Q: -- In January I signed a one-year lease with an option for two additional years on commercial space. The landlord and I viewed the space. I pointed out to him certain things that needed to be done to make the space usable. He appeared to agree and we set a date by which the unsatisfactory conditions were to be corrected. The date has now passed. The landlord has not corrected the unsatisfactory conditions. I'm unable to do business as I should. I'm losing money as a result. This is my first business venture. Is there anything I can do?

A: -- I assume your lease is valid and enforceable. You have both rights and obligations under it. If you are performing your obligations, you can require the landlord to perform his obligations or respond to you in money damages for any loss you suffer.

Q: -- My girl friend and I want to buy a lot so we can build a home on it later. I'm in the process of being divorced. The lot is owned by a married couple who bought it on a ten-year amortized basis. The married couple will sell my girl friend and me half the lot (1/4 acre). We will pay them something and take over half the current mortgage payments which have five years to run. Do we need to consult a lawyer on this? Do we need a real estate broker?

A: -- I would let a knowledgeable, experienced real estate lawyer handle this. You've got several serious, potential trouble spots in this transaction that can be worked out or circumvented if someone experienced and knowledgeable in law and real estate transactions guides you. The lawyer can explain fully what I'm talking about.

One word of caution: You should not buy this lot until your divorce is final unless it's absolutely imperative. If it's imperative, the lawyer will have to advise you how to handle it. This is only one of your potential difficulties in this transaction, however. I don't think you need a real estate broker.