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Law for Homeowners

Law for Homeowners

Owning a home can be a challenge. There are both personal and financial benefits to owning a home, regardless of the type of home you purchase. These benefits include tax deductions, appreciation value, and the ability to enjoy your home in just about any manner you choose. However, all of these activities have a legal component to them as well. This section contains articles and resources covering a variety of legal issues related to owning a home, such as homeowners insurance, property taxes and deduction, homeowner safety, and home improvement.

Homeowners typically learn how to do minor repairs, maintenance, and improvements on their own. Painting a bedroom, for example, is not difficult to learn but may take a while to master. However, rewiring your house or installing a new gas line usually requires specialized training and tools. In other words, you may need to hire contractors for certain jobs. As the word “contractor” implies, the legal relationship hinges on the terms of the contract.

Some states require the existence of a valid home improvement contract. But even if your state is not one of them, a contract will help you protect your interests. At the most basic level, the contract outlines the details of the work to be done, when it will be started and completed (approximately), and what it will cost.

When you have work done on your home, make sure to keep all receipts and contracts on file in case you need to return any materials or take legal action against a contractor. Also, it’s important to thoroughly inspect the work after it is completed before signing off.

Unlike renters, property owners are responsible for paying property taxes to their county government. This tax is based primarily on the value of the land, rather than the actual house or structure, and is used for local services such as schools, parks, libraries, and fire departments.

Homeowners are generally liable for injuries that occur to visitors, even trespassers. This is called premises liability. For instance, a visitor who slips on an icy walkway and breaks her hip may be able to sue for damages (alleging negligence of the homeowner). A “reasonable” homeowner in this situation would either remove the ice or place a warning sign at the beginning of the walkway.

One way to protect yourself from property lawsuits is to purchase a homeowner’s insurance policy, which gives the insurer the right to settle or defend lawsuits involving the insured property. Not all claims involving the property are covered, though, such as intentional acts by the homeowner.

Homeowner’s insurance also covers the physical home itself, including its contents. The extent of what is covered is determined by the terms of the contract, as regulated by state insurance laws.

A home owners’ association, or HOA, is a governing body that creates and enforces certain rules related to a “common interest” development such as a condominium complex. HOAs are intended to maintain the integrity and value of the individual units by ensuring the maintenance of common areas and a certain uniformity among each individual unit. For instance, an HOA may require homes to be a certain color scheme. Monthly HOA dues help pay for their operations, but also go toward shared landscapers and other services.

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When you need legal help, and you own a home, please call Ascent Law for your free consultation (801) 676-5506. We want to help you.

Michael R. Anderson, JD

Ascent Law LLC
8833 S. Redwood Road, Suite C
West Jordan, Utah
84088 United States

Telephone: (801) 676-5506

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About the Author

People who want a lot of Bull go to a Butcher. People who want results navigating a complex legal field go to a Lawyer that they can trust. That’s where I come in. I am Michael Anderson, an Attorney in the Salt Lake area focusing on the needs of the Average Joe wanting a better life for him and his family. I’m the Lawyer you can trust. I grew up in Utah and love it here. I am a Father to three, a Husband to one, and an Entrepreneur. I understand the feelings of joy each of those roles bring, and I understand the feeling of disappointment, fear, and regret when things go wrong. I attended the University of Utah where I received a B.A. degree in 2010 and a J.D. in 2014. I have focused my practice in Wills, Trusts, Real Estate, and Business Law. I love the thrill of helping clients secure their future, leaving a real legacy to their children. Unfortunately when problems arise with families. I also practice Family Law, with a focus on keeping relationships between the soon to be Ex’s civil for the benefit of their children and allowing both to walk away quickly with their heads held high. Before you worry too much about losing everything that you have worked for, before you permit yourself to be bullied by your soon to be ex, before you shed one more tear in silence, call me. I’m the Lawyer you can trust.