Lease Amendments and Modifications Must Be Notarized if the Original Lease Required Notarization

Leases of land, buildings, and portions of buildings, whether for personal or business use, are transfers of real property rights.  In law school, students become familiar with the idea of ownership or rights in real property being like a “bundle of sticks.”  If you own the real property in what is called “fee simple,” then you own all (or at … Continue reading »

Franchise Basics in Washington: FTC Rule and FIPA

We are all familiar with franchises to some degree or another.  If you don’t think you are familiar, just drive down a main street in any town, and you will surely encounter a franchised business at some point.  Because franchises are prevalent and many people will consider becoming a franchisee and opening a franchised business, it is important to understand … Continue reading »

Noncompete Provisions in Leases: Be Specific

When tenants rent space in a multi-unit commercial complex, they often demand protection from competition within their real property leases through noncompete provisions. The risk is that the landlord will lease another unit within the same commercial complex to a competing business. Thus, many leases contain a provision that restricts the landlord’s ability to lease another unit within the commercial … Continue reading »

Recorded Deed of Trust

A Deed of Trust Must Be Recorded In Order to Deduct the Interest from Federal Taxes

The Tax Court recently decided that taxpayers may not deduct interest payments from their federal taxes related to a mortgage or deed of trust on their principal residence that was never recorded in the county records. Defrancis v. C.I.R., T.C. Summ. Op. 2013-88 (2013). Thus, if you have a loan secured by a mortgage or deed of trust against your principal residence, … Continue reading »

Condominium Unit Owners Have Personal Liability for Assessments

A condominium is a way of organizing ownership in real property.  Condominiums are used when portions of a larger piece of real property may be portioned into smaller “units,” and then the owners of such units share in the use of areas common to each owner (i.e., “common areas”), such as hallways, elevators, heating systems, etc. To control the exterior … Continue reading »

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