Real Estate Posts


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Condo super priority lien decision obliterates mortgages

Condo super priority lien decision obliterates mortgages

A week ago the D.C. Court of Appeals handed down a decision that answered lingering questions about condo super priority lien foreclosures. It is a potentially a huge blow to mortgage lenders and a windfall to the investors who bought up these foreclosures by the dozen.
Read More
D.C. Real Estate News

D.C. Real Estate News

It’s hot, like really hot. Like sign of the apocalypse, wrath of god, we are finally paying for our sins in a fiery humid eternity. I can’t imagine that anyone can generate the energy it takes to househunt or perform due diligence walkthroughs of un-airconditioned pre-buildout space. But, the Council has been busy with its legislative agenda much of which can impact your real estate business.
Read More
Emergency law to implement changes to DC eviction procedures

Emergency law to implement changes to DC eviction procedures

A couple of months ago, I posted that the U.S. Marshals Service announced changes to DC eviction procedures. Broadly speaking the Marshals decided that they would no longer supervise the removal of tenant belongings from a unit, but merely allow the landlord to execute a lock change at eviction.
Read More
D.C. property managers can NOT be paid a sales commission

D.C. property managers can NOT be paid a sales commission

Here is a scenario I’ve seen a half-dozen or so times. A homeowner hires a professional property manager to rent out the owner’s house after a move out-of-state. The management contract contains fairly standard language stating that if the Owner sells the property to a tenant, the Property Manager is entitled to a sales commission as the procuring source. The owner at some point decides to sell, hires an agent, and either via TOPA or directly, the tenant purchases.
Read More
New DC eviction procedures starting this summer

New DC eviction procedures starting this summer

For years landlords and tenants alike have complained that the DC eviction procedures are unfair. Landlords complain that the process is inefficient and slow, as a result, it takes too long to regain possession of the rental unit after an eviction order. Tenants have decried the process as inhumane and resulting in damage, destruction, and theft of personal belongings.
Read More
“Takin’ it up the tailpipe:” A DC Rent Control exemption cautionary tail

“Takin’ it up the tailpipe:” A DC Rent Control exemption cautionary tail

The DC Rent Contol Law is actually a convoluted stew of esoteric code and regulation sections. If you are burdened by logic and reason, you have little hope of understanding this flaming trash heap of a statutory scheme. However, for all of its shortcomings, it is actually clear on one point. IF a landlord is eligible for a Rent Control exemption, he or she MUST, file the exemption AND serve the affected tenants SIMULTANEOUSLY with the filing. If the landlord fails to do this, the exemption is VOID. 14 DCMR § 4101.6; Levy v. District of Columbia Rental Housing Commission 126 A.3d 684 (D.C. 2015)
Read More
DC Real Estate Law Update – March 2018

DC Real Estate Law Update – March 2018

There were several significant happenings this month in the world of D.C. Real Estate. Right off the bat on March 1, the Court of Appeals came down with a ruling that impacts the priority of condominium liens. (details below) Not to be outdone by the Courts, the Council amended TOPA to exempt single family accommodations and is considering a rollback of the much-decried bankruptcy exception. Additionally, there are a number of upcoming programs and events to help you stay on top of the changes.
Read More
Can spouses serve on a condo board together in DC?

Can spouses serve on a condo board together in DC?

Recently one of my clients asked if co-owners can simultaneously serve on a condo board in DC? My first thought was, “of course they can’t, that’s ridiculous.” As it turns out, there is no DC law, or case, prohibiting condo board service by co-owners of the same unit. So unless the Bylaws address the situation, it is totally permissible.
Read More
New TOPA Amendment exempts single family homes

New TOPA Amendment exempts single family homes

In the midst of the oversight season, the Council pressed forward with its legislative agenda. On March 6, 2018, they passed a somewhat controversial TOPA Amendment, exempting owner-occupied single family homes.
Read More
Neighbor Construction Projects in DC

Neighbor Construction Projects in DC

If you have ever lived through a home improvement project you know it is a flat out, unmitigated pain-in-the-ass. There is constant dust, noise, and vibration. Not to mention strangers invading your property, and losing the use of facilities and utilities, sometimes for days. At the end of it, you have a nice new kitchen, bathroom or refinished basement to show for it. However, neighbor construction projects are far more frustrating. You have to put up with all of the noise and inconvenience and get none of the payoff. In fact, sometimes, your property could end up in worse shape because of someone else’s improvements. Frustrating.
Read More
Don’t refuse to rent based on criminal record until your read this

Don’t refuse to rent based on criminal record until your read this

One of the things the District has gotten right is establishing, maintaining and expanding one of the most protective Human Rights laws in the nation. I am very proud to live in a place where wrongful discrimination, of any kind, is simply not tolerated. Did you know that the DC Human Rights Act also protects the criminal record of rental housing applicants?
Read More
Do you need to get your condo units to market faster?

Do you need to get your condo units to market faster?

I’ve handled dozens of condominium and cooperative projects for owners and developers and by far the biggest complaint is the amount of time that the process takes from beginning to end. As experienced DC real estate developers and agents can tell you, timing is extremely important to the success of any sales project.
Read More
TOPA’s Red-Headed Stepchild

TOPA’s Red-Headed Stepchild

In 2008, the Council passed the District Opportunity to Purchase Act (DOPA). As the name suggests, DOPA gives the District the right to purchase residential buildings, in certain circumstances, where the owner seeks to sell to a third party. The 2008 Act left many open questions for the Agency to resolve by promulgating regulations. On December 22 2017, only nine (9) years later, DHCD has finally answered the bell, and published proposed regulations.
Read More
No Building Permits for “Slumlords”

No Building Permits for “Slumlords”

The local media, government officials (usually when seeking re-election), housing advocates and the legal services community throw around the amorphous term “slumlord” to describe a landlord that treats tenants badly by failing or refusing to make needed repairs to a rental unit. The point at which a landlord crosses over into ‘slumlord’ territory was anybody’s guess, until now. On November 7 the D.C. Council has proposed an official definition of “slumlord.” (in a sense). The “Slumlord Deterrence Amendment Act of 2017” imposes harsh sanctions on people that own an interest in a rental property which amasses more than five (5) Class 1 violations in a year. Specifically, the slumlord in question may be denied a Basic Business License (including renewal) or Building Permit, of any...
Read More
What Happens When Your “Section 8” Tenant Moves Out

What Happens When Your “Section 8” Tenant Moves Out

On November 7, 2017, Council members Bonds and Nadeau introduced legislation to limit the rent that a landlord may charge for a unit after termination of a Federal or District subsidy. The Rental Housing Affordability Re-establishment Act of 2017 essentially provides, that upon termination of a tenant subsidy, a landlord may only charge a tenant the rent charged for that unit prior to the subsidy, plus, an increase of “general applicability” for each year that the subsidy based exemption was in place.
Read More
Dining with Dogs

Dining with Dogs

It is now legal for restaurant owners to allow patrons to bring pets into the outdoor seating areas provided certain conditions are met. Personally, I had no idea that allowing dogs in outdoor seating areas of restaurants was illegal. I have seen this, for years, all over the city, and frankly, thought nothing of it. I have never come across or even heard of an establishment receiving a violation for allowing dogs in outdoor areas. Apparently, during the summer months, the Department of Heath, cracked down on such conduct, issuing a slew of enforcement notices to restaurants with outdoor seating.
Read More
Housing Code Violations as Consumer Fraud

Housing Code Violations as Consumer Fraud

On October 3, 2017, the Council enacted an amendment to the D.C. Consumer Protection Procedures Act to allow the Attorney General to prosecute cases of consumer fraud against landlords who fail to correct housing code violations in rental units.
Read More
Reverse Mortgage Foreclosure Protection

Reverse Mortgage Foreclosure Protection

Wait a minute. I thought a reverse mortgage was an arrangement where the lender pays the owner every month. How can there be a risk of foreclosure where the owner is receiving and not paying a monthly mortgage payment?
Read More
Rent Concessions To Be Outlawed

Rent Concessions To Be Outlawed

On September 9 Councilmember Cheh proposed an amendment to the Rent Stabilization provisions of the Rental Housing Act. That is just a complicated way of saying that the Councilmember is seeking to change the “Rent Control” Law to make it more difficult for landlords to raise the rent.
Read More
1 2

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Real Estate Post


Image
Condo super priority lien decision obliterates mortgages

Condo super priority lien decision obliterates mortgages

A week ago the D.C. Court of Appeals handed down a decision that answered lingering questions about condo super priority lien foreclosures. It is a potentially a huge blow to mortgage lenders and a windfall to the investors who bought up these foreclosures by the dozen.
Read More
D.C. Real Estate News

D.C. Real Estate News

It’s hot, like really hot. Like sign of the apocalypse, wrath of god, we are finally paying for our sins in a fiery humid eternity. I can’t imagine that anyone can generate the energy it takes to househunt or perform due diligence walkthroughs of un-airconditioned pre-buildout space. But, the Council has been busy with its legislative agenda much of which can impact your real estate business.
Read More
Emergency law to implement changes to DC eviction procedures

Emergency law to implement changes to DC eviction procedures

A couple of months ago, I posted that the U.S. Marshals Service announced changes to DC eviction procedures. Broadly speaking the Marshals decided that they would no longer supervise the removal of tenant belongings from a unit, but merely allow the landlord to execute a lock change at eviction.
Read More
D.C. property managers can NOT be paid a sales commission

D.C. property managers can NOT be paid a sales commission

Here is a scenario I’ve seen a half-dozen or so times. A homeowner hires a professional property manager to rent out the owner’s house after a move out-of-state. The management contract contains fairly standard language stating that if the Owner sells the property to a tenant, the Property Manager is entitled to a sales commission as the procuring source. The owner at some point decides to sell, hires an agent, and either via TOPA or directly, the tenant purchases.
Read More
New DC eviction procedures starting this summer

New DC eviction procedures starting this summer

For years landlords and tenants alike have complained that the DC eviction procedures are unfair. Landlords complain that the process is inefficient and slow, as a result, it takes too long to regain possession of the rental unit after an eviction order. Tenants have decried the process as inhumane and resulting in damage, destruction, and theft of personal belongings.
Read More
“Takin’ it up the tailpipe:” A DC Rent Control exemption cautionary tail

“Takin’ it up the tailpipe:” A DC Rent Control exemption cautionary tail

The DC Rent Contol Law is actually a convoluted stew of esoteric code and regulation sections. If you are burdened by logic and reason, you have little hope of understanding this flaming trash heap of a statutory scheme. However, for all of its shortcomings, it is actually clear on one point. IF a landlord is eligible for a Rent Control exemption, he or she MUST, file the exemption AND serve the affected tenants SIMULTANEOUSLY with the filing. If the landlord fails to do this, the exemption is VOID. 14 DCMR § 4101.6; Levy v. District of Columbia Rental Housing Commission 126 A.3d 684 (D.C. 2015)
Read More
DC Real Estate Law Update – March 2018

DC Real Estate Law Update – March 2018

There were several significant happenings this month in the world of D.C. Real Estate. Right off the bat on March 1, the Court of Appeals came down with a ruling that impacts the priority of condominium liens. (details below) Not to be outdone by the Courts, the Council amended TOPA to exempt single family accommodations and is considering a rollback of the much-decried bankruptcy exception. Additionally, there are a number of upcoming programs and events to help you stay on top of the changes.
Read More
Can spouses serve on a condo board together in DC?

Can spouses serve on a condo board together in DC?

Recently one of my clients asked if co-owners can simultaneously serve on a condo board in DC? My first thought was, “of course they can’t, that’s ridiculous.” As it turns out, there is no DC law, or case, prohibiting condo board service by co-owners of the same unit. So unless the Bylaws address the situation, it is totally permissible.
Read More
New TOPA Amendment exempts single family homes

New TOPA Amendment exempts single family homes

In the midst of the oversight season, the Council pressed forward with its legislative agenda. On March 6, 2018, they passed a somewhat controversial TOPA Amendment, exempting owner-occupied single family homes.
Read More
Neighbor Construction Projects in DC

Neighbor Construction Projects in DC

If you have ever lived through a home improvement project you know it is a flat out, unmitigated pain-in-the-ass. There is constant dust, noise, and vibration. Not to mention strangers invading your property, and losing the use of facilities and utilities, sometimes for days. At the end of it, you have a nice new kitchen, bathroom or refinished basement to show for it. However, neighbor construction projects are far more frustrating. You have to put up with all of the noise and inconvenience and get none of the payoff. In fact, sometimes, your property could end up in worse shape because of someone else’s improvements. Frustrating.
Read More
Don’t refuse to rent based on criminal record until your read this

Don’t refuse to rent based on criminal record until your read this

One of the things the District has gotten right is establishing, maintaining and expanding one of the most protective Human Rights laws in the nation. I am very proud to live in a place where wrongful discrimination, of any kind, is simply not tolerated. Did you know that the DC Human Rights Act also protects the criminal record of rental housing applicants?
Read More
Do you need to get your condo units to market faster?

Do you need to get your condo units to market faster?

I’ve handled dozens of condominium and cooperative projects for owners and developers and by far the biggest complaint is the amount of time that the process takes from beginning to end. As experienced DC real estate developers and agents can tell you, timing is extremely important to the success of any sales project.
Read More
TOPA’s Red-Headed Stepchild

TOPA’s Red-Headed Stepchild

In 2008, the Council passed the District Opportunity to Purchase Act (DOPA). As the name suggests, DOPA gives the District the right to purchase residential buildings, in certain circumstances, where the owner seeks to sell to a third party. The 2008 Act left many open questions for the Agency to resolve by promulgating regulations. On December 22 2017, only nine (9) years later, DHCD has finally answered the bell, and published proposed regulations.
Read More
No Building Permits for “Slumlords”

No Building Permits for “Slumlords”

The local media, government officials (usually when seeking re-election), housing advocates and the legal services community throw around the amorphous term “slumlord” to describe a landlord that treats tenants badly by failing or refusing to make needed repairs to a rental unit. The point at which a landlord crosses over into ‘slumlord’ territory was anybody’s guess, until now. On November 7 the D.C. Council has proposed an official definition of “slumlord.” (in a sense). The “Slumlord Deterrence Amendment Act of 2017” imposes harsh sanctions on people that own an interest in a rental property which amasses more than five (5) Class 1 violations in a year. Specifically, the slumlord in question may be denied a Basic Business License (including renewal) or Building Permit, of any...
Read More
What Happens When Your “Section 8” Tenant Moves Out

What Happens When Your “Section 8” Tenant Moves Out

On November 7, 2017, Council members Bonds and Nadeau introduced legislation to limit the rent that a landlord may charge for a unit after termination of a Federal or District subsidy. The Rental Housing Affordability Re-establishment Act of 2017 essentially provides, that upon termination of a tenant subsidy, a landlord may only charge a tenant the rent charged for that unit prior to the subsidy, plus, an increase of “general applicability” for each year that the subsidy based exemption was in place.
Read More
Dining with Dogs

Dining with Dogs

It is now legal for restaurant owners to allow patrons to bring pets into the outdoor seating areas provided certain conditions are met. Personally, I had no idea that allowing dogs in outdoor seating areas of restaurants was illegal. I have seen this, for years, all over the city, and frankly, thought nothing of it. I have never come across or even heard of an establishment receiving a violation for allowing dogs in outdoor areas. Apparently, during the summer months, the Department of Heath, cracked down on such conduct, issuing a slew of enforcement notices to restaurants with outdoor seating.
Read More
Housing Code Violations as Consumer Fraud

Housing Code Violations as Consumer Fraud

On October 3, 2017, the Council enacted an amendment to the D.C. Consumer Protection Procedures Act to allow the Attorney General to prosecute cases of consumer fraud against landlords who fail to correct housing code violations in rental units.
Read More
Reverse Mortgage Foreclosure Protection

Reverse Mortgage Foreclosure Protection

Wait a minute. I thought a reverse mortgage was an arrangement where the lender pays the owner every month. How can there be a risk of foreclosure where the owner is receiving and not paying a monthly mortgage payment?
Read More
Rent Concessions To Be Outlawed

Rent Concessions To Be Outlawed

On September 9 Councilmember Cheh proposed an amendment to the Rent Stabilization provisions of the Rental Housing Act. That is just a complicated way of saying that the Councilmember is seeking to change the “Rent Control” Law to make it more difficult for landlords to raise the rent.
Read More
1 2