2018 Year in Review: Recent Midwest Legal Decisions Impacting Real Estate and Construction Law

Quarles

In 2018, the Midwest (defined as Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Ohio, and Wisconsin) saw a number of statutory changes and court decisions that reshaped and framed a number of key issues every developer, design professional, owner, lender, contractor, and real estate and construction lawyer must know. Quarles & Brady lawyers will discuss and take questions regarding recent decisions impacting real estate and construction law.
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Negotiating CAM Provisions in Commercial Leases: Standard Inclusions, Capped CAM, Fixed Costs, and Gross Leases

Commercial leases often require tenants in a multi-tenant development (such as a shopping center or office building) to pay CAM charges in addition to monthly rent. These lease provisions often are misunderstood or taken for granted by landlords and tenants and, as a result, are frequently violated, knowingly or otherwise. Sophisticated tenants require CAM charges to be "actually paid or incurred" or "expended" by the landlord to be reimbursable, and they are careful to prohibit landlords from passing their overhead on as disguised CAM charges. To guard against this practice, tenants should negotiate (and then review) their leases carefully, require landlords to deliver "reasonably detailed statements" of CAM charges as often as the lease requires, and should scrutinize those statements to ensure that all charges are allowed by the lease. CAM charges often include property management fees. In addition, most leases permit the landlord to estimate CAM charges and force tenants to pay their share of those estimates monthly. Generally, they require the landlord to reconcile or justify the actual CAM charges to its tenant after the end of each year. Commercial landlords that also manage the project themselves often charge tenants, in addition to CAM expenses incurred, an arbitrary, "industry standard" percentage of the rent as "a property management fee," even though the lease does not expressly provide for that, and no third-party management fees are paid or incurred by the landlord. When the CAM charges are based on actual costs, a tenant might want to negotiate a cap on how much they will be required to pay for their share of common area maintenance. Putting a cap on CAM charges helps protect the tenant from their lease expenses increasing outside of their budget or sudden surprises at the beginning of the year. In turn, this adds some risk to the landlord to cover additional expenses themselves. With fixed CAM charges, property owners set a flat fee for common area maintenance and usually add small annual increases to that fee to cover the cost of inflation. Tenants may still want to review the property expenses to ensure their CAM charges aren't significantly higher than they should be. Fixed CAM charges can either apply to property taxes, insurance, and actual maintenance costs or only to maintenance costs while leaving the property taxes and insurance adjustable. Listen as our authoritative panel discusses the best practices in negotiating CAM provisions, what types of provisions to include, and when to choose between a capped or fixed cost CAM provision.
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Housing Market Forecast Webinar: Q3 2022

Watch the replay of our Q3 Housing Forecast webinar to get the current national housing market forecast from Zonda’s chief economist, Ali Wolf. You’ll also hear regional forecasts for Denver, Phoenix, and Salt Lake City, from our advisors John Covert and Evan Forrest. Take a closer look at market opportunities and challenges to discover the relationship between sales and starts, how buyers are viewing the market, and how our forecasts have shifted in response to new information.
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How to Build Your Property’s Digital Curb Appeal

Binary Fountain and MHN

Multifamily properties sometimes receive online ratings that don’t reflect their owners’ commitment to a positive resident experience. Can perceptions formed by negative reviews be successfully countered? View to learn how Gene B. Glick developed a successful marketing strategy to restore its properties’ “digital curb appeal.”
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Real Estate Tax Reform Update

Withum’s Real Estate Services

Year-end means it’s tax planning time and knowing the rules is more important now than ever. The Tax Code underwent groundbreaking reform in 2017 with most of the law becoming applicable in 2018. The Treasury Department has been busy over the summer and fall producing additional guidance on the new sections of the Code.
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