Real Estate


Jackson & Campbell, P.C. has served the legal needs of the real estate industry for over a century. Practical experience with real estate transactions and highly specialized knowledge are combined with sophisticated courtroom skills to provide the highest level of representation and client satisfaction. These skills and knowledge have allowed our attorneys to expand the scope of litigated matters to include a wide array of real estate disputes. The Firm combines a sophisticated national practice with a well-established general practice at the local and regional levels. Representative clients include:

  • Commercial office building owners and managers
  • Commercial tenants
  • Condominiums, cooperatives, and multi-family housing associations, owners, developers, and managers
  • National title insurers
  • Non-profit associations
  • Regional financial institutions

Our team of professionals in the Real Estate Litigation and Transactions 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, titling, and development of a new project through operations, management, and leasing to disposition, whether by sale or like-kind exchange.

Commercial Real Estate

Jackson & Campbell attorneys have the knowledge, skills, and litigation experience to help guide our clients, whether they are owners, developers, individuals, lenders, and trustees, through acquiring, selling, transferring, developing, or protecting residential real state in a complex multi-jurisdiction area, such as the greater Washington area.

Operating real property assets requires specialized knowledge and counsel. Problems that seem unique when first encountered 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
  • Environmental hazard counseling and litigation, such as: plywood roofing, asbestos claims, lead-based paint claims, and sick building syndrome
  • Foreclosure
  • Water and sewer disputes


  • Commercial leasing
  • Property management agreements
  • Compliance with ADA and other statutes governing the ownership of real property
  • Purchase and sale of commercial real estate and related financing
  • Real estate taxes and assessments
  • Vendor contracts and resolution of vendor contractual disputes

Condominium, Cooperative, and Multi-Family Housing

Condominium, cooperative, and 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 managers and owners of cooperatives and condominiums and major regional and national apartment managers and owners on every aspect of legal risk and regulation in the industry, including:


  • Advising boards of housing organizations on corporate governance and advocacy issues
  • Developing contracts and brokerage agreements
  • Counseling on environmental risks
  • Zoning and other local and municipal regulatory actions

Legislative Advocacy and Lobbying

  • Advocacy before D.C. agencies and the D.C. Council


  • ADA counseling and litigation
  • Compliance with corporate governance and regulations
  • Employment
  • Fair Housing Act counseling and litigation
  • Rehabilitation Act counseling and litigation


  • Corporate governance
  • Emotional support animals
  • Employment disputes and human resources issues
  • Management contracts
  • Residential leases
  • Taxation and municipal regulation
  • Tenant safety, premises liability, and drug use
  • Third-party criminal activity issues


  • Condominium conversions
  • Construction financing and permanent financing
  • Contract negotiations
  • Financing: The capital intensive real property industry demands experienced, sophisticated financing counsel which Jackson & Campbell can provide. The group has represented borrowers and lenders in a wide variety of financing transactions and has provided counseling to national asset-based lenders.
  • Insurance coverage
  • Intergenerational transfers
  • Like-kind exchanges
  • Purchase and sale
  • Wi-Fi/cable company agreements

Residential Real Estate

Jackson & Campbell’s attorneys have the experience to help guide you through a complex multi-jurisdictional area, such as the greater Washington region. Whether acquiring, selling, transferring, developing, or protecting residential real estate, our attorneys have a wide breadth of experience representing individuals, associations, and business entities, through a variety of legal issues including:

Litigation & Administrative Hearings

  • Adverse possession
  • Boundary and easement disputes
  • Breach of warranties (statutory and title)
  • Construction contracts
  • D. C. Tenant Opportunity to Purchase Act (TOPA)
  • Partitions
  • Purchase and sale agreements


  • Commercial lending/real estate financing
  • D. C. Office of Tax and Revenue
  • Deed of Trusts
  • TOPA
  • Negotiation of easements
  • Promissory Notes
  • Purchase and sale agreements
  • Tax
  • Transfer of properties to trusts and LLCs

Title Insurance

For decades, Jackson & Campbell has been a leader in representing title insurers. In both national and regional matters, our attorneys have developed a distinct and unique expertise in handling the complex litigation needs of title insurers and other real estate participants.

Our attorneys promptly analyze threats to the validity and priority of liens and title and immediate applications to courts for marshaling and seizure of assets or documents in the event that fraud or defalcation becomes apparent. Practical experience with 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.

Legislative Advocacy and Lobbying

  • Advocacy before D.C. agencies and the D.C. Council


  • Adverse possession
  • Boundary disputes
  • Coverage issues
  • Defalcations
  • Equitable subrogation
  • Miscellaneous curative litigation
  • Quiet title action/declaratory judgments
  • Probate-related curative litigation
  • TOPA


  • Coverage advice and counseling
  • May 2024
    How to Make Sure You Know the Boundaries of Your Property: The Difference Between a House Location Drawing and a Survey
    How to Make Sure You Know the Boundaries of Your Property The Difference Between a House Location Drawing and a Survey By Roy L. Kaufmann Prudent buyers of real estate (excluding most condos and co-ops) will want to know where the property ... Read More
  • February 2024
    Federal court in Maryland confirms “unmarketable” relates to title, not property.
    The United States District Court for the District of Maryland recently dismissed a title policy holder’s claim regarding an allegedly unmarketable title and provided especially useful language to the industry. In Kiritsis v. Stewart Title Guaranty Co., the court confirmed that “unmarketable” as used in the policy was not ambiguous and that the term ... Read More
  • February 2024
    Court of Appeals of Virginia opens door to second round of easement litigation
    The Court of Appeals of Virginia affirmed the denial of an implied easement absent evidence of its location but may have encouraged the parties to further litigate the issue. In Morris v. Parker, the central issue initially before the trial court was whether the Morrises had established an implied easement to use a platted ... Read More
  • December 2023
    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
  • November 2023
    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
  • September 2023
    Simply Owning or Renting a Home in DC May Subject You to DC Income Tax
    D.C.  Simply Owning or Renting a Home in DC May Subject You to DC Income Tax (regardless of whether you live outside DC for the majority of the year) – Statutory Residency in the District of Columbia  As a general proposition, States tend to impose their income taxes on people who reside within the state or who ... Read More
  • August 2023
    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
  • August 2023
    The Best Lawyers in America 2024
    Jackson & Campbell, P.C. is pleased to announce a number of our Directors have been named to The Best Lawyers in America© 2024 Edition. Congratulations to: Arthur D. Burger (2015) - Ethics and Professional Responsibility Law Christopher ... Read More
  • July 2023
    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
  • June 2023
    Real Estate Loan Drafting Guidance: District of Columbia
    We're sharing a Q&A guide to real estate finance law and practice for borrowers and lenders in the District of Columbia. This guide can be used in conjunction with the Real Estate Finance State Q&A. It addresses state customs and laws relating to loan document drafting to ensure enforceability and priority of the lien of mortgage instruments. It also generally ... Read More
  • June 2023
    Appellate Court of Maryland confirms an "easement to nowhere" is terminated.
    The Appellate Court of Maryland has confirmed that an “easement to nowhere,” if it existed, may be terminated by estoppel and adverse possession. In Holder v. Uncle Eddie’s Brokedown Palace, LLC, the Court examined an express easement which included purported rights to traverse lands not owned by the servient estate and how the conveyed rights, if any, may be terminated. In Holder, Justin Young ... Read More
  • May 2023
    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
  • March 2023
    Condo Association Took Proper Disciplinary Action
    On February 16, 2023, the D.C. Court of Appeals upheld a decision that a condominium association’s failure to precisely comply with certain provisions of its bylaws may not deprive a member of due process rights. In Rayner v. Yale Steam Laundry Condo. Ass’n, No. 21-VA-122 & 22-CV-58 (D.C. Cir. Feb. 16, 2023), the Association issued a written notice for a hearing ... Read More
  • February 2023
    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
  • January 2023
    District of Columbia Court of Appeals clarifies public easement rules
    The District of Columbia Court of Appeals has clarified a pair of rulings from 1896 and 1899 as to how public easements may be accepted. In Kalorama Citizens Association v. SunTrust Bank Company, the Court held that a public easement, such as the disputed open plaza being used by vendors for a farmers’ market, ... Read More
  • December 2022
    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
  • August 2022
    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
  • April 2022
    Court of Special Appeals of Maryland finds ambiguity in easement and reversed trial court order to demolish dwelling
    This week, the Court of Special Appeals of Maryland found an ambiguity in an open space and conservation easement and reversed a trial court’s grant of summary judgment. In Roxbury View, LLC v. Edward McCauley, the Court held that Maryland Environmental Trust’s victory at the trial court – mandating that a new residential dwelling be demolished within six (6) months ... Read More
  • April 2022
    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 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. Must ... Read More
  • March 2022
    DC Council Extends Foreclosure Moratorium, Shortens TOPA Tolling Period
    In October 2021, D.C. Council provided Mayor Bowser, under Act 24-178 1 , the power to extend the foreclosure moratorium from November 5, 2021, to February 4, 2022. 2 The purpose of this extension was to allow the Housing Assistance Funds (‘HAF”) Program to be implemented. The goal of the HAF program is to prevent mortgage ... Read More
  • February 2022
    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
  • February 2022
    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
  • August 2021
    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
  • July 2021
    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
  • July 2021
    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
  • May 2021
    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
  • April 2021
    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
  • March 2021
    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
  • March 2021
    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
  • February 2021
    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
  • December 2020
    Client Alert: PennyMac Holdings, LLC v. First American Title Insurance Company
    Recognizing that Maryland appellate courts have not previously issued a published opinion as to either whether a closing protection letter constitutes a policy of title insurance or when claims against a closing protection letter accrues for statute of limitations purposes, the Court of Special Appeals of Maryland has issued a decision clarifying these, and other, areas of the law. In PennyMac ... Read More
  • November 2020
    Client Alert: Batstone v. Chicago Title Ins. Co.
    Earlier this week, the United States District Court for the District of Maryland issued a decision interpreting Covered Risk 5 (“someone else has a right to limit Your use of the Land”). Given the relative rarity of written decisions interpreting title policies, it is worth a review of this decision. In Batstone v. Chicago Title Ins. Co., Louise and Griffith Batstone ... Read More
  • October 2020
    Client Alert: SGT Kang’s Group, LLC v. Board of County Supervisors
    The Supreme Court of Virginia recently issued an unpublished decision interpreting a reservation of easements prior to a recorded dedication. While unpublished, the decision provides valuable insight into the mindset of the Supreme Court. In SGT Kang’s Group, LLC v. Board of County Supervisors, two adjoining property owners in Prince William County obtained special use permits to construct a car wash ... Read More
  • September 2020
    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
  • September 2020
    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
  • June 2020
    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
  • May 2020
    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
  • May 2020
    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
  • April 2020
    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
  • March 2020
    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
  • March 2020
    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
  • March 2020
    Families First Coronavirus Response Act
    On March 18, 2020, the 118th Congress of the United States signed into law the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, which will go into effect on April 2, 2020. The primary details of this newly enacted law are as follows: EMERGENCY FAMILY AND MEDICAL LEAVE EXPANSION ACT (Section 3101) Applies to employers with fewer than 500 employees, but more than 25 ... Read More
  • March 2020
    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 2020
    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
  • February 2020
    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
  • January 2020
    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
  • December 2019
    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 2019
    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
  • November 2019
    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
  • November 2019
    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 2019
    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 2019
    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
  • August 2019
    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
  • August 2019
    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
  • August 2019
    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 2019
    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
  • July 2019
    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
  • June 2019
    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 2019
    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
  • May 2019
    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 2019
    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
  • April 2019
    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
  • April 2019
    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
  • April 2019
    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
  • March 2019
    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
  • March 2019
    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
  • March 2019
    March Real Estate Update | Cushman & Wakefield of Maryland, Inc. v. DRV Greentec, LLC
    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
  • March 2019
    Revocable Trusts and Real Property in Washington, D.C.
    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
  • February 2019
    Tax Planning for Nonresident Aliens Who Own US Property
    Individuals who are not citizens or residents of the United States, known as nonresident aliens (NRA), need to be aware of the U.S. 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 in the ... Read More
  • 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
    Please note: This article has been updated and can be found here. 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 ... 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
    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
  • March 2016
    Consider Carefully The New Certification Required Under The Revised D.C. FP7
    The D.C. Recorder of Deeds announced today that it has revised the Real Property Recordation and Transfer Tax Form FP 7/C (herein “FP7C”). The purpose of this revision was to “contain a self-certification of compliance with tax payment, per DC Code § 42-407(2).” That statute, reprinted below, says that D.C. shall not record if any Transfer ... 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