Category Archives: Real Estate

Client Alert: Easement Decisions in the Court of Special Appeals of Maryland

The Court of Special Appeals of Maryland has issued two new easement decisions of importance to real estate practitioners. Both decisions provide rare detailed analysis from the Court of Special Appeals into easements and are worth review. In Hejazi v. Sears, Hejazi’s predecessor-in-title conveyed an easement “over, upon and across” the subject property to Sears granting “exclusive rights to the use ... Read More

Client Alert: Dennis Hamilton v. Murray Rottenberg

The Court of Special Appeals of Maryland recently resolved a matter of first impression as to whether a judgment lien attaches on property during that brief period after a contract for sale has been executed but prior to legal title passing at closing. As this was the first level of appeal, it is likely that the losing party will seek ... Read More

Client Alert: Dwight Deloatch v. Robin Deloatch

The District of Columbia Court of Appeals recently highlighted a United States Supreme Court decision that went largely unnoticed in the real estate industry. As the highlighted rule stems from the highest court in the land, real estate practitioners in all jurisdictions should take note. In Dwight Deloatch v. Robin Deloatch, Mr. Deloatch noted an appeal nearly four (4) years after ... Read More

Client Alert: District Court of the District of Columbia Denies Traditional Legal Defenses Raised by Title Companies

On May 22, 2020, the United States District Court for the District of Columbia issued an important decision denying an early motion to dismiss against a title company for its actions preceding a troubled transaction. The decision is significant in that the District Court denied each of the traditional legal defenses typically raised by title companies at such an early ... Read More

The Court of Appeals of Maryland Clarifies a Receiver’s Ability to Sell Real Property

Similar to other businesses that are slowly beginning to reopen, the appellate courts are increasing the amount of decisions being issued. On May 12, 2020, the Court of Appeals of Maryland issued an important decision which reversed the intermediate appellate court and clarified a receiver’s ability to sell real property. In Mayor and City Council of Baltimore v. Prime Realty Associates, ... Read More

Client Alert for Commercial Landlords: “Control The Space” and Pre-Bankruptcy Contractual Termination of Lease

When the economy weakens, as with the unprecedented effects of the current COVID-19 pandemic, certain office and retail tenants will be unable to satisfy their lease obligations, vacate or file bankruptcy. Landlords should anticipate the consequences of these developments and some may choose to be proactive rather than reactive, and one way is to consider sending notices of default and ... Read More

Client Alert: The Impact of COVID-19 on Commercial Leases – Force Majeure and Curtailed Court Operations

The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the ability of many businesses to satisfy payment and other obligations under leases and other contracts.  As tenant income has precipitously dropped over the past few weeks, often as a result of government mandated closures or restrictions on operations, landlords and tenants are taking a hard look at “force majeure” provisions in leases.  First and ... Read More

Client Alert: Important Decisions Limiting a Carrier’s Duty to Defend

In difficult times, it is good to see courts continuing with their dockets and issuing favorable decisions for the industry.  On March 23, the United States District Court for the District of Columbia issued a very important decision limiting a carrier’s duty to defend. In Security Title Guarantee Corp. of Baltimore v. 915 Decatur St NW, LLC, ... Read More

The Council of the District of Columbia Approves Emergency Bill Expanding Foreclosure Protections

On March 3, 2020, the Council of the District of Columbia approved an emergency bill amending certain portions of the Housing Finance Agency Act to extend the Agency’s Reverse Mortgage Insurance and Tax Payment Program (ReMIT). ReMIT is a pilot program crafted to address seniors facing foreclosure on a reverse mortgage by providing subsidy payments (up to $25,000) to help ... Read More

February Real Estate Update | Gan v. Van Buren Street Methodist Church

On February 13, 2020, the District of Columbia Court of Appeals issued an opinion which expressly declined to follow a troubling earlier decision regarding tacking in the context of adverse possession. The decision is significant because the Court clarified the confusing and contradictory prior decision, which muddied the adverse possession waters in Washington, D.C. In Gan v. Van Buren Street Methodist ... Read More

Davis v. Echo Valley Condominium Association, 945 F.3d 483 (6th Circuit Court, December 19, 2019)

In a recent case before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, the court heard a matter involving the intersection between fair housing law and community association governance. In this case, Phyllis Davis purchased a second-floor unit in a four-unit condominium building within the Echo Valley Condominium Association in Farmington Hills, Michigan. Davis suffers from asthma and chemical ... Read More

Settlement Considerations on Acquisitions of DC Commercial Property – Plan Early and Keep Lines of Communication Open Between Settlement Company and Lender

The settlement process on commercial transactions and, more particularly, the completion of the FP7/C (Real Property Recordation and Transfer Tax Form) is markedly different than residential transactions. One particular pitfall has recently come to light that has plagued and delayed some transactions and has resulted in more money being due for recordation taxes than the buyer or lender had anticipated ... Read More

Expansion of Home Purchase Assistance Program to Include Construction/Repair Money

A new bill has been introduced before the Council of the District of Columbia that would amend the Home Purchase Assistance Program (HPAP). This program provides assistance to first time home buyers of lower and medium income households by offering interest free loans towards down payments and some assistance towards closing costs. These loans generally take the form of ... Read More

December Real Estate Update | Rae Lee Davis v. J. Garnett Davis, Jr.

On December 5, 2019, the Supreme Court of Virginia issued an opinion invalidating three gift deeds executed and delivered in 2013. The decision is significant in that evidence outside of the recorded documents – and, presumptively, outside of the review of any title examiner – was relied upon by the Court in reaching its decision. In Rae Lee Davis v. J ... Read More

Virginia Supreme Court Adopts Partial Subordination Rule

The case of Futuri Real Estate, Inc. v. Atlantic Trustee Services, LLC involved a question of first impression in Virginia regarding what should happen when a first-priority position lien subordinates itself to a third-priority position lien. Under the complete subordination rule, the first-priority position lien becomes junior to the other two liens on the property, the second-priority lien moves ... Read More

Is the Lender’s Title Policy Coverage Triggered in the Underlying Battle Between the Lender and the Homeowners Association in a Super-Priority Lien State?

In Wells Fargo Bank, NA, as Trustee v. Fidelity National Insurance Company, Case No. 3:19-cv-00241-MMD-WGC in the United States District Court for the District of Nevada (decided October 29, 2019), the trial court was recently confronted with an issue which has been brewing over the past several years in those states that provide Homeowners Association (HOA)/condominium liens with a super-priority ... Read More

October Real Estate Update | Lawrence R. Carver, Jr. v. RBS Citizens, N.A.

On September 27, 2019, the Court of Special Appeals of Maryland issued an opinion reversing a judgment against Security Title Guarantee Corp. of Baltimore. The decision is significant not merely for what the Court held, but for what claims were not raised by the property owners. In Lawrence R. Carver, Jr. v. RBS Citizens, N.A., Nancy and Lawrence Carver purchased multiple ... Read More

September Real Estate Update | Loch Levan Land L.P. v. Board of Supervisors of Henrico County

On August 22, 2019, the Supreme Court of Virginia issued an opinion denying a developer’s claim of vested rights in a dedicated road. In Loch Levan Land L.P. v. Board of Supervisors of Henrico County, the Court affirmed the Circuit Court’s judgment and brought major disruptions to plans for development of 1,089 acres of land located only a few miles ... Read More

Commercial Recordation/Transfer Tax Increase and Mandatory Use of New FP7

The Washington, D.C. Office of Tax and Revenue has issued an official notice of the increase on transfer and recordation tax on commercial properties where the consideration (real or imputed) is more than $2 million. The increase is effective on October 1, 2019 and is scheduled to expire on September 30, 2023. A ... Read More

The Best Lawyers in America 2020

Jackson & Campbell, P.C. is pleased to announce a number of our Directors have been named to The Best Lawyers in America© 2020 Edition. Congratulations to: Arthur D. Burger, Ethics and Professional Responsibility Law David H. Cox, Real Estate Law, Real Estate Litigation William E. Davis, Trusts and Estates, Trusts ... Read More

D.C. Superior Court Amends Landlord/Tenant Rules

On July 23, 2019, the Superior Court of the District of Columbia issued amendments to the Landlord and Tenant Branch Rules of Procedure. Generally, the amendments made stylistic changes that are consistent with the recent amendments to the Superior Court Rules of Civil Procedure (i.e., the replacement of the word "shall" with "must"). Along with the stylistic changes, the amendments made several ... Read More

July Real Estate Update | Margaret Williams v. James Kennedy | Jane Robinson, Trustee v. Nels Nordquist

The District of Columbia Court of Appeals and the Supreme Court of Virginia have recently issued decisions which are significant for those in the real estate industry. Washington, D.C. On July 11, 2019, the District of Columbia Court of Appeals issued its decision in Margaret Williams v. James Kennedy regarding intra-owner transfers within the context of the Tenant Opportunity to Purchase Act ... Read More

Washington, D.C. Office of Tax and Revenue Homestead Unit Suspending Processing Of Homestead Applications

The division of the DC Office of Tax and Revenue that processes homestead, senior, and disabled applications (FP-100) has announced that, as of July 17, 2019, it will suspend the processing of applications, grant benefits, and tax account adjustments. This action was “taken to meet a demanding billing timeline to reconcile tax accounts” associated with the upcoming 2019 second half ... Read More

D.C. Court of Appeals Affirms Establishment of a Public Easement by Prescription Against a Tax Sale Purchaser Who Tried to Close Off an Alleyway

In Zere v. District of Columbia, the D.C. Court of Appeals restated the elements for a prescriptive easement in the District, with a particular focus on the element of adversity, by affirming a grant of summary judgment. Mr. Zere, an experienced tax sale purchaser, separately acquired five of six lots that formed a private alley. Mr. Zere then attempted to ... Read More

May Real Estate Update | SJ Enterprises, LLC v. Quander

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

April Real Estate Update | Elm Cabin John, LLC v. United Bank

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