In Key TOPA Case, D.C. Court Says Reallocation of Existing Owners’ Interests Is Not a “Sale”

The District of Columbia Court of Appeals recently determined, in Williams v. Kennedy, that a conveyance of ownership interests in a rental property does not constitute a sale under D.C.’s Tenant Opportunity to Purchase Act (TOPA) if the transfer involves only existing owners and “no new third party.”

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In Maryland, Increased Focus on Rights of First Refusal and Rights of Tenants

It’s been a busy year for sales and acquisitions of multifamily properties in Maryland. We frequently represent purchasers and sellers in multifamily transfers throughout the state. This means we frequently navigate the statutory right of first refusal (ROFR) process and local law requirements in Montgomery and Prince George’s counties, where local laws give the County or a designated organization the right to purchase multifamily rental housing before it is sold to another party.

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Virginia Developers Should Review Their Transactional Documents in Light of Revisions to Commonwealth’s Title 55, Condominium Act

Effective October 1, Virginia will recodify several laws related to conveyance of real estate and rental property, settlement and recordation of real estate, and common interest communities, including condominiums, HOAs, and other property owners associations (POAs). Virginia’s Title 55 had undergone no comprehensive revision since the law was adopted in 1950, but had been amended through the years by addition and deletion of several chapters, as well as numerous other legislative changes. The recodification aims to organize the laws more logically, remove obsolete and duplicative provisions, and improve clarity.

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Local Land Use on Location

Montgomery County has launched Thrive Montgomery 2050, an initiative to update the County’s General Plan for the first time since the 1960s. The County Planning Board seeks public input to develop a new vision for land use and related issues for the next 30 years. Public events were held in June and August, and more are scheduled for this month.

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As California Consumer Privacy Act Effective Date Looms, Companies Should Assess Need to Comply

The California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) imposes a broad array of new legal obligations on businesses to inform consumers about the categories of personal information being collected online and how it will be used. Real estate–related businesses should be mindful that the CCPA’s scope is broader than simply residential tenant information, and may reach employees in California, any California business contacts, and even California visitors to business websites.

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Virginia Lawmakers Repeal Deed-of-Lease Requirement, Avert Panic

Earlier this year, the Virginia General Assembly removed the statutory requirement that any lease with a term in excess of five years must be in the form of a deed of lease. Virginia had long had a statutory requirement that such leases be in the form of a deed of lease. However, the issue was thrust into the spotlight last year by the Virginia Supreme Court’s decision in The Game Place, L.L.C. v. Fredericksburg (35, LLC, 813 S.E.2d 312 (Va. 2018)), which had the effect of converting any such long-term leases not in the deed of lease form to month-to-month leases. The Game Place decision sparked panic among landlords and tenants who found themselves parties to leases that did not comply with the statute. 

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David Winstead Joins Public Buildings Reform Board, Advises on Trimming Federal Real Estate Costs

The California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) imposes a broad array of new legal obligations on businesses to inform consumers about the categories of personal information being collected online and how it will be used. Real estate–related businesses should be mindful that the CCPA’s scope is broader than simply residential tenant information, and may reach employees in California, any California business contacts, and even California visitors to business websites.

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Ballard Spahr Sponsors Urban Land Institute Fall Meeting and Reception September 18–21

Ballard Spahr is a major Sponsor of this year’s Fall Meeting in D.C., the flagship event for Urban Land Institute (ULI) and its more than 40,000 members. During the Fall Meeting, Ballard Spahr attorneys and clients will host two sold-out walking tours of Bethesda, Maryland, that showcase several mixed-use and condominium projects we have had the opportunity to work on. On Wednesday, September 18, Ballard Spahr will host a reception at 12 Stories, atop the InterContinental Hotel at The Wharf. 

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