Category Archives: Real Estate

United States District Court for the District of Maryland grants summary judgment on 3(a) exclusion

Earlier this week, the United States District Court for the District of Maryland granted, in part, summary judgment against a title insurer for failing to provide a defense to an underlying fraud and conspiracy action. In Sharestates Investments, LLC v. WFG National Title Ins. Co., the Court reaffirmed that the duty to defend is significantly broader than the duty to ... Read More

Best Law Firms® 2023 Rankings

A number of Jackson & Campbell, P.C.’s practice groups received national and metro rankings in the Fourteenth Edition of the Best Law Firms® rankings. As a firm, we strive for excellence in our work and are very proud to be recognized as a part of this elite group ... Read More

Court of Appeals of Virginia holds private easement not a public dedication.

The Court of Appeals of Virginia affirmed a summary judgment grant finding that language included in a subdivision plat did not create a public easement. In Salunkhe v. Christopher Customs, LLC, the Court held that language stating, “24’ Ingress-Egress Esm’t” and “35’ Rad. Turnaround Esm’t” failed to satisfy the Virginia Code requirements to create ... Read More

Supreme Court of Maryland has clarified how public roads are established

In Board of County Commissioners v. Aiken, the Supreme Court of Maryland has clarified how public roads are established, recognizing that its prior case law “has caused confusion.” The Court agreed with the Appellate Court of Maryland’s “well-reasoned analysis and affirm[ed] its judgment in all respects.” The Appellate Court’s decision was discussed here in August, 2022.  At issue ... Read More

Security Deposit Requirements for DC Residential Leases

The District of Columbia, with its rich history of protecting the rights of tenants, has strict rules governing security deposits on residential leases.  Landlords who manage their own properties and professional managers should be familiar with these rules. Limitations on the amount of the security deposit.  The deposit shall not exceed ... Read More

The Supreme Court of Virginia has reversed a trial court and upheld a prescriptive easement where the issue of permission was hotly contested in Kevin Horn v. James Webb

The Supreme Court of Virginia has reversed a trial court and upheld a prescriptive easement where the issue of permission was hotly contested. In Kevin Horn v. James Webb, the Court examined the issue of whether prescriptive rights could arise from a pre-1976 grant of permission by the servient estate which was never expressly ... Read More

Maryland and Virginia appellate courts issue decisions on statutory interpretation

In the Maryland case of Elsberry v. Stanley Martin Companies, LLC, the purchasers of a single-family home in Charles County filed suit alleging that the seller improperly imposed an amortized water and sewer charge for a period of thirty years after the date of the initial sale. The homeowners filed suit contending that Md. Code Real Prop. § 14-117 ... Read More

Court of Special Appeals of Maryland affirms quiet title dismissal and vacates public road decision

The Court of Special Appeals of Maryland vacated a trial court determination that a public road was not established where St. Mary’s County contended that it closed the roadway and no longer maintained the parcel. In Wilkinson v. Board of County Commissioners, the Court noted the trial court had “blurred” methods establishing public roads ... Read More

A Legislative Solution for Conservation Easements

A Legislative Solution for Conservation Easements:  Jackson & Campbell’s Tax Chair, Nancy Ortmeyer Kuhn, provides insightful commentary on charitable conservation easements and the proposed tax legislation that caps charitable deductions for taxpayers.  She also discusses the Supreme Court’s recent decision in West Virginia v. EPA, and how that may impact Treasury Regulations. Read more here: CE Legislation Article ... Read More

Short-Term Rental License – DCRA Extends Grace Period for Obtaining License.

The District regulates short-term residential rentals, such as "AirBNB". The regulations are found here The grace period for obtaining the license and endorsement is extended to June 9, 2022. A Basic Business license is required, with two, alternative endorsements available. Short-Term Rental Endorsement (Host is present during rental – such as renting out bedrooms). Eligibility for License: Must be within host/applicant's primary residence ... Read More

Using Intrafamily Loans to Transfer Wealth and Reduce Estate Taxes

With current interest rates at near-historic lows, intrafamily loans remain an effective way to shift wealth to the next generation while avoiding estate and income tax consequences. Such loans can be part of a complex estate planning strategy, including the transfer of a closely-held family business.  However, they can also be used as a simple mechanism to assist children with ... Read More

Association Liability for Crimes Committed by Third Parties

On February 3, 2022, a final order was issued in Letellier v. The Atrium Unit Owners Association, et al. (Case No. CL19001103-00). The case tested the duty owed by condominium associations when a third-party commits a crime against a resident. On May 7, 2017, a man posed as a maintenance worker and entered the Atrium Condominium (the “Condominium”) in Arlington, Virginia ... Read More

Court of Special Appeals of Maryland affirms expansion of general easement to allow for emergency vehicle use

Following seven years of litigation, and two appeals, the Court of Special Appeals of Maryland affirmed a circuit court’s widening of a general easement to effectuate the intent of long-dead parties. In Garrett v. Holloway, the Court added some measure of clarity to a 1903 conveyance which referenced a bisecting private road but did not expressly create an easement nor ... Read More

Estate Tax Considerations for 2022: How Clients Can Plan in an Uncertain Time

The Internal Revenue Service ("IRS") has released annual inflation adjustments for 2022. These include increased gift, estate, and generation-skipping transfer (“GST”) tax exemptions (the “unified credit”), annual gift tax exclusions, and retirement account limits. The changes are as follows: The unified credit will increase to $12.06 million for an individual (from $11.7 million in 2021). This means that a married ... Read More

Blount v. Padgett’s Impact on Property Held as Tenants by the Entireties

The District of Columbia Court of Appeals has clarified a 45-year-old decision regarding the effects of a divorce on liens against property held as tenants by the entireties. In Blount v. Padgett, the Court of Appeals refined its 1976 holding in Travis v. Benson that an entry of a final divorce decree converts property to a tenancy in common allowing ... Read More

SCOTUS Opinion: Court Blocks CDC Moratorium On Evictions

Congress twice passed a law imposing a moratorium on certain types of eviction during the COVID-19 pandemic, but the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention each time extended the moratorium, claiming authority under Section 361(a) of the Public Health Service Act. That statute permitted the CDC to “make and enforce such regulations as . . . are necessary to prevent ... Read More

Real Estate Update: Easement drafting news in the Court of Special Appeals of Maryland

The Court of Special Appeals of Maryland has issued a decision giving a word of caution to easement drafters. In Joe the Grinder, Riva Road, LLC v. Riva, LLC, the Court held that an easement referencing a right of way for “vehicular ingress and egress” was ambiguous as the easement further described only a single-lane driving aisle “to” a traffic ... Read More

Client Alert: Watts-Dowd v. SJH Property Management, LLC

The Court of Special Appeals of Maryland has affirmed a trial court’s denial of an adverse possession claim in which the plaintiff submitted evidence as to each of the traditional necessary elements but failed to establish the location of the actual property at issue.  In Watts-Dowd v. SJH Property Management LLC, the Court was presented with an all too familiar ... Read More

Client Alert: Maryland Real Estate Commission Activity

Various bulletins and notices from the Maryland Real Estate Commission serve as important reminders: Real Estate Agents Not to be Paid by Title Company or Others – Must be Paid Through the Brokerage. Payment of real estate commissions to agents or associate brokers may not be from the settlement company's account.  Instead, payments of commissions need to be paid through the real ... Read More

Client Alert: Wheeling v. Selene Finance, LP

The Court of Appeals of Maryland has held that a protected resident need not be deprived of actual possession as a condition to suit against a loan servicer under the 2013 residential eviction amendments set forth in Maryland Code Real Property Article § 7-113. In Wheeling v. Selene Finance, LP, the Court weighed-in on claims from two families regarding the ... Read More

Client Alert: Wilson v. Eagle National Bank

The United States District Court for the District of Maryland has allowed a complaint alleging Sherman Act violations by a lender in purported conspiracy with its internal title company and competitor title company to proceed. In Wilson v. Eagle National Bank, the Court held that allegations of horizontal price-fixing in title and settlement services, if proven true, constitute per se ... Read More

Client Alert: A New Holding in the Court of Appeals of Maryland That May Affect Enforcement of Condominium Liens

Earlier this week, the Court of Appeals of Maryland held that condominium liens perfected under the Maryland Contract Lien Act cannot secure unpaid amounts which accrue subsequent to the recordation of the lien. In in re Anthony D. Walker, the Court answered a certified question from the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Maryland which had grappled with ... Read More

D.C. Court of Appeals Issues Decision On Condominium Lien Foreclosures And When An Appeal May Be Taken in a Consolidated Action

On March 25, 2021, the D.C. Court of Appeals issued its decision in RFB Properties II, LLC v. Deutsche Bank Company Americas (Nos. 19-CV-0529 and 19-CV-069). This decision has important ramifications on two fronts: (1) whether a party can appeal from a “final order” issued in only one of two consolidated cases; and (2) in the context of a D.C ... Read More

Client Alert: Yacko v. Mitchell

The Court of Special Appeals of Maryland has issued an opinion adverse to lenders decrying the “high volume of foreclosure cases” in which lenders “often treat these matters as routine and expect our courts to rubber-stamp the foreclosure with methodical expediency.”  In Yacko v. Mitchell, the Court noted that the Maryland Rules mandate that trial courts slow the foreclosure action ... Read More

Client Alert: Chicago Title Insurance Co. v. Allynnore M. Jen

Last Thursday, the Court of Special Appeals of Maryland issued an opinion on an insurance coverage matter that only eight (8) jurisdictions have issued a published decision on since 1951. Fortunately for the title insurer, the Court of Special Appeals sided with the majority and joined seven (7) of those jurisdictions. While the case raises other issues such as the ... Read More