Posts in COVID-19.
New Home, New Construction...New Taxes

Buying a residential new construction home is exciting! A homebuyer of a newly constructed home gets to enjoy the chance to select everything that goes into the home, all the details, appliances, flooring, fixtures, tiles, lighting, etc. It can be overwhelming and exciting in equal measure.

One BIG detail that is often overlooked is the effect that new construction has on property taxes in Pennsylvania.  With very few exceptions, every property has a tax assessment whether the property is exempt from taxes or assessed as vacant land, agricultural, a builder’s lot or fully assessed ...

Posted in Real Estate Law
Cha-Cha-Cha-Changes:  Relocation Clauses in Commercial Leases

A business acquaintance recently telephoned and asked if I had five minutes for a question. He had just received a letter from his landlord requesting a meeting to discuss the relocation of his business. Stunned, he pulled out his lease. Sure enough, buried there in the middle of the long lease agreement, he found a section stating that the landlord had the ability to unilaterally require the business to move to a new space in the building, even after years of tenancy. We spent a few minutes talking about that meeting and what a move might mean for his business.

So-called “Relocation ...

Successful Landlords Seek Professional Advisors to Help Their Business

Experienced landlords know that leasing can be a complicated and tricky venture. For individuals newly coming to the real estate leasing business, highlighted below are several important issues to consider that will help improve your experience and potential success.

Lease Agreement

First and foremost, make sure that you are using a comprehensive form of Lease Agreement that adequately addresses all the issues that may come up during the tenancy. If you are renting out residential real estate, issues such as security deposit, pets on the premises, rental insurance, payment of ...

Structuring Joint Ownership of Real Property to Avoid Unintended Consequences

People often consider opportunities to jointly own property with family, friends and business associates, but fail to consider how to properly structure the ownership of the property in order to avoid issues that arise over the long-term investment in real property. These concerns arise in a variety of ownership situations, ranging from business associates acquiring property for a new factory to family and friends owning property for recreational purposes. For example, a group of siblings may contemplate owning commercial property together in order to receive income from the ...

Posted in Real Estate Law
The American Rescue Plan Act – More Help May Be on the Way for Tenants and Landlords

The COVID-19 Pandemic has touched every segment of society and has been equally harsh on tenants and landlords alike. Hopefully, recent declines in COVID-19 infections, increased vaccinations and yet another aid package from Congress will help end the crisis and provide some relief for both sides of real estate leases.

The American Rescue Plan Act (ARP), passed by Congress on March 10, 2021 and expected to be signed into law on March 12, 2021, is the latest in a variety of state and federal legislation offering some benefits for parties to real estate leases. 

ARP includes a variety of ...

The Hotel Industry in the Time of COVID

The 2020 COVID-19 pandemic has had severe negative consequences for many sectors of the American economy.  This is certainly true for the hotel and hospitality industries, which have been particularly hard hit.

According to the American Hotel and Lodging Association (AHLA), the hotel industry is experiencing record low occupancy rates.  Occupancy rates averaged about 66% in 2017, 2018 and 2019.  The AHLA projects an average occupancy rate for 2020 at approximately 38%.  This is substantially lower that the 2007-2009 recession, when occupancy rates dropped to 54%. 

Without more help ...

Real Estate Transactions and COVID-19:  The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

The feel and look of a real estate transaction is considerably different than what it was just a short year ago. Today, in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, closings occur in a different manner and on a different time frame, which can cause concern for buyers and sellers, especially those who were used to the traditional and more predictable closing process. However, the new measures and protocols that have been put into place have allowed buyers and sellers to continue to transact business in a safe and effective manner. 

Before the pandemic, buyers, sellers, excited friends and ...