Real Estate Law

The Meaning of “Under Seal”

June 27, 2016
Posted in Real Estate Law

If you have recently placed your signature on a contract, deed, or mortgage, you may have noticed the word “SEAL” printed in big, bold letters somewhere near your name. While the concept of signing a contract “under seal” may sound a bit archaic, the inclusion of such a word may significantly alter legal rights thereunder. […]

If You Think that Attorney’s Fees are Recoverable in a Suit for a Tenant’s Breach of a Residential Lease, Check Again

June 17, 2016
Posted in Real Estate Law

The Pennsylvania Association of Realtors form (PAR form) Residential Lease surprisingly makes limited provision for the recovery of attorney’s fees by a landlord in the event of a tenant’s breach. Generally, in Pennsylvania, litigants are responsible for their own attorney’s fees unless a contract says that they are recoverable, or a statute says they are […]

Right to Collect Attorneys’ Fees

June 6, 2016
Posted in Real Estate Law

The right of associations to recover attorneys’ fees against delinquent homeowners is alive and well. In a recent decision in Arches Condominium Association v. Robinson, the Commonwealth Court upheld the award of $26,206.08 to a condominium association based on its efforts to collect an initial amount due of $939.83. The award of attorneys’ fees was […]

Developments in Real Estate Assessments

May 24, 2016
Posted in Real Estate Law

The Supreme Court of Pennsylvania has decided to look into the practice of school districts hiring companies to look for commercial properties that are under assessed, which results in a school district assessment appeal, with the company getting a contingent fee percentage of the increased taxes achieved. Land owners have been complaining that this practice […]

NPDES Permitting Regulations: Plan for Success

April 27, 2016
Posted in Real Estate Law

NPDES permittees may be surprised to find themselves in situations where they cannot terminate a NPDES permit after successfully completing a project and constructing a fully functional stormwater management system.  Under regulations that became effective in November 2010, NPDES permittees became obligated to record post-construction stormwater mmanagement declarations (“PCSM Declarations”) against properties containing post-construction stormwater […]

Slow Down the Mad Dash to Closing

April 14, 2016
Posted in Real Estate Law

If you are considering selling an income producing property, i.e. apartment complex, office building, retail center, do some housekeeping before you sign the agreement. It’s certain the purchaser will request an existing title insurance policy, past utility bills, tax bills, operating expenses, certificate of occupancy, copies of leases, approvals, permits and plans. Dig them out, […]

FIRPTA Withholding Rate Increasing to 15%

March 14, 2016
Posted in Real Estate Law

When I discuss FIRPTA with clients a number of questions are asked. In light of this rate increase I thought I would consolidate those questions in a brief memo. What is it? FIRPTA is the Foreign Investment in Real Property Tax Act of 1980. It was passed to prevent foreign investors from selling US real […]

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