In May 2010, I wrote a post about the serious consequences that could flow from a developer’s violation of the Interstate Land Sales Full Disclosure Act (“ILSA”).
Recently, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals rejected a purchaser’s claim that a developer’s technical violation of ILSA gave the purchaser the right to rescind their contract. In Bacolitsas v. 86th & 3rd Owner, LLC, 702 F.3d 673 (2d Cir. 2012), purchasers sought revocation of their contract with the developer, because it did not contain a description of the lot in a form acceptable for recordation. The Court reversed the District Court and ruled that ILSA only requires that the description of the unit and not the entire contract of sale be in recordable form. In doing so, the Court recognized the practicalities involved in marketing new condominiums prior to the completion of construction. To accept the purchaser’s position would require all such contracts to be executed after construction was completed. A dubious position to say the least.
Judge Mahlon Fast, J.S.C., a recognized expert in Landlord/Tenant law in New Jersey, recently issued an opinion in Gardens at Maplewood v. Fowlin, stating that a tenant whose apartment was damaged in the “Sandy Superstorm” was not entitled to a rent abatement for the period of time the dwelling is rendered less than habitable as a result of the disaster.
Pursuant to N.J.S.A. 54:4-34, municipalities may issue to owners of real property what is known as a “Chapter 91” request. This request seeks information pertaining to the taxpayer’s income and expenses for the real property so that the information can be used to assist the tax assessor to determine the following year’s tax assessment and whether the property is “income producing” (meaning generally that a fee is paid to the owner for the continuous and exclusive use of a specific portion of the land or buildings, i.e., rental income). All property owners receiving such a request are required to respond within 45 days.
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Guest post by Nicholas Pellitta
It’s that time of year, again. Real property tax appeals are due on April 1, 2013, so the time to review you assessment is now. Could you be saving money? Should you file a real estate tax appeal?
One obvious reason for filing a real estate tax appeal is to obtain a lower assessment on your real property and thereby save significant tax dollars. An equally important reason to keep taxes low is to help maintain the value of the property making it more saleable in the event that the tax appeal is successful.
Property owners should review the assessment on their property each and every year to see whether a tax appeal is warranted. This is because the property is not always worth an amount equal to the assessment. Many owners of industrial, commercial and apartment properties, as well as tenants under net leases, are not aware that they may be prime candidates for successful tax appeals even after looking at their new assessment.
To read the rest of the alert, click here.
“It is absolutely critical that we take this opportunity to rebuild New Jersey smarter and stronger in the aftermath of Sandy. That’s why today I am approving emergency regulations being proposed by the DEP (Department of Environmental Protection) to help fast-track the rebuilding process,” said Gov. Chris Christie yesterday as he signed emergency regulations to adopt the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) updated Advisory Base Flood Elevation maps as the rebuilding standard for the entire state. These regulations establish requirements and more efficient procedures for residents and businesses to construct, reconstruct, relocate and elevate buildings and other structures in flood hazard areas. “Using the best available science and data as reflected in these advisory maps will give families, businesses, and communities the best assessment of their risk – allowing them to better mitigate damage from future flood events, avoid higher flood insurance costs, and begin the rebuilding process immediately.”
Guest post by Nicholas Pellitta
If you have questions, please contact Nick at 908-252-4164 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
I have blogged in the past how landlords who exercise self-help remedies do so at their own peril. The Vitamin World v. Hartz case is a prime example of what happens when a commercial landlord simply padlocks someone’s business — the business owner goes to court! In this instance, however, it appears that Hartz made a business decision to shut down the Harmon Cove Outlet Center, which had been performing poorly, and offered to relocate its existing tenants to other Hartz Mountain properties. Apparently, Vitamin World likes where it is at and refuses to budge. Sounds like a game of chicken to me. Next stop — the Appellate Division.
Weathering the Storm – Navigating Insurance: Terms and Conditions, Exclusions and Exceptions … Are You Covered?
In “Weathering the Storm – Navigating Insurance: Terms and Conditions, Exclusions and Exceptions … Are You Covered?,” Margaret Raymond-Flood stresses importance of understanding your coverage when impacted by natural disasters, like Hurricane Sandy.
For full article, please click here.
New State Law Requires Property Tax Refunds for Sites under Environmental Remediation Orders Be Paid to NJDEP
NJ Biz reports: A state law enacted this summer could have widespread effects on owners of New Jersey industrial properties. The law diverts property tax refunds for sites under environmental remediation that are vacant or “underutilized” to the state Department of Environmental Protection to pay for the remediation, leaving property owners empty-handed until the cost for remediation has been paid.
My colleague Martha Donovan authored an Environmental Law Alert entitled “The New Jersey Supreme Court’s Decision in Dimant Raises More Interesting Issues Than It Resolves,” which discusses New Jersey’s unique environmental statute, the Spill Compensation and Control Act, N.J.S.A. 58:10-23.11 et seq. (“Spill Act”) and the thought provoking issues implied or insinuated in the 42-page decision in New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection v. Ofra Dimant, (A-2-11)(067993). Click here to read more.