Pittsburgh Legal Back Talk

Legal topics of interest to lawyers and consumers with a Pittsburgh and Western Pennsylvania focus.

1593 Posts and Counting

Pittsburgh High on List of Home Improvement Lending.

No. 1,537  

Q: What License Do You Need to Manage Rental Properties for Others?

No. 1,492 A: You need a Pennsylvania Real Estate Broker’s License. No kidding. It doesn’t matter that you are managing Pennsylvania properties for clients who live out of the state, Of course, you don’t need a license to manage your own property. No, a power of attorney will not work.  Don’t try leasing it yourself […]

The Tree That Owns Itself, Athens Georgia.

No. 1,478 Of course, a tree cannot own land under the law, but everybody in Athens Georgia accepts the small testamentary land grant to a beloved tree, including the City, which maintains the tree.  Actually, the original tree, which was quite ancient, was destroyed in a wind storm in 1942 and community members planted a […]

Common Level Ratio Down (slightly) in Allegheny County

No. 1,341 Every year the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue announces a new common level ratio, effective July 1.  It is a factor multiplied by the assessment which gives a calculation of the fair market value for purposes of paying realty transfer tax when a deed is recorded for no or nominal consideration. It is created […]


No. 1,333 If you have been involved in a real estate transaction in recent times you have probably used Docusign or some equivalent electronic signature software. It is a real estate agent’s dream.  They can obtain an electronic signature quickly and easily via the internet. However, a well-known app that can be used for legitimate […]

The Appraiser Shortage Strikes Again.

No. 1,317 DS News, a newsletter for mortgage servicers and lenders, reports that that there are serious shortages of residential real estate appraisers, especially in four western states. The article says that in busy areas there can be delays up to six weeks.  Those of us who have been in the real estate market in […]

Real Estate: Non-owning Spouse May Not Be Required to Join in the Deed

For a very long time, real estate lawyers and title insurance companies have rightly required spouses to join in conveyances of land, even when they clearly do not have an record interest in the property.

Washington County Pennsylvania Reassessment Appeals Begin

No. 1,273 If you are a landowner in Washington County, you probably received your notice of assessment.  You have 40 days to file an appeal. We went through this process in Allegheny County twice in the last decade.  The experience of Allegheny County should be helpful, but Washington County has some unique problems.  The Marcellus […]

Electronic Trespass

No. 1,270 If you would like to read a legal analysis concerning whether the producers of Pokemon Go are guilty of trespass to land or perhaps creating an attractive nuisance, click on this link to a blog called Associate’s Mind. It sounds preposterous, the idea that imaginary Pokemon animals are trespassing on land.  After all, […]

Common Level Ratio Rises in Allegheny County

No. 1,267 The Common Level Ratio, established by the State Board of Equalization, increased from 1.09 to 1.15, effective tomorrow, July 1, 2016. This means that if a property is assessed at $100,000 and is transferred for lees-than-arms-length consideration, the realty transfer tax was formerly paid on $100,000 x 1.09 or $109,000.  Now it is […]

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CLIFF TUTTLE has been a Pennsylvania lawyer for over 40 years and (inter alia) is a real estate litigator and legal writer. The posts in this blog are intended to provide general information about legal topics of interest to lawyers and consumers with a Pittsburgh and Western Pennsylvania focus. However, this information does not constitute legal advice and there is no lawyer-client relationship created when you read this blog. You are encouraged to leave comments but be aware that posted comments can be read by others. If you wish to contact me in privacy, please use the Contact Form located immediately below this message. I will reply promptly and in strict confidence.

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