(this article was written by Adam L. Pedersen, the newest attorney at the Law Offices of Peter N. Brewer)

California is set to roll out new guidelines implementing the voter-mandated legalization of recreational marijuana use and production in January of 2018.  At the same time, cities and counties are scrambling to implement their own regulations before the state rules take effect.  The Adult Use of Marijuana Act, approved by voters in 2016, gives local jurisdictions almost unlimited authority to regulate the commercial sale and cultivation of recreational cannabis.  However, if local authorities don’t have rules in place when the state begins issuing permits in 2018, they risk losing some of that control.

To avoid this, many cities and counties immediately banned the production or sale of all commercial cannabis.  To date, local regulations have largely been concerned not with the now legal use of recreational cannabis, but with regulating how property can be used in connection with the cannabis industry.  Specifically, most local regulations aim to limit, if not prohibit, the use of local land for the cultivation or sale of recreational marijuana.  These regulations, and the legalization of cannabis in general, stand to have a great impact on the rights and obligations of property owners, landlords, real estate professionals and many others.

The concerns of property owners vary widely and depend, in part, upon social, economic or political views regarding the legalization of recreational cannabis.  Some farmers, ranchers and residents of rural agricultural areas fear the cultivation of cannabis will bring with it security concerns, given the industry’s sometimes shadowy past.  Others also fear that the industry will squeeze out traditional agricultural uses, such as grazing, in favor of higher-value cash crop.  In urban areas, residents share similar safety and security concerns.  Many Bay Area cities and counties have reacted by placing limitations on the number and location of dispensaries, keeping them away from schools and other sensitive areas.

On the other hand, many property owners have shown excitement at being either directly or indirectly involved in the industry.  Relatively easy to grow and with a high value per square foot of growing space, cannabis is an attractive crop for agricultural and/or industrial landowners who have otherwise fallen on hard times.  For example, space once used for the cut-flower industry on the Peninsula and for berries in Monterey County, space now fallow due to cheap overseas imports, is well suited for marijuana growing.  Rents for greenhouse space in some of these areas has tripled due to the anticipated demand for cannabis growing space.  This has understandably generated interest amongst struggling property owners looking for a new stream of income.

However, social and environmental concerns aside, the drive to repurpose land for use in cannabis cultivation can present thorny legal issues.  Local regulations vary widely.  Moreover, a state license may be meaningless absent compliance with local laws.  A landlord may be in for a rude awakening, and some missed rent payments, when a tenant’s operations are shut down for failure to adhere to complex local laws.  Property owners must contemplate legal compliance, and the result of non-compliance, in any agreement related to cannabis cultivation or sale.  Finally, given the continued nationwide illegality of the industry, property owners continue to risk legal consequences at the Federal level.

Lastly, just like rent-control, historic preservation or other local controls, the new regulations present an area of law that real estate professionals need to be prepared to discuss with their clients.  This is especially true for those representing potential buyers or lessees.  If an agent knows her prospective buyer or commercial tenant is interested in a property for use in the industry, the agent should at least be sufficiently knowledgeable to direct the client to the appropriate professionals and/or local authorities.  As another example, knowing which jurisdictions absolutely bar, versus conditionally allow, any such activity will help that client locate the right property.

What’s the takeaway?  Regardless of where you stand on the moral or social issues presented by recreational cannabis, themes outside the scope of this article (and outside the practice of this attorney), it is clear that savvy landowners, investors and professionals need to know how local regulations impact their property.  Whether that means assessing the potential negative impacts of nearby cannabis operations or the viability putting a given property to work in the industry requires analysis on a case-by-case basis.

The key is to pay attention the industry’s impact, keep updated on changes to local regulations and to not assume that, just because something was permissible in one locale, it will be allowed in another – even just one city down the road.  Importantly, getting a qualified legal opinion regarding relevant land-use restrictions and regulations at the outset of a transaction or venture will go a long way toward reducing costly surprises down the road.

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Conditions That California Sellers May Not Have to Disclose


Law Offices of Peter N. Brewer

by Law Offices of Peter N. Brewer on November 29, 2017

in Disclosure

(this article was written by Evy L. Eschbacher, the newest attorney at the Law Offices of Peter N. Brewer)

Selling a home can be on of the biggest steps in anyone’s life. Whether it involves letting go of old memories, bringing in a source of income, or expanding one’s family, it requires many thoughts and considerations. Hence the reason many sellers look to the advice and guidance of real estate brokers and attorneys in completing the required transaction forms needed for listing the property and sale.

To avoid liability for fraud, deceit, or misrepresentation, disclosures of all known material facts are required to be made by both, sellers and their agent, under federal and state law, as well as common law. Facts are generally considered material when such disclosures would affect the value and desirability of the property, or a buyer’s offer/decision to purchase the property. These often include disputes with neighbors, high-crime areas, the market value of the property, or even the amount of bedrooms in the home[1].

Below are some situations that a seller should disclose, but are not readily apparent as being relevant and material to buyers:

Living in a Haunted House

California law does not specifically require disclosures of paranormal activity that one may believe to have experienced in their home. However, if death is a result of such activity, there may be a disclosure requirement. In any event, if you have a belief that the home you are selling is haunted, you should likely take the necessary steps to ensure that you disclose such information to prospective buyer(s). Arguably, if a buyer were to discover such activity, they may be allowed to back out of the deal due to the non-disclosure of such ‘material’ fact.

Death (Prior to 3 years)

If a person has died in the home you are selling, you may worry that such a disclosure of information will taint the sale. However, Civil Code section 1710.2 provides some protections to sellers on this matter. Neither a seller nor real estate agent is required to voluntarily disclose a death, or the manner of death in the event that a person has died in the home more than three years prior to a transferee’s offer to purchase, lease, or rent the property. However, if the home was the scene of a violent or widely publicized murder, or if the buyer inquires as to whether any deaths have occurred on the property, you must disclose any such death and/or manner of death, even if it occurred more than three years ago.

Prior Occupant with HIV/AIDS

A seller is not required to voluntarily disclose that a prior occupant of the property was living with Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV), or died from Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS)-related complications while living on the property which is being sold[2]. Individuals diagnosed with HIV or AIDS fall into a protected class under Federal law[3]. Therefore, if a buyer specifically asks an agent or seller whether a person had or died from HIV or AIDS-related complications while living in the home, they should answer that any such disclosure of that information could be a violation of the federal fair housing laws. Accordingly, if such information appears to be relevant and material to the buyer, the seller and/or agent should further advise the buyer to pursue such investigation as to the manner of death on their own.

Natural Hazards Disclosure Statement

The Natural Hazards Disclosure Act requires sellers and their agents to disclose whether the property being sold lies within one or more of the state or local-mapped hazard areas. These areas include: (1) special flood hazard area; (2) area of potential flooding shown on a dam failure inundation map; (3) a very high fire hazard severity zone; (4) a wildlife area that may contain substantial forest fire risks and hazards; (5) an earthquake fault zone; and (6) a seismic hazard zone. The law requires this information to be provided by a seller to a potential buyer with the use of a one-page form known as the Natural Hazards Disclosure Statement (NHDS) form. In rare cases, a seller is not required to provide a prospective buyer with a NHDS. For example, these cases include transfers involving probate, transfers pursuant to a writ of execution, transfers between co-owners, and any bankruptcy or foreclosure sales[4]. Even in such event that the NHDS is not required, a disclosure as to whether the property is in a hazard zone may still be necessary. Therefore, it is always best to use the standard NHDS form and disclose whether the property is within a natural hazard zone to make sure you are in compliance with all state regulations.

Selling a Home in Foreclosure

California law recognizes that a seller of a home in foreclosure may rarely see the property; as such it provides that the property is sold “AS IS.” This means that the seller will not be required to provide the common requisite disclosures as provided by Civil Code section 1102. However, “AS IS” does not mean sellers do not have to duty to disclose, nor does it give a seller or their agent a pass to be dishonest or conceal material facts. Thus, the laws provide that a seller must still disclose any known material facts to a potential buyer and the listing must state whether the seller is in possession of a disclosure statement.

Disclose, Disclose, Disclose

If any of the above-mentioned conditions have occurred in your home, and the potential purchaser does not have knowledge of such, and cannot reasonably discover such information, you must err on the side of disclosure to avoid any potential liability. The agreed-upon purchase price of your home may be adversely affected by the disclosure of some of these issues, but you may take a bigger hit in legal fees should you fail to disclose. Therefore, it is better if sellers and their agents provide all prospective buyers with detailed and thorough disclosures of all known facts concerning the property. And if you are ever unsure, always disclose, disclose, disclose.

 


[1] Cal. Civ. Code §§ 1102-1102.15; Cal. Civ. Code §§ 2079-2079.11; Calemine v. Samuelson (2009) 171 Cal.App.4th 153, 161.  If you have decided to sell your California home, there is a helpful, but not exhaustive, Summary Disclosure Chart published by the California Association of Realtors to assist sellers in knowing what some required statutory disclosures are.

[2] Cal. Civ. Code § 1710.2.

[3] Rehabilitation Act of 1973 § 504; Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990.

[4] Civ. Code § 1103.1(a) (this list of exemptions is not exhaustive as the Code provides for many more).

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Few topics have drawn more heated discussions throughout the Silicon Valley real estate industry than the ever-changing and increasing rent control efforts happening all across the region. From 2011 to 2016, the median wage in San Francisco, Santa Clara, and San Mateo County rose by 14%, while the median apartment rent jumped by over 42%. This has led to a large percentage of tenants allocating at least half of their income towards rent. To make matters worse, there have only been approximately 80,000 homes constructed during the last ten years, while approximately 100,000 jobs have been added per year.  The competitive Bay Area rental market has initiated a push for more affordable housing and has forced local leaders and city councils to introduce new ordinances to combat the issue. Cities walk a fine line in implementing ordinances to provide affordable housing to tenants, without overreaching and interfering with a landowner’s property rights.

Most recently debated were San Jose’s rent control ordinances at a San Jose City Council meeting that took place on November 14, 2017. Several changes were proposed, including raising the annual percentage rent increase cap  [what does the rent increase cap mean, do not assume the readers know]. The increase cap was previously lowered in 2016 from 8% to 5%. In a 6-5 vote , the San Jose City Council decided to keep the annual rental increase cap at 5%. Landlords claim that the current annual increase does not provide sufficient funding for expenses to maintain the property, and were seeking to link increases to the Consumer Price Index, allowing them to pass some of the maintenance costs on to tenants.

In addition to tenants in the region suffering from rent spikes, corporations are struggling to provide affordable and logistically sensible housing to employees, and turnover is high as a result. Emmett Carson, the CEO of the Silicon Valley Community Foundation, said in a recent interview: “We are losing our competitiveness against places like Austin, New York, Seattle and L.A. because of the housing issues. For every job we have in the community, we need a place for that person to live in that community. We don’t have that now and our regional balkanization prevents the kind of regional approach that we have to have.”

In an effort to meet employee housing demands, we have seen an influx of corporations purchasing multi-family properties. While these acquisitions have good intentions, they come with their own slough of problems. For example, corporations purchasing properties subject to just cause ordinances face a complex issue if the property comes with existing tenants. More specifically, San Jose’s tenant protection ordinance, adopted on May 9, 2017, provides for a list of 12 just causes a landlord can use to evict a tenant. In this instance, there have been disputes lately as to whether corporations are able to use the “owner move-in” cause to evict existing tenants and move in their employees.

The argument in favor of this qualifying as just cause is that employees are technically members of the corporation, thus constituting an owner move-in. Another possible option is that employee housing may constitute the property being taken out of the rental market, thus invoking the Ellis Act. The caveats to these causes for eviction are that the corporation will be subject to supplying relocation assistance to current tenants and return any security deposits. In large apartment complexes and multi-unit buildings, this expense can cost corporations a significant amount of money. This issue, amongst many others, has yet to be heavily litigated, and should be monitored closely considering its effect on commerce in the area.

Perhaps the most concerning trend to property owners in the region is the momentum gathering towards a repeal of the Costa-Hawkins Rental Housing Act.  A repeal of Costa-Hawkins would result in single family dwellings and newly constructed units being subject to local rent control ordinances. Although on its face it sounds beneficial for tenants, the repeal of the act may result in fewer and fewer landlords introducing their property to the rental market out of fear they will not have control over the tenancy. Landlords and tenants alike should pay close attention to the current rental market and the laws being introduced. 2017 saw several changes concerning rent control implementation, and we believe 2018 will be no different.

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A remodel of your home can be a substantial investment. Nonetheless, it oftentimes shocks me to see the contracts that parties enter into regarding construction. This article is intended to highlight some of the issues that homeowners should look out for in these contracts.

Specificity in Scope of Work

Many construction contracts are extremely vague on the scope of work. The contracts oftentimes reference other documents (ie the estimate or architect plans) in defining the scope of work. This is generally OK, if and only of those other documents are DETAILED. Disputes can oftentimes arise over specifics in the work to be done. If the contract only states new cabinets or counters are to be installed, but does not specify the type, the owner will be expecting top of the line finishes and the contractor may be intending to use inferior products. Then, a dispute as to cost arises.

Therefore, it is critical for both parties that the estimate and scope of work included with the contract are as specific as possible, going as far as to name the specific brand, color, model number etc. of all improvements.

Indemnification

Many construction contracts require the homeowner “indemnify” the contractor for any claims brought against the contractor related to the project or because of some action or misaction by the owner. Contractors may be reluctant to part with these provisions, however it is even more concerning when the provisions are not mutual. Thus, it is critical that the homeowner require the contractor indemnify them should the contractor cause the homeowner to be sued or party to a third-party claim.

Indemnity provisions are complicated and critical, so this is an issue that the homeowner should consult counsel on to make sure they are adequately protected.

Right to Withhold Payments

A typical construction contract will have clearly identified payment schedules, with certain penalties if the owner does not pay timely. Well, what happens if the contractor has not fulfilled its obligations by the time the payment is due? Without a clause allowing the homeowner to withhold payment, the contractor may claim that the money is still due despite their failings.

For this reason, it is critical that the homeowner have protections afforded by a right to withhold payment.

Warranties

Most construction contracts provide some sort of limited express warranty. These warranties are oftentimes short (ie one year). The homeowner should try and negotiate a longer warranty, however if the contractor is unwilling to do so, there are additional protections the homeowner can seek. This includes requiring the contractor include language in the contract that the work will be done in a workman like manner, compliant with all applicable codes, done by licensed contractors, that the property will be left free of construction debris and left broom clean, etc. Although these items are not usually contained within the warranty language, it is critical for the homeowner to have assurance that the contract is contractually agreeing to perform to a certain standard, as this provides the homeowner another layer of protection and potential source of recovery.

It is also critical for the homeowner to make sure that they are aware of any warranties from the manufacturers or suppliers of materials, and that those warranties are assigned to the homeowner.


These are just a few of the areas that homeowners need to be aware of when negotiating a construction contract. Part 2 of this series will discuss change orders, delays in completion and subcontractor issues.

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Sheriff’s Sales to Third Parties Cannot be Set Aside


Law Offices of Peter N. Brewer

by Law Offices of Peter N. Brewer on June 19, 2017

in Bankruptcy, Foreclosure, Legal Update

Howard Rich (“Buyer”) purchased a single-family residence at a sheriff’s sale in July 2011. The prior owner, Yung-Shen Steven Lee (“Debtor”), had a judgment against him. The judgment holder, Spyglass Hill Community Association (“HOA”), sought and completed the execution sale in order to collect on its judgment. In February 2012, Debtor filed a motion to set aside the original judgment obtained by the HOA on the grounds that the HOA never properly served the lawsuit on him. The Court granted Debtor’s motion and set aside the judgment. After the default was set aside, Debtor then filed a motion to cancel the sheriff’s deed and Buyer’s purchase of the property. The court granted Debtor’s motion as the original judgment was void and had been set aside. Buyer then filed an appeal.

THE DECISION:
In Lee v. Rich, the California Court of Appeals, Fourth Circuit, reversed the trial court’s decision and held a sheriff’s sale cannot be set aside for any reason if the purchaser is a bona fide third party. The Appellate Court found that the statute explicitly stated that the sheriff’s sale could not be set aside unless the purchaser was the judgment creditor. Here, since Buyer was a third party, Debtor could not set aside the sale. The Appellate Court noted that the statute allowed for the Debtor to redeem the property, but once the redemption period ended, there was no way for sale to be set aside even if the underlying judgment was void. However, while Debtor could not set aside the sale, he was entitled to seek damages from the Creditor. In addition, the Appellate Court went on to note that the debtors, in some instances, have a right to equitable redemption. However, in order for that to apply, the purchaser must be guilty of unfairness and the property had to be sold at a grossly inadequate price. Here, since Buyer did not do anything wrong, equitable redemption did not apply.

WHY THIS DECISION IS IMPORTANT:
This case is relatively strange. The Appellate Court does not dispute that the underlying judgment that led to the sale was void as a matter of law. However, although the judgment was void, the Appellate Court found that it was not void as to Buyer because Buyer did not participate in the lawsuit. It is unclear how a sale based on a judgment that was void because the court did not have jurisdiction over Debtor could still be effective be sufficient to allow the sale of Debtor’s home. It seems that the sale would be in violation of Debtor’s due process rights. Given these facts, it seems unlikely that a court would ever set aside a sheriff’s sale with a third party buyer.

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San Jose Tenant Protection Ordinance


Ashlee Adkins

by Ashlee Adkins on June 12, 2017

in Landlord/Tenant Disputes

The rental market in San Jose, currently the most expensive in America according to the 13th annual Demographia International Housing Affordability Survey of 2017, has experienced a recent spike in activity leading up to the enactment of a City ordinance regarding rental restrictions. On May 9, 2017, the San Jose City Council passed and adopted Ordinance No. 29911, more commonly known as the Tenant Protection Ordinance (“TPO”). The TPO eliminates no-cause evictions for certain units and requires landlords to use just cause for their notices to vacate. The TPO provides for twelve just causes in total, concerning both landlord and tenant behavior. Outlined below are actions amounting to just cause, broken up into tenant and landlord behavior.

  • Tenant Actions Amounting to Just Cause
    • Nonpayment of Rent
    • Damage to the Rental Unit
    • Refusal to Agree to Similar or New Rental Agreement
    • Violation of Lease
      • Does not include subleasing to family members including: dependent child or foster child, spouse/domestic partner, parent, or sibling of Tenant, unless occupancy exceeds max number of tenants permissible for unit
    • Disorderly Behavior Disturbing the Peace
    • Refuse Access to Unit, Requested in Accordance in Law
  • Landlord Actions Amounting to Just Cause
    • Substantial Rehabilitation of the Unit
    • Removal of Apartments from the Rental Market Under the Ellis Act
    • Owner Move-In
    • City Code Enforcement Actions Requiring a Move-Out
    • Converting an Unpermitted Rental Unit for Permitted Use

Unbeknownst to many, the TPO does not cover all tenants in San Jose. However, the recent trend and homeless rate in San Jose certainly leads one to believe that it is only a matter of time before all rental units are covered by the TPO.  Currently, protection is only afforded to rent stabilized units, other multifamily dwellings with at least three units, units built without a permit, rental apartments with a condo map, and guesthouses. Duplexes, single family homes, condos, and second units are not covered, unless they are an unpermitted unit. To ascertain if your unit is rent stabilized; click here to see a map of rent-controlled properties in San Jose. Once the map is open, select “Multiple Housing Roster” from the drop down menu on the left and search for your address.

Prior to the enactment of the TPO, San Jose had more than 2,400 no-cause evictions dating back to 2010. This number only includes evictions that were self-reported to the City by landlords, amounting to nearly a 270% increase from previous years. If you are a resident of Santa Clara County, it is likely you have been affected by these evictions in one form or another. In a 2015 economic study by the Economic Roundtable, evictions were determined to be the leading cause of homelessness in Santa Clara County; costing the community nearly $520 million per year. Additionally, higher eviction rates have resulted in workers moving further and further away from work, causing more congestion on our already impacted roadways. It is reasonable to presume that the recent spike in evictions has been prompted by the rent control trend and introduction of the TPO by the City. Landlords all over San Jose emptied out their rental units, without cause, in an effort to snag a higher rent rate before the TPO came into effect.

It is important to know, both as a landlord and tenant, your rights concerning eviction. Keeping a watchful eye on incoming legislature and enacted laws in your area is essential to being able to adapt to the current trends and rental market. Missteps in the increasingly complicated eviction process are becoming more costly, and we recommend seeking legal advice before taking action.

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Commercial subleases can be good bargain options for tenants, but there are certain risks involved.  This article is intended to assist tenants in identifying these risks and understanding what can be done to mitigate them.

There are many issues for tenants to consider when subleasing, and this article is the first in a series of articles that will highlight these matters.

Protection from Sublessor’s Default

One of the more important issues for a sublessee to do to protect themselves is to try and ensure they are protected in the event the sublessor/master tenant defaults.  What does this mean?  The sublessee generally has an agreement with the master tenant, not directly with the landlord.  So, unless protections are added, if the master tenant defaults and its lease is terminated, that also means the sublessee loses its rights!  If the sublessee has expended significant resources to move into the new space and the master tenant defaults a few months later, this could be a significant loss.

So, what can the sublessee do?  In a perfect world hey can try and obtain a recognition agreement from the landlord whereby the landlord agrees to recognize the sublease as a direct lease between the landlord and the sublessee in the event that the tenant defaults under the terms of the master lease.  This allows the sublessee to remain in the property as if nothing has changed (other than the master tenant being gone!).  That said, landlords can be reluctant to provide such agreements, but there are other actions the sublessee take.

First, the sublessee should investigate the financial health of the master tenant.  Does the master tenant always pay rent in time?  Do they have liquid assets to pay future rent, or a strong revenue stream?  Have they been in default on any lease terms in the past?  This are crucial considerations for the sublessee to consider and investigate.

Moreover, the commercial tenant sublessee should require the landlord, or at least the master tenant, to provide any default notices to the sublessee.  This will allow the sublessee to possible cure, or assist in curing, any defaults to preserve their lease (sometimes called an attornment agreement).

Understand the Master Lease

This may go without saying, but it is critical for the sublessee to understand and approve the terms of the master lease.  This can be lost in the shuffle when entering into a sublease, as the sublease itself may be 20-plus pages long, and some much time is spent negotiating the sublease, the sublessee forgets to make sure the master lease is acceptable.

It is highly unlikely that the landlord will agree to amend the master lease, but is nonetheless critical for the sublessee to make sure that the master lease does not have egregious terms or otherwise make subleasing impractical (ie limitations on use of the property that make doing business impossible).

Along these same lines, it is also critical to know if the landlord will allow the sublease or not.  One can spend weeks or longer negotiating the terms of the sublease, paying attorney fees etc. to later find out the master landlord will not allow the sublease.  Thus, in a perfect world, the sublessee will get early confirmation of this, and preferably include it in the sublease (as opposed to executing the sublease subject to landlord approval).

Obtain Warranties from the Sublessor

As it is important to understand what is in the master lease, it is also critical to understand whether that is the current status as well.  Thus, in come representations and warranties.

It is critical for the sublessee to obtain certain representations from the sublessor about the status of the lease and property.  Common representations and/or warranties from the sublessor include

  1. the master lease is the entire agreement between the parties, and there are no other agreements between the landlord and the sublessee;
  2. there are no existing defaults or set of circumstances which would lead to a default under the master lease by either the landlord or sublessor;
  3. the premises and the improvements therein are in compliance with all applicable laws; and
  4. the premises, improvements and building systems are in good working order and condition.

These are just some of the critical issues that commercial tenants need to ensure are included in their sublease.  Future articles will address other issues, including use of the space, utilities, shared functions, and other matters.

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Two Proposed Assembly Bills Could Change the Commercial Real Estate Landscape

by Ashlee Adkins April 24, 2017 Broker/Realtor
Thumbnail image for Two Proposed Assembly Bills Could Change the Commercial Real Estate Landscape

Prompted by the 2016 landmark ruling in the California Supreme Court Case Horiike v. Coldwell Banker, California Assembly members have introduced Assembly Bill 1059 (“AB 1059”) and Assembly Bill 1626 (“AB 1626”). AB 1626 and 1059 oppose each other and are scheduled for review on April 25th and May 2nd respectively. These bills would change […]

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Court Finds Listing Agent Can Fight Multiple Owners For Her Commission

by Law Offices of Peter N. Brewer March 16, 2017 Broker/Realtor
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Recently, the Sixth District Court of Appeals overturned a state trial court order that originally invalidated a listing broker’s claim against multiple sellers of a vacant parcel of land in Marin County. FACTS:  Licensed broker Bernice Jacobs presented a listing agreement to five owners, only one of which executed the agreement.  The sellers owned a parcel […]

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Hidden Pitfalls of Renewal Clauses in Commercial Leases

by Ashlee Adkins February 1, 2017 Commercial Real Estate
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One of the most overlooked clauses in commercial leases is the option to renew. Essentially, an option to renew is merely an offer by which the lessor binds himself in advance to make a contact if the lessee accepts on the terms and within the time designated (Cicinelli v. IwasakiI (1959) 170 Cal. App. 2d […]

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