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Real Estate and Environmental Law


  • As businesses seek to navigate the coronavirus chaos, commercial tenants are finding safety in numbers. Word has gotten out that prominent tenants are seeking rent relief from their landlords, and other tenants are increasingly making similar requests. Indeed, a market that favored landlords less than a week ago has suddenly turned on its head. With the number of rent modification requests rising, landlords are facing new dilemmas: Is it better to accommodate distressed tenants or keep cash flowing? Does one take a blanket approach to rent relief, or should each tenancy be evaluated separately? While a uniform strategy will not […]

  • New ballot measure may force business owners to rethink their real property exposure. Enacted in 1978, Proposition 13 established that real property taxes in California (whether on commercial, residential or industrial property) are based on the purchase price of the subject property. These taxes are generally[1] limited to 1% of the purchase price of the property and are subject to an annual increase of 2% or the rate of inflation[2], whichever is lower. These limitations are often a boon to property owners since property tax liability is pegged to the owners’ cost basis instead of the property’s market value (which, […]

  • The debate over whether rent control is the solution to California’s affordable housing crisis is now at an all-time high as Governor Gavin Newsom has signed Assembly Bill 1482 (“AB 1482”) into law. Newsom has said that with AB 1482 California will boast the “nation’s strongest statewide renter protections.”  California is following in the footsteps of New York and Oregon in implementing state-wide rent control to preserve affordable housing as the state’s housing crisis continues to grow.   What does AB 1482 Entail? AB 1482 has two central components: a limitation on rental increases and the implementation of “just cause” […]

  • Normally an operating covenant or continuous operation provision is not the most noteworthy or “sexy” provision in a retail lease. However, this seemingly unremarkable provision can have remarkable consequences to an unsuspecting tenant.  An operating covenant is an agreement by a tenant to operate its store for a designated number of hours and/or days each week (i.e., continuous operation). Such a provision may be desirable to both tenants and landlords because open stores bring in customers. Operating covenants help landlords keep their shopping centers open and operating, maximize revenue and make their properties appeal to prospective tenants. Such provisions are […]

  • Over the past decade, California has enacted a comprehensive set of sustainability laws and regulations that are transforming the economy by generating opportunities and funding for renewable energy generation, energy efficiency measures in our buildings, and the implementation of clean transportation programs, which in turn have attracted venture capital and spurred the development of a clean energy economy.  This article explores how new California policies and laws could create the world’s first major economy to abandon fossil fuels as its primary energy source. The transformation to a clean energy economy is occurring through: (1) building optimization; (2) renewable power generation; […]

  • by Theodore L. Senet, Esq.  California could be the first major economy in the world to abandon fossil fuels as its primary energy source. California’s strategic energy policies foster an economic climate which generates funding for renewable energy, energy efficiency and innovative technology. In particular, proceeds from the state’s cap and trade auctions, mandates on utilities and the attraction of venture capital are funding renewable energy generation, energy efficiency measures in our buildings, and the implementation of clean transportation programs. As a result, we are in an era of exceptional economic opportunities for cities and local governments. Although California leads the […]

  • 2011 Nevada Legislative Changes to Commercial Tenancies (AB 398 will take effect on October 1, 2011) Prior to the enactment of AB 398 on June 4, 2011, there were no Nevada laws that dealt specifically with commercial landlord-tenant issues. Instead, the only governing law for landlord-tenant issues was NRS Chapter 40, which primarily deals with residential properties. AB 398 now creates a new chapter in Title 10 of the NRS relating solely to commercial tenancies. Section 15.5: Jurisdiction AB 398 provides that justice court has jurisdiction over any civil action concerning the removal of a tenant from commercial premises in […]

  • City ordinance requiring hazardous buildings to have seismic retrofitting by a certain date did not insulate owners of an unreinforced building from negligence in failing to retrofit the building. Case: Myrick v. Mastagni (2010) 185Cal.App.4th1082,111Cal.Rptr.3d165 Case Digest Presented by Steven R. Cuneo, Jr., Esq. at the 17th Annual GGLTS Review Preview Seminar (2011) Key Points: 1) Property Owners must use ordinary care in management of their property to prevent injury to others. 2) Compliance with a statute, ordinance or regulation ordinarily defines a minimum standard of care. 3) Accordingly, statutory compliance is not generally a defense to tort liability. Digest: In 1993, […]