Real estate probably represents the largest asset class in your portfolio. Every transaction represents a significant shift, whether buying or selling a home, leasing to a new tenant, making changes to title, or buying or selling an investment property. Mistakes in strategy or legal terms result in huge losses.
Real estate law works to define the strategic and tactical path to take you from the challenge you find yourself at today and to move you to a new opportunity.
Here are some of the areas of real estate law that Moschetti Law Group has helped others with:
Purchase & Sale
Mark is a developer of luxury apartment buildings and townhomes. Next door to one of his prime properties is a small building on a large lot that would be a perfect expansion. Mark had discussed this with the owner, and they were open to selling. Still, the deal was complicated with financing issues, environmental concerns, and a needing to negotiate with a tenant.
We strategized and executed a plan to meet Mark’s needs along with an amicable transaction that satisfied him, the tenant, and the owner.
Title, Partition, and Quiet Title
Jerry and Laura owned an oceanside house with their friend David. They rented the property out since they bought it nine years ago. It was a perfect arrangement, and since marketing it on Airbnb, it brought in a decent, passive income. Then David lost his job and moved into the property. He refused to pay rent to his friends, and their friendship was over. Jerry and Laura wanted to sell the house and be done with it, but David refused that.
We worked with Jerry and Laura to salvage their friendship first and ultimately requested a Partition from the Court. The property was then sold at a profit, and the parties divided the proceeds.
Harold owned a multi-tenant medical property that he practiced out of along with four other medical professionals. One of the other doctors decided it was time to retire and sell his practice but had only a few months left on his lease. He knew the right purchaser, but they needed at least a seven-year term.
Harold came to us wanting to help his tenant/friend and get the new doctor in his place. We decided it was better to work on a new lease to update the terms for Harold. We negotiated a new lease that fit everyone’s needs, and now Harold has a new tenant, his friend has a happy retirement, and the new doctor has a great space to build his practice.
Pinnacle Center owns a retail center in Los Angeles. It had become a pride-of-ownership property that Pinnacle Center invested over $5M in renovating since its aquation four years before. It had a roster of national brands and local names and provided good cash flow… Except for one large space occupied by an original tenant. The tenant had been problematic from day one, and when COVID hit, they decided to take advantage of the situation and their landlord.
We first tried to resolve the situation amicably, but when it became apparent that the tenant wouldn’t change, we filed an unlawful detainer. We removed them as a tenant, collecting damages and back-due rent, and helped Pinnacle Center secure a new tenant at a better rent.
Ted, a dentist, owns seven apartment buildings in B and C neighborhoods that he collected over the years. He had heard that putting them into a revocable trust was a way to protect assets and maintain some level of privacy. Through no fault of Ted’s, a litigious tenant got injured and decided to hire a lawyer. Ted was met with unreasonable demands, which threatened Ted’s portfolio, and he was featured in an unfair local news segment.
While his litigation counsel helped him with the tenant’s immediate problem, we worked with Ted to protect him in the future. We built a set of companies to protect each asset from the other. We also set up a screen of privacy filters to keep Ted’s name out of future publicity and appear less wealthy to bottom-feeding litigants.
Roger was the managing partner of a small investment group that owned a portfolio of four buildings on five lots. They were prime properties, and the market was perfect, and it was time to sell. The portfolio all had a problem though; there was a CMBS loan on the whole project with a looming defeasance.
We analyzed Roger and his group’s situation and determined the property would be better off being sold piece by piece. We marketed each building separately and found three owner-users and one investor to buy each piece. We then helped each buyer develop a workable association to manage the lots and shared expenses. Finally, we timed the sale to happen simultaneously to eliminate the need for bridge financing and let the defeasance be paid all at once. Roger had our firm not only as its attorney but as his real estate broker – attorney fees paid entirely out of escrow for the same amount as if they just hired a broker and acted without an attorney.
Real estate is an investment asset class where identifying and mitigating risks can mean the difference between adding tremendous value and losing it all in foreclosure. The lifeblood of real estate are the transactions that support them – the leases, the purchases and sales, the entities that hold title, and the financing that makes it all possible. The best way to avoid litigation in real estate is to get the transaction right. A mistake in terms or strategy can result in huge losses.
Our focus in real estate is transacting to create value. While each transaction is different, we have been down each road with clients, and on behalf of ourselves as investors and syndicators. At your Orientation Meeting, we will work together to understand the road you are on and the best outcome (summit) you wish to climb and help you pack for the trip.
Most of the time, our clients are on one of four different roads for which we craft a custom solution: