Know your rights

Richard Alderman

Q. What are my legal rights as far as forcing the parents of a child my son was playing with to pay his medical bills? My 5-year-old son was playing on their property with other children, and was hit in the eye by a ball thrown by their son. Shouldn’t their homeowners insurance pay for this injury?

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Q. My mother recently died. At the time of her death, she had very little property and no money. I am now getting numerous calls from a debt collector who says that because I am her sole heir, I owe her debts. The debt collector has offered fair payment terms, but I was wondering whether I really am responsible for her bills. I am becoming very upset because of all of the phone calls.

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Q. I’m a landlord and paranormal investigator. I have had a lot of people ask me this question: If someone is murdered or dies in a house or apartment, does the landlord have to tell potential tenants about paranormal activity? I know when something like this happens, the spirit can stay there and make noises, like doors shutting, footsteps and names being called. Does the landlord have to disclose this information? Also, if the landlord knows that one of the houses has paranormal activity going on, is it legal for him to charge more?

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Q. I owe a lot of money and can’t pay my bills. My largest debt is for a student loan. I have been told that even if I file bankruptcy, I will still owe my student loans. Is this true?

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Q. I am moving out of my apartment. I know a landlord cannot deduct from a security deposit for “normal wear and tear.” What is normal wear and tear? Does the statute have a definition?

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Q. Is it lawful for a landlord to request a walk through every four months as part of a lease for a rental property? I’ve leased several homes and I have never had a landlord even suggest something like this. I feel like my privacy would be violated if I agreed to this. Therefore, I’m contemplating not signing the lease.

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Q. I had a divorce in January 2012. In the decree, a 2012 Toyota Corolla was awarded to my ex-wife. When we bought the car, it was in her name as the buyer and mine as the co-buyer. My ex-wife had been doing very well, making all the payments on this car, until April of this year. I thought my attorney had sent Toyota finance the divorce decree to show she was liable for all future payments.

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Q. I recently had a small fire in my apartment. I think it was caused by the new clothes dryer I had installed. The landlord collected for the damage to his building from his insurance company. Now the insurance company is coming after me for $60,000 because of a clause in my lease. This fire was not my fault. How can I be sued?

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Q. My father recently passed. Question is, he had made a will with a lawyer but never had it registered. Is the will still valid? What happens if he did not have a will? Does all the property go to the state?

A. A will is valid and enforceable once it is properly prepared and signed. In most cases, a will also is notarized. This is not necessary, but it does make it easier and less expensive to probate the will. A will, however, does not have to be filed or registered to be valid. The attorney may now file the will for probate.

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cracked windshield

Q. I was driving down the road when the large truck in front of me kicked up a small stone from the road into my windshield. I filed a claim with the owner of the truck, and it refused to pay. Do I have a case for small claims court? My friend was with me and can testify that she saw the stone thrown from the truck into my windshield.

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