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House Calls: Closing on First Home

Edith Lank on

Dear Ms. Lank: I own a big home. My boyfriend pays $1,500 rent, which includes everything -- food, gas and electric, cable, lawn maintenance, snow plowing, etc. He used to rent a two-bedroom apartment where just the rent alone was $1,518 a month not including any of the above.

What would be a fair rent for him to pay to me for full use of a 4,000-square-foot house on two acres with a three-car garage? This has become a bone of contention between us. -- X. X.

Answer: I was going to suggest your boyfriend might want to pay half of the expenses -- property taxes, utilities, possible mortgage, maintenance, etc. -- but maybe I'm better off staying out of this one.

House Has Problems

Dear Ms. Lank: We purchased a home a year ago. It was flipped by a LLC corporation. We are finding out that there are many problems that they did not take care of when they updated the home. The repairs they did make are of poor workmanship.

Can I get a lawyer to help me hold them responsible? I don't know who did the work or who the corporation people are, but I do know the real estate agent that listed it. Can something be done to help us? I don't know what kind of lawyer takes care of this type of problem. We are seniors. --

Answer: You don't say whether you hired a home inspector to report on possible problems before your purchase offer became binding. And you don't say what documents were included when you bought the house -- specifically whether the sellers signed any statement about the condition of the property.

If any of those were problems you could have seen for yourselves in a last-minute walk-through inspection, I don't think you'll have much luck protesting them. But just about any lawyer can ask you for more details and offer an opinion on whether you have a case.


Edith Lank will respond personally to any question mailed to 240 Hemingway Drive, Rochester, NY 14620, emailed to or posted at

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