Tuesday, May 22, 2018 – The New England Condominium Expo

Join Goldman & Pease at New England’s Biggest & Best Condo, HOA & Apt Expo!

A must attend for all board members, property managers, condo & HOA decision makers and apartment building owners.

Learn about the latest services from more than 175 exhibitors. Attend educational seminars, network with your peers and get free advice from industry experts.

Date: Tuesday, May 22
Time: 10am – 3:30pm
Location: Seaport World Trade Center – Exhibit Hall 200 Seaport Blvd, Boston, MA

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Why should I attend?

Join board members, trustees and property managers of 1,000 buildings.

  • Communicate with building service professionals.
  • Attend educational seminars.
  • Discover what’s new in the residential housing community.
  • Learn about services benefiting your board and homeowners.

Register now

Real Estate Legal Update 2018

By Howard Goldman –

      I.            Introduction

Changes resulting from the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2018, may make this new tax year a true game changer for the real estate market.  Our update prepares you with an understanding of the key changes and how they affect the real estate market.

Looking at buying a new property?  In the digital age, emails and texts can blur the lines between informal communications and a formal contract.  Follow the Five Commandments of texting and emailing to become tech-communication savvy and avoid legal pitfalls.

Zoning board approvals are a vital point to consider when buying or selling a property you plan to tear down.  Don’t get zoned out: Use our five-point checklist to make sure you meet all the legal requirements.

   II.            Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2018

TaxWith the recent passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2018, there is much concern as to how it affects Real Estate.  Let’s examine two questions:

  1. What are some key changes?
  2. How will they affect the real estate market?

[Read more…]

Commercial Real Estate Leases: Planning Ahead for Early Termination

November1-17Long term leases of commercial real estate offer landlords a steady and reliable stream of income and provide tenants with an established business presence in a particular neighborhood. However, those benefits may be short lived in the event of an early termination of the lease.

Early terminations are typically caused by tenants who default under lease provisions but they may also be caused by landlords who choose to sell the property during the term of the lease. This article will address the ways landlords and tenants may protect themselves at the inception of the lease.

Commercial Landlords:  Rent Acceleration Clauses

Where an early termination results from a tenant’s default under the terms of the lease, the landlord is faced with the difficult task of re-letting the space to a new tenant.

A number of factors may influence the length of time that the commercial space remains vacant, including but not limited to, current market trends, the location of the space, and whether improvements were made to the space for the benefit of the long-term tenant that make the space more or less desirable to new tenants.  Thus, at the inception of the lease, it is important for landlords to take care to protect their interest in the event of a default by a tenant.

One of the best ways for landlords to protect their interests in the event of default by a long-term tenant is to include a liquidated damages clause in the lease.  Liquidated damages clauses specify a predetermined amount of money that must be paid in the event of a breach of the lease.  In the commercial lease context, a liquidated damages clause may provide for an acceleration of future rents owed following the early termination of the lease (“Rent Acceleration Clauses”).

Rent Acceleration Clauses provide landlords with security that they will obtain the full value of the lease in the event of an early termination from the defaulting tenant.  However, from the tenant’s perspective, Rent Acceleration Clauses constitute a significant penalty to pay for early termination of a lease.

November2-17Recently, Goldman & Pease represented a franchisor in a case where a franchisee tenant defaulted in a lease that contained a Rent Acceleration Clause, resulting in over $1 million owed to the landlord.  Even though the franchisor was not a party to the lease, the franchisor took significant steps to mitigate the landlord’s damages because the franchisor had an interest in maintaining its business presence at the leased premises.  [Read more…]

Saturday, October 21 2017 – CAI New England Annual Condo Conference and Expo

CAI-2017CAI New England Annual Condo Conference & Expo
Saturday, October 21 2017   9:00 am – 3:00 pm

Marriott Hotel – Burlington, Massachusetts

$10.00 Members*
$20.00 Non-Members*

CAI New England Annual Condo Conference & Expo
Addressing the unique issues of condominium communities.
Members and unit owners, professional managers and industry professionals.

Schedule of Events

9:00 a.m. Registration Opens

9:00 a.m. Continental Breakfast with Exhibitors

9:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m. Exhibits

10:30 am.– noon Top 5 Ways to Reduce Insurance Claims & Costs
Insurance is a necessity but the cost can consume a large portion of an association’s budget. Understand the options available to condominium associations, and find out how rules, procedures and the decisions boards make can present opportunities for real cost savings.

10:30 a.m.– noon Save Time & Money/Mediate, Don’t Litigate TM
Panel members will address common disputes in communities and discuss effective ways to resolve them. Understand what mediation is, discover when it’s appropriate and learn how it can preserve community relationships and the financial interests of the association as well as save time. Examples of litigation gone wrong and mediation gone right will be discussed.

[Read more…]

Real Estate in the Digital Age

Preventing the Simple Email or Text from Becoming a Formal Contract

I. Introduction

home-for-saleGone are the days when parties brokering a real estate transaction entered into a
formal, written contract by first reaching for paper and ink. Today, a cell phone and a
zealous broker is all that it may take to enter into a binding agreement. The ubiquity of technology has made communications via email and text message both convenient and now, with recent case law, potentially risky. In a mere click, tap or swipe a person who believes that she or he may be having a casual or conversation or negotiating a better deal, may end up with a lawsuit instead.

II. Examining the Offer and Acceptance

In the significant McCarthy v. Tobin case, the Supreme Judicial Court (SJC) of Massachusetts upheld an Appeals Court decision that a buyer’s offer to purchase was a firm offer that became a binding contract the moment it was accepted by the seller. The SJC ruled that the Purchase and Sale Agreement amounted to a mere memorandum of the already binding contract, since the parties had already agreed on the material terms within the offer to purchase.

In contrast to McCarthy, the Massachusetts Land Court in the Singer v. Adamson case held that an email communication between a potential buyer and the seller’s broker did not meet the requirements of the Statute of Frauds, due to the generic nature of the email, and the lack of such previous communications between the parties. As such, though a legally binding offer and acceptance can be made via email, it must include the material terms of the offer, and overall indicate that a valid offer and acceptance is the intention of the parties. [Read more…]

June 27, 2017 – Collection Strategies for Professionals

COLLECTION STRATEGIES FOR PROFESSIONALS

Presentation to IEEE Boston Consultants Network

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

  • Know Your Customer

  • Recognize High-Risk Engagements

    • Obtain Additional Security
    • Obtain Detailed Client Information Up Front

[Read more…]

June 14, 2017 – Legal Update Lunch Seminar

LEGAL UPDATE LUNCH SEMINAR
 MEDIATE MANAGEMENT CO.

Date: Wednesday, 10:30a.m. June 14, 2017

Presented by: Goldman & Pease LLC

  1. APARTMENT OR CONDOMINIUM SHARING: WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT AIRBNB
  • What are the security risks, nuisances, and property damage that result from engaging an Airbnb rental?
  • What are the best practices for avoiding problems that neighbors and property managers frequently encounter when tenants or condo unit owners use Airbnb.com?

[Read more…]

Condo Surveillance and the Law

NE-Condo

Security is a major issue for condominium communities today.  Attorney Howard Goldman shares his perspective and provides legal insight into the state of condominium surveillance and security in the below article from New England Condominium.

Surveillance and the Law

Maintaining Safety While Respecting Privacy

By A.J. Sidranksy | New England Condominium

Secure. The word has many meanings. According to Google definitions it can mean “to fix or attach something to something else. It can mean to protect against threats or make safe. Or it can mean to feel free from fear or anxiety.” Perhaps that feeling of security is the single most important thing we can to feel in our homes.

Security is a major issue for condominium communities today. The choice of a condominium or other communities overseen by HOAs may be made over a private home based on the desire of the potential purchaser for additional security or to have peace of mind that security concerns are being addressed on a community-wide basis. An article that appeared in CONDO.ca on-line states that “security was the number 1 concern among people looking to purchase a condominium.”

The state of surveillance and security has come a long way over the past few decades. Where security issues used to rest on the employment of security personnel and perimeter fencing, today’s security arrangements are more hi-tech and complex. Along with technology, has come litigation and legislation. [Read more…]

Drones Take Off: What Condo Leaders Need to Know

By:  Howard S. Goldman, Esq.

I. Introduction

droneDrones are no longer the military robots or science fiction creations that we once imagined them to be. In fact, in 2016, according to the Consumer Technology Association, an estimated 3 million drones were purchased for use by hobbyists and businesses alike. Non-military drones are generally used either commercially or by hobbyists. All drone usage is regulated by the Federal Aviation Administration, or FAA, but hobbyists are only required to obtain a $5 registration, and can be as young as 13 years old. Businesses operating small drones are regulated by stricter standards.

II. Drones and the Law: An Overview

The FAA’s rules regulating drone usage are known as “part 107”. Under part 107, all drones must be registered if they weigh between .55 and 55 lbs. Drones over 55 lbs. must be registered through the FAA’s Aircraft Registry.

In Massachusetts, commercial drone operators must be 17 years old, be certified to fly a drone by the FAA, stay out of airport space and other controlled airspace, operate during daylight hours only, fly no more than 400 feet above the ground at no more than 100 miles per hour, and not fly over any person not directly involved in flying the drone.

Several federal bills have been proposed to help regulate drone usage. These have all been within the privacy rights and expectations of privacy guaranteed under the Fourth Amendment, and would create a much stricter standard for everyday drone usage. [Read more…]

Condominium Insurance: Waiver of Subrogation

I. Introduction

water-condoImagine arriving home to your condominium after a long day of work, opening the door to your unit, and being confronted with several inches of standing water. You enter your unit to the sound of dripping and look up to see that the ceiling in your living room is completely saturated with water. Upon further investigation, you discover that a leaking water supply valve in your upstairs neighbor’s unit has caused the serious water damage.

Who is responsible for the costs to repair the damage?

II. Condominium Insurance

Condominium ownership is unique in that it involves competing interests in real estate. Each condominium unit owner enjoys complete ownership of his or her unit and a shared interest, along with all of the other unit owners, in the condominium building and common areas. Typically, a portion of each unit owner’s monthly condo fee is used to pay for the condominium association’s insurance policy, which covers the condominium building, commonly owned property and liability insurance for the association (“Master Policy”).

However, the Master Policy does not usually cover damage to the interior of a unit. The Master Policy typically doesn’t cover damage to the unit owner’s personal possessions and liability for damage to other units .

Many unit owners, therefore, elect to purchase a separate insurance policy – often referred to as an H06 policy – which covers losses to any personal property and any structure and damages to any fixtures or upgrades added by the unit owner since the move-in date (“H06 Policy”).

In fact, more and more condominium associations have amended their By-laws to require each unit owner to purchase an H06 Policy in order to ensure that the unit owner will be reimbursed for damage to the unit, regardless of fault. Requiring unit owners to purchase an individual H06 Policy for the unit is especially beneficial in the scenario where the cost to repair damage to an individual unit is less than the deductible on the Master Policy. [Read more…]