Richmond Continues to Assess Short-Term Rentals
Our national real estate practice is sought out by owners, developers, borrowers and tenants in connection with the acquisition, financing, development and leasing of a broad array of commercial real estate projects across industry sectors. Our teams advise investors, developers, landlords and tenants in connection with their investments and interests in commercial, retail, multifamily and industrial properties. Our real estate attorneys are integrated with our tax, environmental, bankruptcy and litigation teams, as well as a variety of industry-specific practice groups, to provide clients the expertise they need to meet their business objectives.
We are experienced with a complete range of commercial real estate transactions, including those involving:
Our experience working for participants on all sides of these transactions provides us with valuable perspective and an ability to implement creative solutions on deals ranging from the simple to the highly complex.
U.S. Supreme Court Decision Permits States to Charge Sales Tax for Online Purchases
On June 21, 2018, the Supreme Court issued its opinion in South Dakota v. Wayfair, Inc., overturning Quill Corp. v. North Dakota, 504 U.S. 298 (1992) and National Bellas Hess v. Illinois, 386 U.S. 753 (1967), and ushering in a new paradigm for sales tax nexus. Ultimately, the court held that the physical presence rule as refined in Quill was unsound and incorrect and that states may charge sales tax on purchases from out-of-state sellers that do not have a physical presence in the taxing state, so long as the seller has “substantial nexus” with the taxing state.
Fairfax County Accepting Plan Amendment Nominations for North County Districts
New Zoning Code Threatened by Urban Renewal Plans
Between now and December 5, 2017, citizens, property owners and community organizations may submit proposals for revisions to the long-range land use plan for sites located within the four north county magisterial districts – Dranesville, Hunter Mill, Providence, and Sully.
Howard County's Zoning Code and Development Regulations Rewrite Process Has Begun
Baltimore City's New Zoning Code Set To Go Into Effect On June 5, 2017
On December 5, 2016, after nearly ten years since it was initially proposed, the Baltimore City Council passed, and the then Mayor signed into law, a new zoning code and new zoning maps for the City of Baltimore (Baltimore City Council Bill No. 12-0152). The new zoning code, dubbed “TransForm Baltimore”, replaces the current 1971 Zoning Code. The new code and maps become effective on June 5, 2017.
For the first time since the 1970’s, Howard County is undertaking an assessment and rewrite of its zoning and development regulations, and associated development manuals. No doubt Howard County’s Department of Planning and Zoning has set in place an organized process for this comprehensive undertaking, but it promises to be slow. The process is comprised of two phases and will likely take three (3) years to complete.
In recent months, Donald Trump has been quoted as saying that successful companies often use bankruptcy laws to their advantage. Does he know something you should know? Should you be paying closer attention to how bankruptcy law actually works?
Tax Tangles: Real Estate Agents (But Not Mortgage Brokers) May Qualify As Real Estate Professionals
The Baltimore County Zoning Map Process Is Here Again
This installment of Tax Tangles highlights a legal memorandum in which the IRS recently concluded that a real estate agent may qualify as a “Real Estate Professional” enabling income and losses from rental real estate to escape being “passive” for federal income tax purposes.
Baltimore County’s quadrennial comprehensive zoning map process (CZMP) begins this September 1 and like the last few zoning cycles the process will take a year to complete.
Recent decisions from trial and appellate courts have marked a major point in the evolution of importance of comprehensive plans to zoning decisions. Although there has always been a close relationship between comprehensive plans and development regulations, the relationship between comprehensive plans and land use or zoning regulations has been less close. That may be changing and could have major implications for local zoning decisions including comprehensive re-zonings.
The Changing Impact of Comprehensive Planning on Zoning
Tax Tangles: REIT Spinoffs: Opportunities and Issues
Don't Put Off That Development Project
Years ago a Baltimore County employee told me that no matter how onerous I thought the development regulations might be, if I waited a while they would get worse.
That cautionary statement is applicable to today’s marketplace. The State of Maryland has become very involved in local land use decisions, and the Maryland Department of the Environment, along with numerous non-profit environmental groups, has become very aggressive in planning for and regulating both current pollution levels and future pollution levels.
This edition of The Real Deal inaugurates “Tax Tangles,” a new periodic feature by members of WTP’s Tax Section. In this inaugural article, Michael J. Grace, Counsel in our Washington, DC office, highlights two provisions of federal income tax law to which businesses and individuals in the real estate industry should pay particular attention: Like-Kind Exchanges and 3.8% Net Investment Income Tax.
Tax Tangles: Income Tax Watch List for Real Estate
The State Acts: The Environmental Impact on Business, 2013 and 2014
The close of 2013 saw several developments in environmental regulatory matters that Maryland businesses and individuals should consider as they make plans for the coming year and beyond. A common theme in many of these state programs and initiatives is the role and cost of stormwater management and how many of them are connected to and dependent on one another. Because of these issues, businesses are encouraged to take a larger and long-term view of what is being required, what is likely to be required and what may be done in response. As the 2014 General Assembly session begins on January 8th, businesses should carefully evaluate how these recent developments may affect their operations and budgets.
Effective July, 1, 2013, Maryland has a new law that regulates individuals and entities providing services in “short sale” transactions. The new law is named the Maryland Mortgage Assistance Relief Services Act (“Maryland MARS”). The provisions dealing with this new statute may be found in the “Real Property Article,” Section 7-501 et seq. and also in the “Commercial Law Article,” Section 14-1901 et seq.
The "Maryland MARS" Act
What Does Your Commercial Lease Say About the New Stormwater Fees?
It’s been the talk of the town. House Bill 987 passed by the General Assembly in 2012 requires ten major jurisdictions to implement a watershed protection and restoration program and to apply a storm water remediation fee to fund the program by July 1, 2013. So what does this mean for property owners? Residential property owners are subject to a set annual fee ranging from $11 to $195 depending on the county in which your property is located.
Coming to a Locality Near You - Stormwater Remediation Fees in Maryland
Maryland has new stormwater fees that are being implemented county-by-county.
On May 2, 2012, Governor O’Malley signed into law House Bill 987. In short, the law requires jurisdictions within Maryland subject to a federal Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) Phase I permit to establish a local stormwater protection and restoration program and implement a local stormwater fee to fund that Program by July 1, 2013.
"Sign of the Times" in Baltimore County
I was fortunate to spend the first half of my professional career working in Baltimore County Government, and for many of those years I was the Director of Permits and Development Management, overseeing the entire development process in Baltimore County. In that capacity I regulated many things, one of which was signage.
Shopping Center Leases and Franchises: A Landlord's Checklist
Time to Revise the Attorneys' Fee Provisions in Your Maryland Contracts
Because of their brand recognition, consistency of operation and support network, franchised businesses can be wonderful tenants at shopping centers and other multi-use commercial properties. Franchisees are small business owners with substantial investments and drive to succeed, but who are able to use brands and business systems that provide competitive advantages. However, a lease with a franchisee raises concerns separate and distinct from those with independent small business owners or with regional or national chain store operators.
Look at your leases, loan documents, settlement agreements and promissory notes. Your standard language may no longer protect you.
Special Legislative Alert
The 2012 Maryland General Assembly Session ended on April 9th with the passage of a number of bills that promise to have a significant impact on real estate and land development activities in Maryland.
Collecting Holdover Rent Just Became A Little Harder
What does your lease provide with respect to a tenant holding over after the end of the term? Does it clearly define what constitutes a “holding over?” In the recent case of Carroll Indep. Fuel Co. v. Washington Real Estate Investment Trust, the Maryland appellate court addressed the contours of a tenant holding over in ways that may be different from what a landlord would expect. Perhaps both landlords and tenants need to take a closer look at a clause that is not frequently heavily negotiated, but which also may be interpreted by courts in ways that the parties did not anticipate.
Lead Paint: The Court Throws the Rental Market into Turmoil
Maryland Ground Rent Lease Safeguards Begin to Come Undone
Baltimore City Releases “TransForm 2.0”
On October 24, 2011, Maryland’s highest court, the Court of Appeals, issued its decision in Jackson v. Dackman Co., and found that the immunity provisions of The Reduction of Lead Risk in Housing Act (the “Act”) are unconstitutional. Previously, the Act provided property owners with immunity from lead based paint claims if they complied with its provisions and/or if a qualified offer was made. However, for reasons discussed in more detail below, the Court held that the immunity provisions of the Act are unconstitutional because the statutory remedy provided by the Act is unreasonable.
In 2007, Maryland enacted a series of laws intended to protect residential ground tenants from the loss of their homes as a result of failing to pay ground rent and, further, to facilitate the extinguishment and redemption of residential ground rent leases. An impetus for the legislation was provided by a series of articles appearing in the Baltimore Sun in 2006 highlighting extreme ground rent lawsuits and seemingly inequitable ejectments of residents by ground rent owners. On October 25, 2011, the Court of Appeals in Muskin v. State Department of Assessments and Taxation, struck down part of one of those laws with respect to the extinguishment of ground rent leases not registered with the Maryland State Department of Assessments and Taxation (“SDAT”) by September 30, 2010.
Numerous programs exist that provide real financial benefits and market positioning opportunities for commercial and certain multi-family building owners looking to benefit from improvements in energy efficiency. In fact, some owners are finding that the cost of modest capital improvements can be accounted for through reduced future utility expenses. If these improvements allow an owner to then capitalize on available federal tax incentives, possibly save their tenants money and position themselves in the marketplace, the benefits can be substantial.
At the end of August, the Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) proposed new Erosion & Sediment Control Regulations that will impact most land development activities across Maryland that disturb more than 5,000 square feet of land area and more than 100 cubic yards of earth. The proposed regulations generally provide that no grading or building permit may be issued for a project unless an erosion & sediment control plan drafted in accordance with its requirements is first approved.
MDE Proposes New Erosion & Sediment Control Regulations
Energy Star, Tax Incentives and Capital Improvements, oh my! Why Investing Now in Energy Efficiency Shouldn’t Scare Commercial Building Owners
Expansive "Exclusive Use" Clauses in Retail Leases Can Lead to Costly Litigation
PlanMaryland - An Effort at "Smarter" Growth
Maryland's New International Green Construction Code Law
Baltimore County's 2012 Comprehensive Zoning Map Process Commences this Year
Bill to Toll Permits Fails in Maryland
Basics of Condemnation
Pandora, a Retail Success Story Bucking the Trend
Baltimore County Master Plan 2020 and Comprehensive Zoning
New Green Building Standards Approved for Baltimore City
"ESD to the MEP": Could Your Development Project be Exempt?
2010 Plan Maryland
Trinity Assembly of God v. People's Counsel for Baltimore County
Landlord's Remedies for a Tenant's Failure to Pay Rent Under Maryland Law
The Growth Goals of Baltimore County's Master Plan 2020 - Are PUDs the Answer?
Master Plan Season
In Current Economic Climate, Maryland Counties Embrace State Law Tolling Local Development Approvals
Governments Work to Provide Incentives and Mandates for Building Green
Leasing Survival: What You Can Do In A Weak Real Estate Market
This article was reproduced with permission of the Maryland Bar Journal, originally published by the Maryland State Bar Association.
In a landlord-tenant relationship, when should a tenant be concerned about its liability if its negligence, or the negligence of its employees, causes great damage to the leased premises or to the remainder of the shopping center? Does existing law offer protection to unwary tenants? An insurer may have the right to sue the tenant if its policy contains a subrogation provision. Subrogation is the substitution of one person for another, giving the substitute the same legal rights as the original party. For example, an insurance company usually has a right of subrogation to sue anyone whom the person it compensated had a right to sue. Where real property is damaged and an insurer invokes a subrogation action, it stands in the shoes of the insured to recover against the third party that caused damage to the insured's property. As a result, without appropriate lease language, a tenant may be liable for the total cost to rebuild a shopping center.
Each year the Maryland Legislature enacts a number of laws which impact, in varying degrees, on the personal and business lives of people living in or doing business in the State of Maryland. The General Assembly adjourned on April 7, 2003, and the Session actively concluded when the Governor enacted legislation into State law during four separate signing ceremonies on April 8, April 22, May 13 and May 22, 2003.
Each year the Maryland Legislature enacts a number of laws which impact in various degrees on the personal and business lives of people living in or doing business in the State of Maryland. The General Assembly adjourned on April 8, 2002, and the Session actively concluded when the Governor enacted legislation into State law during four separate signing ceremonies on April 9, April 25, May 6 and May 16.
Baltimore – Whiteford Taylor & Preston announced today that Keith C. Martin, a Northern Virginia based land use and zoning attorney with thirty-five years of experience in the region, has joined the firm as counsel in its Falls Church office.
“We are pleased to welcome Keith to the firm,” said Managing Partner Martin Fletcher. ”His reputation and experience add significantly to our capabilities for serving our clients’ land use and zoning needs in Virginia, as well as Maryland.”
Whiteford, Taylor & Preston is pleased to announce that Chambers and Partners has once again ranked the firm highly in its 2017 list of leading firms and business lawyers. This year’s recognition includes a record 29 attorneys in 4 states, the District of Columbia and Afghanistan.
Whiteford, Taylor & Preston is pleased to announce that 41 of its attorneys are listed among the 2017 Super Lawyers and Rising Stars in Maryland and Kentucky joining the sixteen who were listed earlier this year in Delaware, D.C., Pennsylvania and Virginia.
Whiteford, Taylor & Preston is pleased to announce that, in addition to ranking the firm highly in its 2016 list of Maryland’s leading firms and business lawyers, Chambers and Partners have added new Whiteford lawyers in Maryland and Delaware.
The practice group rankings are based on the high rankings of 21 individual lawyers.
Fifty-nine lawyers from Whiteford, Taylor & Preston have been selected by their peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America® 2016 (copyright 2015 by Woodward/White, Inc., of Aiken S.C.). The lawyers selected are based in the firm’s Maryland, Washington and Virginia offices.
Whiteford, Taylor & Preston is pleased to announce that the 2015 edition of Chambers USA recognizes 17 of its lawyers as leaders in their fields and, in addition, has ranked six of Whiteford’s practice areas.
Whiteford, Taylor & Preston is proud to announce that Tom Barbuti, a senior partner in the firm, is to be honored with the Distinguished Maryland Real Property Practitioner of the Year Award by the Real Property Section of the Maryland State Bar Association. The award, to be formally presented June 12th at the MSBA Annual Meeting in Ocean City, Maryland, recognizes a Maryland real estate attorney best exemplifying the experience, technical skill, client service, integrity, collegiality, and courtesy for which all real estate lawyers strive.
Whiteford Taylor & Preston LLP is very gratified to announce that the firm has once again received exemplary ratings in the fifth annual U.S. News & World Report rankings of law firms.
Whiteford Taylor & Preston LLP announced today that the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) has appointed Thomas C. Barbuti for a one-year term as Chair of its Government Relations Committee for Maryland, Washington, D.C., and Northern Virginia. In this volunteer role, Mr. Barbuti will represent the interests of owners, developers, investors, marketers and other retail specialists in the mid-Atlantic.
Whiteford Taylor & Preston LLP is very gratified to announce that the firm has received exemplary ratings in the second annual U.S. News & World Report rankings of law firms. In Maryland, WTP was rated highly in 34 practice areas, more than any other firm in the state.
Corporate International Magazine, a British publication targeted at the finance industry worldwide, has announced that Whiteford Taylor & Preston has been selected as the winner of the Corporate Intl Magazine 2010 Legal Awards as Real Estate Law Firm of the Year in Maryland.
The Magazine notes that the Awards recognize law firms that “have shown excellence not only in expertise but in service, and during a difficult global economic downturn.”
Join us for a half-day seminar on the ins and outs of the upcoming Comprehensive Zoning Map process, which begins in the summer of 2007. Presentations will be made by Baltimore County Councilman Kevin Kamenetz, Jeff Long, and Jeff Mayhew. WTP attorneys G. Scott Barhight and John Gontrum will also be speaking.
Whiteford, Taylor & Preston L.L.P., is pleased to announce that Thomas C. Barbuti (Real Estate), Joseph K. Pokempner (Labor and Employment), Larry M. Wolf (Labor and Employment), Jeanne M. Phelan (Labor and Employment ), and Robert B. Curran (Corporate) have been recognized in 2004/2005 edition of America's Leading Business Lawyers, published by Chambers & Partners.
Whiteford Taylor & Preston L.L.P. is pleased to announce that Thomas C. Barbuti has been elected to the American College of Real Estate Lawyers (ACREL).