Publications and News

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...

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“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...

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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. 

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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New Survey Standards – Don’t Just Rely On Certifications!

February 23, 2016 was an important date for the real estate industry when the new 2016 ALTA/NSPS* Survey Standards went into effect – long and short, this 8 th revision of the survey standards mean that owners and lenders should no long assume that a “recertified survey” is just as good as a new survey! Every few years, the industry clarifies and updates standards. Standards change and title insurance coverage changes. If the owner or lender want to be assured that the survey exception ...

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Why Form Your LLC In Delaware?

Often, we are asked why you should form a limited liability company (LLC) in Delaware rather than somewhere else. Although there are duplicative annual filing fees and registered agents fees (add another $500 – $800 per year), there are some important and beneficial reasons why the decision should be made to form the LLC in Delaware. Consider the following: REASON #1 – BUSINESS EXPERIENCE. For many decades, Delaware has been the go-to venue for business; courts routinely deal with busi...

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“Discretion” Matters in Leases – Mandate Arbitration

Commercial leases call for the landlord’s discretion in many instances; three of these instances are very important to all tenants: Any changes to the premises The “use” clause for the premises Any change in the makeup of the tenant(s) All of these require a quick and efficient answer without the tenant spending time, money, and other resources waiting for a court to determine if the landlord was reasonable or acting properly under the lease. Too often, attorneys overlook these pro...

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