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How to Review a Commercial Lease Agreement

Commercial LeaseIt is good to know how to review a commercial lease agreement because it serves as a foundation of your relationship with your tenant. Given the economy, a prospective tenant may want to move into a smaller space. Landlords may be eager to keep or attract tenants, given how many they might have lost. Rebekah Lusk and her associates offer you many landlord-tenant law services, including commercial lease review. We help clients with property-related issues. A commercial lease attorney can ensure that a client’s actions are on a sound legal footing and their interests are protected, no matter how the economy impacts their business. Commercial Lease Review Checklist Each landlord-tenant relationship is unique. Some issues will be more important than others in a particular relationship. Overall, here’s a commercial lease review checklist of things to pay attention to when offering a new lease or if you’re reviewing an existing one. Proofread and…

Proposed Changes to Maryland Eviction Rules

HouseAs the Covid-19 pandemic continues, changes to Maryland eviction rules have been proposed. Citing the worsening housing situation due to the virus, state lawmakers and rental housing advocates recently unveiled the “2021 Housing Justice Package.” The package includes several proposed bills that would significantly overhaul Maryland’s eviction rules. While these changes are intended to help tenants at risk of eviction stay in their homes, they have the potential to seriously negatively impact landlords who depend on the rental income to stay financially afloat and pay their mortgages. The housing package is set to be debated during the current Maryland legislative session that ends on April 12. It also includes proposed emergency renter and homeowner protections. Should the bills pass, landlords who may be confused about their rights under the new rules would be wise to get legal guidance. One of the bills in the proposed package seeks to extend Governor…

Title or Deed: Which One Do You Need?

Real estate attorneyYou’ve been working for months on that complex real estate transaction, and it’s finally coming together. Just a little paperwork left to be completed, and you’ll be ready to receive the deed. Or wait—is it the title? Most of the public uses the two terms interchangeably, and in the public mind both words represent the same general concept: proof of ownership of a property. But in legal terms, “deed” and “title” have quite different meanings; and if you have any hope of making sense out of a real estate deal, you need to understand the distinction. Titles vs. Deeds When you own a property completely, it’s true that you will possess both the title and the deed. But there’s only one of those things that you can file away in a file cabinet. "A deed is a legal document used to confirm or convey the ownership rights to a property,"…

The Responsibilities of a Rental Property Owner

Rental PropertyOwning a commercial or residential rental property comes with responsibilities. The most basic responsibility is proper upkeep and maintenance, to ensure the tenants can use the property as intended. Additional responsibilities are defined by federal, state, and local laws. Following is a general overview of landlord responsibilities (landlords may wish to consult an attorney to make sure they’re up to date on specific laws in their city or county). Disclosures Required by Law Buildings constructed before 1978 may contain lead-based paint, which is known to cause serious health problems, especially for children. Federal law requires owners of buildings built before 1978 to give prospective tenants a lead-based paint disclosure before they sign a lease. Maryland’s Reduction of Lead Risk in Housing law also requires property owners to register applicable properties with the state and to have their property inspected for lead prior to every change in occupancy, unless the property has been…

Have You Tested Your Home for Radon? 

Why Transparency Is Always the Best Policy When Selling a HomeRadon is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States. It’s a natural gas that occurs as radium in soil breaks down, and it can seep into homes and buildings through cracks in the foundation, drains, and other openings. The Environmental Protection Agency says home radon levels should not exceed 4 picocuries per liter. Levels above 4 pCi/L should be professionally treated with a radon mitigation system. For less than $30, you can find radon test kits that detect whether radon is present in your home and, if so, whether its levels pose a threat to your health. Radon Risk in Maryland Generally, in areas where the soil has a higher concentration of radium, radon risk is elevated. But indoor radon concentration can vary considerably from one home to the next. In Maryland, anecdotal data shows that buildings west of Chesapeake Bay have higher concentrations of radon than buildings…

Understanding the Maryland Disclosure/Disclaimer Form

Reviewing NotesIn a previous blog, we wrote about latent defects, and how they apply to buying and selling residential property. When sellers are aware of latent defects (such as termite damage or a sewer line clogged with tree roots), they must disclose those defects on a Maryland Residential Property Disclosure and Disclaimer Form. If a new homeowner discovers a serious defect that wasn’t disclosed before sale, that means either the seller didn’t know of the defect or the seller deliberately misled the buyer about the condition of the property. To determine what actually occurred, the homeowner will likely need the help of an attorney. Disclosure vs. Disclaimer Using the same form, a seller may choose the route of disclosure or disclaimer. A disclaimer means that the seller offers the property “without representations and warranties as to its condition,” so it absolves the seller of responsibility, should a defect be later discovered.…