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Default Decisions 

In the current market environment, commercial property landlords are experiencing an increase in the number of tenants that are party to U.S. Bankruptcy Code Chapter 7 and Chapter 11 proceedings. Landlords should have a basic understanding of their rights when

Deal Diagnosis 

During the past decade, hospitals and healthcare providers have been on a building spree. Not only is the quantity of developments growing, but project size is on the rise. Hospitals and healthcare providers often build new because aging facilities cannot

Lease Logic 

Although commercial real estate investors often look at capitalization rates and replacement costs when considering an acquisition, the primary income stream &mdash and therefore the primary pricing mechanism &mdash is rent and

Pay Attention to Specific Lease Terms to Avoid Litigation 

Although they are among the most common legal documents in commercial real estate, leases often are items of contention due to misunderstanding of terms or unspecific wording. As the following cases illustrate, landlords and tenants must pay close attention to

Deposit Disputes 

Part of the toll of the ongoing commercial real estate slump is the high frequency of terminated deals. Scarcity of financing, valuation disconnects, and general economic concern all contribute to the “kill rate.” Of course, any time a deal is

Electronic Signature Advances Will Facilitate Online Business 

The world of electronic transactions has galloped far beyond the efforts of the legal community to develop laws that facilitate traffic on the Internet. Recently, Congress gave an unequivocal green light to those exploring the realm of electronic commerce. While

Guide to Green 

The perfect example of local government hurdles to green building leapt off the newspaper page a few months ago. Former Vice President Al Gore filed a plan with the municipality of Belle Meade, Tenn., to install solar panels on the

No Uncertain Terms 

What does it mean to vacate the premises in commercial leases? The denotation can be critical, particularly in cases where vacating the premises triggers a default. Last August, the District of Columbia Court of Appeals was called on to

Litigation Alternatives 

As business litigation costs and length increase, more commercial real estate companies are turning to alternative dispute resolution to solve disagreements with partners, suppliers, customers, and other professionals with whom they have contractual relationships. ADR offers parties the ability to

What's the Use? 

Shopping center landlords heavily negotiate use provisions in their leases because they are critical to retail centers' tenant mixes. In a recent case, Congress Financial Corp. (Center) v. West Town Center LLC (In re Trak Auto), the Fourth Circuit Court

What's it Worth? 

Eminent domain gives government the power to condemn or take away privately owned property for public purposes. In recent years this has come to include selling or transferring land to private entities for economic development purposes. Eminent domain power exists

Clear the Air 

From asbestos to lead based paint, environmental problems and their associated risks always have been a concern in the commercial real estate industry. Today, property owners and investors can add vapor intrusion to that list of worries. An indoor air

Reviewing the Rule 

In a series of cases culminating in two recent decisions, the Maryland Court of Appeals clarified the scope and application of the rule against perpetuities in a broad range of real estate transactions. While the rule’s enforceability varies from

Recent Court Decisions Help Real Estate Pros Avoid Litigation 

At the end of the year, it is helpful to revisit legal issues concerning commercial real estate by reviewing new court decisions that further the debate on these topics. Both of the examples cited here continue themes discussed in earlier

Retro Rejection 

When tenants file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy both landlords' and tenants' rights and responsibilities come under the purview of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code. Landlords cannot evict tenants in bankruptcy absent relief from the automatic stay, and tenants must continue to

Protecting Possession 

Subtenants that do not employ mechanisms to protect their interests could face devastating consequences if a sublandlord files for bankruptcy protection. In such situations, bankruptcy law can operate to terminate subtenants' rights to possession. In a California case on this

U.S. Supreme Court Takes Another Look at Regulatory Takings 

The landmark 1994 U.S. Supreme Court decision of Dolan v. City of Tigard established the "rough proportionality" test for determining whether government regulation of land is so intrusive as to constitute a taking for which compensation must be made. In

Transfer Request 

Bundle of sticks is the idiom commonly used to describe the rights that constitute fee simple property ownership. The common law right to receive compensation for injury to real property can be the most important “stick” within that bundle. It

Act Accordingly 

Whether we like it or not, the fear of terrorism continues to impact the way Americans live, travel, and work. To help protect U.S. citizens against future attacks, the government currently is modifying and extending specific provisions of the U.S.A.

Copy Right 

In a time of high costs, credit uncertainty, and a desire by some developers to either reuse past architectural plans or use other developers&rsquo designs to save money, a question arises about whether builders can utilize plans created by architects

Appraisal Update 

Are appraisers more exposed undertaking charitable contribution appraisals when the taxpayer donor seeks a federal tax deduction? This concern arises with the passage of the Pension Protection Act of 2006, signed by President George Bush last August. The PPA increases

Domain Disputes 

Eminent domain issues affect residents and businesses in many communities where the law permits the local government to take private property for public use real estate developments or public purposes. While state laws vary greatly, the U.S. Supreme Court recently

Word Default Terms Precisely in Rooftop Rental Agreements 

Renting rooftop space to telecommunications companies for cellular antennas and equipment can be an easy way for commercial property owners to increase revenue. Yet many owners are wary of such arrangements, concerned about a rooftop antenna's effect on a property's

Safety Net 

As all commercial real estate professionals know, effectively managing property is not without its challenges. Property owners and managers must be prepared for anything since no one can predict when unexpected events such as fires, floods, contamination, and other catastrophes

Prevention Plan 

Asbestos litigation poses legitimate challenges and potential economic hardship for commercial real estate property owners. Overall, both prospective and current property owners need to be aware of and guard themselves against asbestos related risks associated with acquiring or owning a