individuals or business affected by the pandemic. Background: COVID-19 is a respiratory illness caused by a novel virus that has been spreading worldwide. Community-acquired cases have now been confirmed in California. We are gaining more understanding of COVID-19’s epidemiology, clinical course, […]

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Commercial Property Disclosures

First and foremost, to know which disclosures apply, we must define the difference between residential and commercial real property in California. Although most municipalities define the different types of properties in their zoning code, the general definitions used are essentially the same.  Residential properties are generally those with one to four dwelling units, such as a single-family house or duplex. Although there are some nuances for mobile homes, and vacant land, for purposes of this article, commercial property is everything that is not residential property, including residential property consisting of […]

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Overhanging Trees

Trees located on or near property boundaries may not cause a problem when they are small. However, as they grow, tree branches, trunks, and roots can encroach upon or across your property. Although the common theory is that you can trim your neighbor’s tree branches back to the property line, that right is not absolute. For purposes of this article, it is helpful to have a basic understanding of tree ownership. The California Civil Code states that “trees whose trunks stand wholly upon the land of one owner belong exclusively […]

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What is a Power of Attorney

Although many have heard the term, it is important to understand what a power of attorney is. A power of attorney is important and comes in many different forms as part of estate planning. Understanding the limitations of each and how power of attorney best fits your needs now and in the future is vital. Defined: The California Probate Code Section sets forth the different types and limitations of a power of attorney. At its core, a Power of Attorney allows you to appoint an “attorney-in-fact” or agent, to act […]

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Principal and Agent

More often than not, a member of your congregation will volunteer to act on behalf of the church to complete a task. In doing so, a fine line is drawn with regard to that person’s responsibilities and liabilities. In the contractual sense, that volunteer may have curtain expressed or implied authority to act on behalf of the church (the principal), as its agent. In General: According to the California Civil Code, “An agent is one who represents another, called the principal, in dealings with third persons. Such representation is called […]

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Church Security

Over the past few years, there has been an alarming number of shootings conducted by those who wish to cause harm to others for one reason or another. In our current environment, churches must balance the open-door concept with that of a watchful eye on who is entering their facilities. Second only to spreading your beliefs to those who wish to learn, your church should take steps towards protecting those in attendance via security measures. Every member and volunteer has a role to play in the security of your church. […]

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Community Property

After attending church Council meetings or services, I am often approached and asked questions by individual members. Other than general real estate concerns, the majority of the questions are in the area of estate planning, (Wills and Trust) and how they relate to community property. Although some get the concept of what community property is, when it gets down to it, they really don’t understand how it works and its effects on their estate. What follows is a brief overview of community property, which is the rule of the land […]

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Abandoned Personal Property

On occasion, a church tenant will vacate the property, (Real Property), either at the end of the rental term or otherwise and leave some of their personal property behind. In most instances, those items are simply forgotten and later collected after being noticed. However, a tenant will often leave behind their personal property simply because they no longer want it. The question then becomes, what to do with the personal property of a commercial type tenant. Personal Property: The California Civil Code simply defines personal property as “every kind of […]

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Evicting Church Tenants

Unfortunately, it sometimes becomes necessary to evict a church tenant. This may result from failing to pay rent, or otherwise not abiding by the terms and conditions of the agreement. Regardless of the reason, the steps for a contested or necessary eviction are the same and must be followed precisely. An eviction or Unlawful Detainer of a church tenant follows the statutes set forth for a commercial tenancy which varies greatly from that of a residential tenancy. Please note that in California, it is the Sheriff’s department that does the […]

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