Category Archives: Real Estate

Washington, D.C. Real Estate Update: May 2019

On May 16, 2019, the District of Columbia Court of Appeals issued a new opinion in SJ Enterprises, LLC v. Quander that is of significant importance. In this matter, Dianne Quander leased commercial premises to SJ Enterprises, LLC for an initial term of five years with two additional five year renewal options. The initial term was set to expire on November... Read More >

Emotional Support Animals and Dangerous Dogs in Cooperative Apartment and Condo Communities

An emotional support animal (ESA) is a companion animal (typically a dog or cat) that provides therapeutic benefit to an individual with a mental or psychiatric disability. An ESA is not the same thing as a pet. Rather, for a resident of a co-op or condo who is living with a mental or psychiatric disability, an ESA may provide him... Read More >

Maryland Real Estate Update: April 2019

On April 19, 2019, Judge Messitte of the United States District Court for the District of Maryland issued an unpublished opinion in Elm Cabin John, LLC v. United Bank that is certainly noteworthy for real estate practitioners. In this matter, Ms. Nancy Long owned three parcels in Montgomery County. As an individual in her 80s during the subject transactions, she is... Read More >

DC Circuit Applies Discovery Rule To Erroneous Land Surveys Of Commercial Land

The case of Commonwealth Land Title Insurance Company v. KCI Technologies, Inc., concerns a title insurance company’s suit against two surveyors whose surveys failed to find a 12-inch encroachment on a parcel of commercial real property. Before purchasing the property, ICG 16th Street Associates commissioned a land survey that found no encroachment. The next year, it purchased the property... Read More >

Congratulations to our Attorneys and Practice Groups

Jackson & Campbell, P.C. is proud to announce our 2019 Super Lawyers. Please join us in celebrating Nathan J. Bresee, Richard W. Bryan, Arthur D. Burger, David H. Cox, William E. Davis, Christopher P. Ferragamo, Robert N. Kelly, James N. Markels, Nicholas S. McConnell, and Brian W. Thompson; and... Read More >

Conservation Easements: Saving Our Green Spaces or Illegal Tax Shelters?

A property owner who donates an easement of his or her property to a charitable organization for conservation or historical purposes is permitted to take a charitable deduction for the value of that donated property easement. The statutory requirements are set forth in Internal Revenue Code §170(h). There are many conservation easements that are fulfilling the intent of the legislation... Read More >

Additional Practical Analysis: Obduskey v. McCarthy & Holthus LLP

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled unanimously on March 20, 2019 in Obduskey v. McCarthy & Holthus LLP that a law firm hired to pursue a nonjudicial foreclosure under Colorado law was not a debt collector under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). In a nonjudicial foreclosure, notice to the parties and sale of the property occur outside... Read More >

Court Upholds Validity of Foreclosure Sale in Light of Debtor’s Failure to Seek a Stay Pending Appeal

A recent decision issued by the Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Virginia underscores the importance for both debtors and creditors to be especially cognizant of procedural rules when dealing with a property subject to foreclosure. In re: Bobbie Upasna Vardan involved a property that had been affected by four bankruptcies filed by the debtor or members of her... Read More >

Maryland Real Estate Update | March 2019

The Court of Appeals of Maryland issued two recent decisions impacting landlord/tenant issues. Cushman & Wakefield of Maryland, Inc. v. DRV Greentec, LLC In Cushman & Wakefield of Maryland, Inc. v. DRV Greentec, LLC, filed on March 4, 2019, the Court of Appeals held that a commercial broker could not enforce an obligation to pay a commission against an owner’s assignee. In... Read More >

Revocable Trusts and Real Property in Washington

When thinking about transferring a Washington, D.C. real property into a revocable trust, there are several considerations to take into account. Beginning Steps: To ensure the transfer occurs properly, a deed has to be recorded. A transfer is usually exempt from transfer and recordation taxes, provided that the trust is revocable and that the grantor remains the beneficiary. Deductions: In most circumstances, the property... Read More >

Virginia Supreme Court: Newly-Acquired Subsidiary Does Not Receive Coverage Under Owner’s Property Insurance

After EPC MD 15, LLC purchased commercial property fire insurance from Erie Insurance Exchange, it purchased another company that owned a separate building on another property. The new subsidiary was not a named insured under the original policy. When that building sustained fire damage, EPC submitted a claim, claiming that the purchase of the subsidiary made the subsidiary’s property “newly... Read More >

Pending Emergency Legislation to Affect Tax Sales and Recordation Tax on Leases

The Washington, D.C. Council is considering B22-922: Fiscal Year 2019 Budget Support Congressional Review Emergency Act of 2018 which, among many provisions, contains a few changes of interest to real estate practitioners which are found here. Recordation Tax: On leases in excess of 30 years, the Washington, D.C. government may determine the fair market value of the leasehold interest... Read More >

Condo Liens Entitled To Super-Priority Status Regardless Of Number Of Months Sought

Under D.C. Code sec. 42-1903.13, liens imposed by a condominium association for up to six months of unpaid condo fees were entitled to super-priority status ahead of all other liens on the condo. In two prior decisions, the D.C. Court of Appeals held that a foreclosure sale under such a super-priority lien necessarily wiped out all other liens of the... Read More >

D.C. Announces New Tax Rates for First-Time Homebuyer

Washington, D.C.’s innovative First Time Homebuyer’s tax rate reduces the recordation tax to .725 percent. The statute is found at Official Code §42-1101(17). The tax rate and value of the property changes from year to year based upon the C.P.I. Effective on October 1, 2019, the purchase price may not exceed $632,500 and the income for a single-member household may not... Read More >

D.C. Tax Rate Changes Effective October 1, 2018

The District of Columbia’s Office of Tax and Revenue has issued a notification of changes in various tax rates that will become effective on Monday, October 1, 2018. The real property tax for Class 2 properties will increase to $1.65 per $100 of value for properties worth less than $5,000,000; $1.77 from $5 million to $10 million; and $1.89 for... Read More >

New Maryland Statute: Corporate Articles of Transfer No Longer Needed to Transfer Real Property

Until August 2018, Maryland was one of the few states that required a state-based corporation that transfers all of its real property assets to execute and file articles of transfer with the State Department of Assessment and Taxation (SDAT). This regulation is outlined in the Corporations and Associations Article of the Annotated Code of Maryland Section 1-101(y) and 3-109... Read More >

Virginia: No Bona Fide Purchaser of an Easement; Terms of Revocable Trust May Permit Transfer by Non-Trustee

The recent case of Kruck v. Krisak, 2018 WL 2386671 (Fairfax Cir. Ct. 2018) addressed two issues of first impression in Virginia regarding bona fide purchasers and how the transfer of real property to a trust might affect a grant of an easement. The case began with an easement for a septic field that was granted in 1974 by Austin Foster... Read More >

Housing Licensing and TOPA in the District of Columbia

Recent changes to the Tenant Opportunity to Purchase Act (TOPA) in the District of Columbia have had broad repercussions in the single-family rental market. Since TOPA’s inception, the competing purposes of maintaining a rental market and encouraging tenants to leave the rental market and become homeowners have resulted in a structure that is difficult to follow and has... Read More >

D.C. Real Estate Loan Drafting Guidance

Practical Law, a Thomson Reuters company that publishes online resources for attorneys, recently launched a state-by-state survey providing Real Estate Loan Drafting Guidance that caters to real estate finance practitioners.  Erica Litovitz and Brian W. Thompson contributed the DC-specific content, which Practical Law published on May 29, 2018 and is now available to subscribers of Practical Law. Published... Read More >

Conservation Easements: Congress Giveth and the IRS & Tax Court Taketh Away

By: Nancy Ortmeyer Kuhn, Esq. Charitable conservation easements have long been controversial, and there was some concern that the new tax legislation enacted in December 2017[1] would limit the conservation easement charitable deduction.  However, there were no limits placed upon conservation easements, and even the syndicated easements[2] were left alone.  This particular area of the law is... Read More >

TOPA Update – Single-Family Homes, DC Legislation Passed

This is an update from the articles posted March 9, April 4, April 6, and April 10, 2018 relating to Single-Family Homes – DC Legislation Proposed to Exclude from TOPA. The District of Columbia Council passed legislation today, April 10, 2018, that excludes single-family homes from TOPA. Bill 22-315, was first introduced last... Read More >

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DC Reduced Rate of Recordation Tax – Applies to Revocable Trust

The District recently passed legislation which reduces the Recordation Tax for most first-time homebuyers.  The Recordation Tax for a “first-time District homebuyer” purchasing “eligible property” is reduced to 0.725% (transfer taxes owed by the seller of 1.1% or 1.45% are unchanged) for houses and, for transfers of economic interests in a housing cooperative unit (co-op unit), the recordation tax rate is... Read More >

TOPA – Proposal to eliminate Bankruptcy and Court-Order Exemptions

Earlier this month, Bill 22-0739 was introduced to the District of Columbia Council. The Bill is named the TOPA Bankruptcy Tenant Displacement Prevention Amendment Act of 2018. The Bill seeks to amend the Tenant Opportunity to Purchase Act to remove TOPA’s exemption of bankruptcy sales and to require owners of property acquired via court order to submit to TOPA... Read More >

DC Super-Priority Lien on a Condo Cannot Foreclose Subject to First Priority Mortgage

Following from its decision in Chase Plaza Condominium Assoc. v. JPMorgan Chase Bank, 98 A.3d 166 (DC 2014), in which the DC Court of Appeals held that a DC condominium foreclosing on its statutory six-month super-priority lien could by law extinguish an otherwise first-priority mortgage when the proceeds of the sale were insufficient to satisfy that mortgage, the Court was... Read More >

Immigrants Detained By The Government Not Entitled To Bond Hearings

Under immigration law, applicants for admission to the United States may be detained by the Government until certain proceedings have concluded. Nothing in the applicable statutes limit the duration of detention, nor mention bond hearings. In Jennings v. Rodriguez, an immigrant filed a habeas corpus suit arguing that he should be entitled to a bond hearing once his detention... Read More >

Court Narrows Bankruptcy Safe Harbor Provision

In Merit Management Group, LP v. FTI Consulting, Inc., the Court addressed 11 U.S.C. sec. 548(e), which allows bankruptcy trustees to set aside and recover certain transfers for the benefit of the bankruptcy estate, but not a “settlement payment . . . made by or to (or for the benefit of) a . . . financial institution . ... Read More >