Real Estate Transactions

Rights of first refusal do not violate the rule against perpetuities if they must be exercised during the holder's lifetime

New York retains a version of the traditional rule against perpetuities. Like most states, it has classified options to purchase and rights of first refusal as "executory interests" subject to the rule against perpetuities. They therefore must vest (if at all) within 21 years of their creation, or within 21 years of the death of a named person in the conveyance or during the lifetime of a named person. The latter was the case in...

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Damages awarded tenant when landlord threatens to engage in illegal self-help eviction

The Maryland Supreme Court held that residential tenants can sue for damages if the landlord posts a notice telling them that they are being evicted. This constitutes a form of "nonjudicial self-help eviction" prohibited by state law, which requires landlords to use court eviction procedures to recover possession of the premises. State law would have allowed self...

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Bank has standing to foreclose despite inability to produce the note on which the mortgage was based

The New Jersey Supreme Court allowed a bank to foreclose on property without direct evidence that it had the right to foreclose. Ordinarily, the foreclosing entity must produce the note that memorializes the underlying debt. The UCC allows foreclosure when notes have been lost, UCC 3-309, if a “lost note affidavit” is filed with the court. In Investors Bank v. Torres, 2020 WL 3550701 (N.J. July 1, 2020), the homeowner borrowed money from one lender who filed a foreclosure action but...

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Hawaii Supreme Court measures deficiency judgment by reference to fair market value rather than foreclosure price

The Hawai'i Supreme Court held that deficiency judgments should be measured by the difference between the unpaid debt and the property's fair market value rather than by reference to the difference between the unpaid debt and the foreclosure price. ...

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Landlord may be liable for fair housing violation if no response to one tenant's racial harassment of another

 

In the case of Francis v. King's Park Manor, Inc., 2019 WL 6646495 (2d Cir. 2019), a tenant engaged in a vicious campaign of abuse and intimidation of another tenant, coming to his door and threatening to kill him and repeatedly yelling at him and calling him the...

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Proceeds of partition by sale divided according to ownership interests without any credit given to co-owner whose funds were used to buy the property

Because the Texas partition statute requires the proceeds of a partition sale to be divided "according to [the owners'] just rights therein," joint tenants were entitled to 50% of the sale proceeds even though one of the co-owners had used his own funds to purchase the property. ...

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