Publications and News

THE DC AREA’S “TRI-STATE LENDING CONUNDRUM”: RECOMMENDATIONS ON PAPERING A GOOD LOAN THAT “TOUCHES” DC/MD/VA

A senior lending officer once remarked, “the best loans are those that are well-underwritten and better papered.” Lending in our tri-jurisdiction area of DC, Maryland and Virginia is challenging today. Lenders must not only underwrite the loan and the borrower/guarantors for today, but also look forward during the term of the loan to protect the loan for default, trouble or calamity. Beyond that, it gets even trickier in our area. The lender may be organized in one state and fund...

Read More

The Federal Opportunity Zone Program – A New Program Worth Knowing!

 You may have heard about the Opportunity Zone Program -- included as a part of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017.  The Program was designed as a way to revitalize economically distressed communities by offering significant tax breaks to investors who invest in the development of these communities.  Although there has been some debate over whether this program will succeed in actually revitalizing these communities, all politics aside, what does the Opportunity Zone Program m...

Read More

SIGNIFICANT CHANGES TO TENANT’S RIGHTS FOR SINGLE FAMILY HOMES!

The Tenant Opportunity to Purchase Act of 1980 (“TOPA”), as amended, gives District of Columbia residential tenants the opportunity to purchase and a right of first refusal to match a third party contract when the owner of their rental accommodation sells, demolishes, or discontinues renting the unit. On April 10, 2018, the District of Columbia City Council amended this act to add several exemptions from coverage. With a few exceptions, single family rental units, single family rental units...

Read More

Warning to DC Landlords: You may think you are exempt from rent control! ARE YOU?

In the District of Columbia, the DHCD Rental Accommodations Division (“RAD”) administers the District’s Rent Control Act. All housing accommodations must be registered with RAD, except dormitories, hospitals, units operated by foreign governments, and a few others. The Law places all of the District’s housing stock under rent control UNLESS exempted and, in order to be exempted, one must follow certain regulations and filing procedures in order to qualify for exemption. In other word...

Read More

“Market Rate” in Options May Cause Option to be Unenforceable

Option years are written solely for the benefit of a tenant and options add significant value to an ongoing business. Recently, some Court have given landlords an “out” and allowed landlords to cancel a lease renewal term where the option is based upon “market rate” rent. While it would be expected that a Court could be left with the final say-so as that is “market rate,” many Courts have elected not to do so. To be on the safe-side, in order for the option to be enforceable, tenant...

Read More

Citation for Prayer

"Vijay Singh have lived for more than 20 years on Brooklawn Terrace in Chevy Chase. Born in Nepal, he is a practicing Hindu. Twice a day he prays on his backyard porn with incense. Actually, make that past tense." Mr. Singh was cited by Montgomery County officials for emitting an odor into the atmosphere that allegedly created air pollution for neighbors. However, by retaining WEISS LLP, Mr. Singh was able to have his citation reversed. 

Read More

Construction on a Home Even if Rented Out? Don’t Get STUNG

Under local laws, any work to convert, alter, modernize or repair a residence (single family or condominium) is a “home improvement” – with all the laws, licensing requirements and regulations getting triggered as a “home improvement.” Additionally, it doesn’t matter who owns the property, nor does it matter if it is rented out or owned as an investment property. There are regulations that permit an owner a three-day to rescind, certain disclosures and notices, and registration/licen...

Read More

Maryland Construction General Contractors Watch Out! You Are Soon to be Liable for Subcontractors’ Wage and Hour Violations

Beginning October 1, 2018, Maryland’s already stiff wage and hour penalties will be extended to cover construction general contractors whose subcontractors are found in violation of Maryland wage and hour laws, making the general contractor jointly and severally liable for all violations by both direct subcontractors and indirect, lower-tiered subcontractors. Any project that involves “construction services” in Maryland is an area of risk – meaning any “building, reconstructing, improv...

Read More

A Changing Landscape: How Tax Reform Has Modified the 1031 Exchange Process

Are you selling a piece of real property and looking for a way to defer the capital gains taxes owed on your investment? Due to the recent 2018 tax reform and the resulting changes made to Section 1031 of the tax code, new issues have arisen that smart sellers and buyers must take into account before deciding that a “1031 Exchange” is wise decision. To put it simply, a 1031 Exchange allows an investor to “defer” paying capital gains taxes on a property when it is sold, as long anothe...

Read More

WARNING: Your Employees May Become Your Competitors

Employers who fail to plan properly will find out that former employees can quickly become their direct competitors. Unless you have in place “non-competition/non-solicitation agreements”, your ex-employees will be free to poach your customers or clients – and you will be powerless to prevent it. Take the case of Allan M. Dworkin, D.D.S. v. Blumenthal, 77 Md. App. 774 (1989): A dentist hires a young dentist to work for him at his practice. The young dentist leaves and takes the cli...

Read More