There are three principal types of tenancies related to the ownership of real estate. Perhaps the most popular, and most familiar, is the joint tenancy. If two persons own a property as joint tenants, upon one person’s death, the other person automatically owns all of the interest in the property. There is no limit on the number of persons that can hold property as joint tenants. If a husband and wife own a property together and add their child to the deed, each will own a one-third interest in the property.
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Contractors must take notice of the new requirements regarding Home Improvement Contracts taking effect on July 1, 2009, which will most likely require significant changes, if not wholesale re-drafting of most Contractors’ written form of Contract. Because the Act not only declares existing common practices “Prohibited Acts” and others criminal “Home Improvement Fraud,” a Contractor’s existing form Contract may guide an unwary or uninformed Contractor into a transaction voidable by the Owner at will, or a transaction that can form the basis of civil Consumer Protection liability, and even a third degree felony.
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As a Contractor, you may be aware that beginning on July 1, 2009, the Pennsylvania Home Improvement and Consumer Protection Act will become effective. The Act gives the Bureau of Consumer Protection of the Office of the Attorney General broad regulatory powers over Home Improvement Contractors and ties a new class of acts titled “Home Improvement Fraud” and “Prohibited Acts” into the Pennsylvania Unfair Trade Practices and Consumer Protection Law.
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If you’re in the Contracting business, you know well that performing professional work and keeping your customer happy is only half of what is required to maintain a financially healthy business. The other half of the Contracting business is the challenge of getting paid for good work already performed, after you have paid suppliers and met payroll, and when your attention has turned to new jobs needed to keep you in business.
Continue Reading The Contractor’s Hammer: The Pennsylvania Contractor/Subcontractor Payment Act

In Pennsylvania, there are generally three (3) forms of real estate taxation: (1) County; (2) Municipality (i.e., Township, Borough or City); and (3) School District. Each of these taxing authorities sets their own taxing rate, referred to a millage. A mill is equal to $1.00 for every $1,000.00 of assessed property values. The total real estate tax that someone pays is equal to the total millage of all the taxing authorities times the assessed value of the real estate.
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The current policies used in determining the standard for proving a regulatory taking of land are particularly strict. More often than not, the property owner is responsible for proving that exceptional circumstances exist which substantially deprives them of the use of their property. Additionally, the property owner is responsible for proving that the loss they

The US Department of Justice forced new industry policies recently which will allow Internet-based real estate agents to access home listings on more than 800 Multiple Listing Services (MLS). The settlement, which is awaiting court approval, could save homebuyers thousands of dollars on commission fees if online real estate agents are granted access to online

Section 10503(1) of the Pennsylvania Municipal Planning Code (“MPC”) requires that all fees charged by a municipality for review of a land development plan must be reasonable and necessary. Section 10503(1) states that review fees shall be based upon a schedule established by ordinance or resolution and that they must be set in accordance with