• Co-Ownership & Equity Share Agreements
  • Deeds & Easement Agreements
  • Residential Construction Disputes
  • Commercial & Residential Leases
  • Real Estate / Housing / Employment Discrimination Law Cross-Over

The Law Office of Erin R. Parks provides real estate clients with transactional services including the preparation of real property transfer deeds, and review and creation of commercial and residential leases, and easement agreements.  Erin assists co-owners of real property in creating equity share agreements and drafts deeds of trust to secure promissory notes secured by real property.  Where parties fall into disputes regarding co-ownership and easements (express or implied easements; trees or roadways), Erin can facilitate resolution through alternative dispute resolution, or in Santa Barbara County Superior Court litigation.


Co-Ownership of real estate is an umbrella term for situations where multiple people hold legal title to a piece of real property. The two main types of co-ownership, Joint Tenancy and Tenancy in Common, offer different ways to divide the legal rights and responsibilities of ownership, as well as what share each owner holds in a property.  There are many potential advantages and disadvantages to each type of co-ownership, depending on the individual situation.  Erin can assist co-owners decide which factors are most important in determining how to take ownership of a real property.

It is strongly advisable to create an Equity Share Agreement because Tenants in Common can act on their individual shares in real property. Joint Tenants can also benefit from an Equity Share Agreement.  Whether buying a property with unfamiliar parties, or with friends and family, there is the chance of disagreements or disappointed expectations damaging to relationships. Developing and signing an Equity Share Agreement at the time of purchase lets all co-owners work out likely points of contention before they become problems.  An Equity Share Agreement can be referred to later on if unexpected disagreements or challenges come up. Co-owners decide how to handle disputes before strong emotions get in the way of dealing equitably with each other.

Equity Share Agreements often include:

  • Restrictions on the right to sell one’s share, such as who it can be sold to, when it can be sold, and whether the other co-owners have to agree before it can be sold
  • Clauses identifying what happens if a party dies or becomes bankrupt or disabled
  • Division of responsibilities such as maintenance, costs, mortgage payments, insurance and other expenses related to real estate ownership
  • How to resolve disputes regarding sale or management of the property, such as a mediation clause
  • How to address situations where a co-owner neglects payments or other responsibilities
  • Clauses specifying the division of income from sale or lease of the property
  • Clauses regarding who has the right to live or work in the co-owned property, and what can be done on the co-owned property


Deeds, Promissory Notes & Deeds of Trust

A deed is a legal instrument that transfers a property right in real estate.  Erin R. Parks’ background in real estate and estate planning law allows her to expertly draft deeds, and other documents required to transfer real property in California.  Erin’s experience in estate planning and real estate further compliments individuals who desire real property transfer deeds and deeds of trust drafted for various reasons including security for promissory notes.

Easements & Easement Agreements

An easement is the right to use someone else’s real property. They come in endless varieties: easements for utilities, access (ingress and egress), parking, view, signs, driveways, maintenance.  Every easement burdens some particular property and most often benefits another property such as when the owner of one parcel of land has an easement to cross adjacent land to reach a road. Sometimes, an easement does not benefit any particular property, but instead benefits a person or entity, as with utility easements. For example, when the power company has a power line easement across your property, the easement probably benefits the power company itself, and not any particular property.

The Law Office of Erin R. Parks assists clients to create easement agreements so that the location and geographical parameters of an easement are specifically defined; the purpose of the easement is clearly stated; reservations of right are preserved; exclusivity or non-exclusivity is identified; responsibility for maintenance, repair and replacement of improvements located in the easement is laid out; sharing of costs and liability, if any, are declared; and what constitutes a default under the easement are well known in advance to avoid disputes and the remedies available .


 It is illegal for an unlicensed person to perform contracting work on any residential project valued at $500 or more in combined labor and material costs. Besides being illegal, unlicensed contractors lack accountability and are often involved in construction scams. They also unfairly compete with licensed contractors who operate with bonds, insurance, and other responsible business practices.  The Law Office of Erin R. Parks guides homeowners when confronted with unlicensed contractor issues and coordinates with the Contractors’ State Licensing Board.  Erin also advises and represents both home owners and small construction companies in remodeling and vendor contract disputes.


The Law Firm of Erin R. Parks understands the difficulties that individuals and business owners face in commercial and residential real estate transactions. Erin will protect your interests, whether through contract preparation, legal advice, or aggressive negotiations.


Courts look to employment discrimination laws for precedent to interpret housing discrimination claims because the basic principles of employment discrimination can be applied in the housing context.  Erin’s emphasis in employment discrimination makes her excellent counsel for private landlords when developing and implementing non-discrimination rental housing policies and for ensuring that disability accommodation protocols are in place that will pass muster with the Department of Fair Employment & Housing.

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