Real Estate

Jackson & Campbell, P.C. has served the legal needs of the real estate industry for over a century. The Firm combines a sophisticated national practice with a well-established general practice at the local and regional levels. Our clients include:

  • Commercial office building owners and managers
  • Condominiums and co-operative housing associations, owners, developers and managers
  • Multi-family housing owners, developers and managers
  • Shopping centers

Our team of professionals in the Real Estate Practice Group dedicate themselves to assisting owners, developers, and managers of real property based assets in accomplishing their strategic goals and in handling the everyday concerns of a successful operation. Their real estate-centered expertise ranges from the initiation, development, and zoning for a new project through operations, management, and leasing to disposition whether by sale or by like-kind exchange.


Our lawyers guide Firm clients through every aspect of acquiring, developing, leasing, or selling a real estate operating asset, including:

  • Construction financing and permanent financing
  • Development contracts and brokerage agreements
  • Intergenerational transfers
  • Like-kind exchanges
  • Negotiation of environmental risks
  • Purchase and sale
  • Zoning and other local and municipal regulatory actions

Title Insurance and other Litigation

For decades, attorneys at Jackson & Campbell have been leaders in representing title insurers. In both national cases and in more localized, regional matters, the Group’s attorneys have developed a distinct and unique expertise in handling the complex litigation needs of title insurers and other real estate participants. Our attorneys continue a long tradition of prompt analysis of situations and immediate application to courts for marshaling and seizure of assets or documents in the event that fraud or defalcation becomes apparent. Practical experience with the world of real estate transactions and highly specialized knowledge of title insurance law are combined with sophisticated courtroom skills to provide the highest level of representation and client satisfaction. These skills and knowledge have allowed the attorneys to expand the scope of litigated matters to include the full array of real estate disputes.


The capital intensive real property industry demands experienced, sophisticated financing counsel and Jackson & Campbell can provide it. The group has represented borrowers and lenders in a wide variety of financing transactions and has provided counseling to national asset based lenders.

Commercial Foreclosures

Our Group’s lawyers have extensive experience representing lenders and trustees in commercial foreclosures in the District of Columbia, Maryland, and Virginia. In addition to the sales themselves (including default and acceleration, auction, and accounting for receipts and disbursements), Jackson & Campbell is one of the leading law firms in the Richmond-Washington-Baltimore corridor in litigating challenges to foreclosure sales. Especially in the light of the rapidly changing and increasingly complex laws governing foreclosure sales, private lenders throughout the region look to the Firm for advice and representation on these issues.

Condominium/Co-operative Housing

Jackson & Campbell attorneys have represented Washington, D.C. condominium and cooperative housing associations on a myriad of issues including:

  • Contract negotiations
  • Corporate governance
  • Employment matters
  • Financing

Property Operation

Operating real property assets requires specialized knowledge and counsel. Problems that seem unique when first confronted by an owner or manager usually have been addressed and solved by our attorneys on numerous occasions in the past. Jackson & Campbell’s attorneys have experience in:

  • Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requirements
  • Cellular phone site licensing and leasing
  • Commercial leasing
  • Environmental hazard counseling and litigation (plywood roofing, asbestos claims, lead-based paint claims, “sick building syndrome”)
  • Property management agreements
  • Real estate taxes
  • Vendor contracts and resolution of vendor contractual disputes
  • Water and sewer disputes

Multi-Family Housing

Multi-family housing is one of the most regulated industries in the country, with extensive government oversight ranging from federal fair housing laws through local zoning and the regulation of the landlord and tenant relationship. Jackson & Campbell’s attorneys have served major regional and national apartment managers and owners, and the managers and owners of cooperatives and condominiums on every aspect of legal risk and regulation in the industry, including:

  • ADA counseling and litigation
  • Cable company agreements
  • Employment disputes and human resources issues
  • Fair Housing Act counseling and litigation
  • Management contracts
  • Residential leases
  • Section 405 of the Rehabilitation Act counseling and litigation
  • Taxation and municipal regulation
  • Tenant safety, premises liability, and drug use
  • Third-party criminal activity issues
  • September 2018
    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 >

  • September 2018
    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 >

  • September 2018
    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 >

  • September 2018
    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 >

  • August 2018
    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 >

  • August 2018
    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 >

  • August 2018
    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 >

  • July 2018
    Concrete Tips for Negotiating Commercial Real Estate Leases in the District

    Join Firm President, John J. Matteo at the D.C. Bar on Tuesday, July 17 for a 2-hour CLE class.   All Communities Members Receive a $10 Discount on CLE Classes!... Read More >

  • June 2018
    Virginia Practice Tip - Enforceability of Leases under Statute of Conveyances

    On May 10, 2018, the Virginia Supreme Court issued a unanimous opinion in an appeal regarding the enforceability of a commercial lease. In The Game Place, L.L.C., et al. v. Fredericksburg 35, LLC the justices reviewed and applied the Statute of Conveyances, which is set forth in the Code of Virginia §55-2. The Statute of Conveyances requires that any freehold in... Read More >

  • May 2018
    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 >

  • May 2018
    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 >

  • May 2018
    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 >

  • April 2018
    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 >

  • April 2018
    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 >

  • March 2018
    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 >

  • November 2017
    Supreme Court Clarifies Which Deadlines Are Jurisdictional

    In Hamer v. Neighborhood Housing Services of Chicago, the Court, in a unanimous opinion by Justice Ginsburg, set forth a clear and easy way to tell whether a deadline is jurisdictional, and cannot be waived or extended, or is merely a “claim-processing rule” that can be extended: deadlines provided by statute are jurisdictional, while deadlines provided by court rules are... Read More >

  • September 2017
    Roy L. Kaufmann Testifies before the D.C. City Council on proposed TOPA legislation

    Roy L. Kaufmann, from the Firm's Real Estate Group, testified before the D.C. City Council's Committee on Housing and Neighborhood Revitalization on behalf of the D.C. Land Title Association.  He testified on a proposed legislation to amend the Tenant Opportunity to Purchase Act (TOPA) called the TOPA Accessory Dwelling Act of 2017. REDLINE of DCLTA-requested revisions vs. current law 9-8-17... Read More >

  • September 2017
    New Emergency and Proposed Inclusionary Zoning Regulations

    The Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD), which oversees the Inclusionary Zoning program in DC, has new proposed regulations relating to Inclusionary Zoning.  The nature of these Emergency and Proposed regulations, can be found here.  Although the regulations are called “proposed”, they are effective.  Public comment ends on September 30.  If you care to make any comments, you... Read More >

  • August 2017
    Wire Theft - Third Major Money Wiring Theft in DC Area. Stop, review your procedures and alert your staff today!

    By: Roy L. Kaufmann I have become personally aware of THREE wire thefts affecting title companies in the immediate DC metro area.  One, wherein fraudsters got away with over $1,500,000, was the subject of a recent lawsuit. This is affecting local title companies -... Read More >

  • August 2017
    Upcoming Event: How Women Lead

    How Women Lead Featuring Flora D. Darpino, 39th U.S. Army Judge Advocate General... Read More >

  • July 2017
    Right of First Refusal Must Be In Writing

    The United States District Court for the District of Columbia restated the fundamental principle that in order for a right of first refusal to be enforceable, it must be in writing under the Statute of Frauds.  A tenant under a restaurant lease sued its landlord when the latter sold the real property in which the leased premises was located without... Read More >

  • July 2017
    Headstrong HOA Board Member Puts Himself in Harm’s Way Over Fair Housing Issues

    In a recent case decided by the D.C. Court of Appeals, the court heard a matter involving the intersection between community association governance and fair housing law.  In this case, Wilfred Welsh, a board member of the Chaplin Woods Homeowners Association (the “HOA”), sued fellow HOA members Beverly McNeil and Alvin Elliott (the “McNeils”), claiming that the McNeil’s violated the... Read More >

  • June 2017
    Court Provides Guide For Defining Property In A Takings Case

    St. Croix has a regulation that prohibits the owners of two neighboring properties along the St. Croix River from being separately sold or built upon unless each property has at least an acre of developable land. The Murrs owned two such parcels, each with less than an acre available to be developed. The Murrs wanted to sell one of the... Read More >

  • April 2017
    Emotional Support Animals in Cooperative Apartment and Condo Communities: What Every Association and Owner Should Know

    An emotional support animal (commonly referred to as an “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 Coop or Condo who is living with a mental or psychiatric disability,... Read More >

  • February 2017
    Commercial Tenant’s Lease – Estoppel and Attornment Considerations

    A standard provision of commercial lease agreements is an agreement by the Tenant to execute estoppel certificates, and to attorn to a lender. An estoppel certificate is a statement from the tenant to either a lender or a prospective purchaser that clarifies: what property is leased (often includes square footage) the length term of the lease that the lease has or... Read More >

  • February 2017
    Forgiven Debt – Taxable to the Borrower?

    Generally, if a borrower is required to pay a sum certain at a specific time, the obligation is considered “debt” under the Internal Revenue Code.  If the lender forgives a portion, it has “cancelled” the debt and the borrower must declare and take into income the dollar amount cancelled.  A lender may unilaterally decide that a debt is not collectable... Read More >

  • November 2016
    Attorneys Quoted in Legal Description Article

    Roy Kaufmann and Brian Thompson, attorneys here at Jackson & Campbell, P.C., were in The Legal Description article "Trump Victory Opens Door for Industry Changes."... Read More >

  • September 2016
    Under TOPA, a Bona Fide Offer Cannot Be Based on Future Market Value

    On September 22, 2016, in Parcel One Phase One Assoc.., LLP v. Museum Square Tenants Ass’n., Inc., No. 15-CV-609, the District of Columbia Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court’s grant of summary judgment in favor of the tenants’ association that Parcel One’s offer of sale was not a... Read More >

  • September 2016
    Tax Planning for Nonresident Aliens Who Own U.S. Property

    Individuals who are not citizens or residents of the United States, known as nonresident aliens (“NRA”), need to be aware of the United States estate and gift taxes that will be applicable to their U.S. fixed assets, for example, U.S. real estate.  If an NRA owns fixed assets located... Read More >

  • September 2016
    Work In Progress – Further Technical Modifications to ZR16

    The Office of Planning recommended last Friday to the Office of Zoning further revisions to the new zoning regulations that became effective on September 6, 2016 (“ZR16”).  Such revisions notably include changes to measurements such as lot occupancies.  The proposed revisions (found here) will be considered on September 12... Read More >

  • September 2016
    Are You Ready? DC’s Overhauled Zoning Regulations Become Effective September 6

    DC’s new zoning regulations – referred to as “ZR16” – become effective September 6.  They are the product of a multi-year review by the Zoning Review Taskforce of the original zoning regulations enacted in 1958 and amended or updated through a patchwork process in the succeeding decades.  The Zoning Review Taskforce was comprised of representatives of the DC Government, the... Read More >

  • July 2016
    MD: Montgomery County Recordation Tax Changes Effective September 1

    James E. Babb, Tax Operations Manager for the Montgomery County Department of Finance, issued a memorandum explaining the revisions to the law concerning recordation tax, which goes into effect on September 1, 2016. He has included 12 examples which are intended to help the public understand their interpretation of the new law as it pertains to recordation tax calculations. A copy of Bill 15-16 can... Read More >

  • June 2016
    VA: Foreclosure Purchasers Face New Potential Hurdle In Virginia

    In Parrish v. Federal National Mortgage Association, the Virginia Supreme Court ruled 5-2 that when a defendant raises a bona fide question of the plaintiff's title in an unlawful detainer/ejectment action before the General District Court, that court loses subject matter over the case and the plaintiff must vindicate its title in the Circuit Court, thereby creating another... Read More >

  • April 2014
    Online Filing - Income and Expense Report DC and Building Permits.

    DC moves its technology forward to facilitate easy on-line filing. Commercial property owners can anticipate receipt of notification from OTR that on-line filing of Income and Expense forms is available. While online filing will be option for this year, it will be mandatory next year. The due date for the form remains unchanged: April 15. The paper forms are available at the OTR website... Read More >