Get Real about Real Estate: Proposition 13 reassessment


Dear Michael: when property is passed on death of a parent (via a trust) to their child, is there a property tax re-assessment?

Answer: Under prop 13 the maximum annual increase for re-assessment when a property is sold cannot exceed 1% per year. Annual property tax re-assessment is limited to no more than 2% per year. Upon death, the beneficiary of a trust is exempt from re-assessment if the relationship is as follows: spouse to spouse, parent to child or grandparent to grandchild. Given the tremendous appreciation of real estate in recent years the reassessment exclusion can benefit the child who inherits a home in which a parent has lived for many years. The child would also inherit the low tax assessment and same annual tax bill. The home could have a much higher market value from when it was purchased but the assessed value is kept low by limits on increases established by Prop. 13 in 1978.

Dear Michael: My agent is leaving town during the holidays, I am worried that she will not be able to adhere to all the steps which are needed to sell my home. Would I be asking too much by asking her to stay?

Answer: This day in age real estate agents have a “Virtual Office’. We can do it all from anywhere. The industry has changed to where Realtors are now able to perform task from a cell phone, tablet or lap top. This was once unheard. No one could have envisioned how technology would change our industry. The fact that your agent is gone for 1 week should have no bearing on the way your property is handled. I am sure that your agent, as I would, took all the necessary measures and had a co-agent handle the sale of your home in case there should be showings or other tasks that would require a physical presence. Real Estate agents also have the right to a vacation! It is very difficult to book a family vacation 3-6 months prior to a date not knowing what work will come up at that time. Communicate your concerns to your agent, I am sure she will reassure you that everything in regards to the sale of your home will be attended while she is gone.

Dear Michael: I own a condominium with HOA monthly dues. However, quite a few units are in default and fail to pay their HOA dues, and for some years.  What can we do about this? I assume their units are not in mortgage default.

Answer: Unfortunately, the 1st trust deed (mortgage lender) cannot and will not place a lien on the property if a homeowner does not pay his/her HOD (homeowner association dues). There are many expenses that need to be paid to operate an HOA. Paying HOD is a responsibility that every condo-owner should take very seriously. The HOA can place a lien on the units that are delinquent. The lien can serve as a method to have the delinquent homeowners pay their HOD. When the delinquent owner decides to sell or refinance, then the HOA will be able to collect the outstanding balance plus all late fees that were incurred. If the owner refuses to pay the outstanding amount, then he/she will not be able to close escrow. Please contact your management Co. as they are the ones who expedite the HOA lien trough their attorneys.  If you’re HOA does not operate with a management Co., then contact an attorney whom specializes in HOA litigations.

Michael Kayem is a Realtor with Re/max Estate Properties serving Culver City and the Westside since 2001. You can contact Michael with your questions at 310-390-3337 or e-mail them to him at:

Get Real about Real Estate: Proposition 13 reassessment