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Interview – How much security is a landlord obligated to provide?

Interview – How much security is a landlord obligated to provide?

Attorney Eric L. Nesbitt was recently interviewed by FOX31 Problem Solvers about what obligations landlords have to provide a level of security as we see crime on the rise as warmer months approach.

DENVER (KDVR) — The Denver Police Department tells the FOX31 Problem Solvers crime tends to increase during the warm weather months. 

The Colorado Bureau of Investigation reports there were more than 200 robberies in the Denver area this year alone. 

Forty percent involved firearms. Apartment garages can be a common target for thieves, police say it’s important to secure your belongings.

Charlene tells the FOX31 Problem Solvers she is afraid to walk through her apartment garage after having her car broken into.

“I knew that somebody had been here and I didn’t know when,” she said. 

Tenants’ rights attorney Eric Nesbitt tells the Problem Solvers while residents are entitled to live in a safe environment, how much security a landlord provides can depend on the location of the property.

“If the premises are in an area where it’s been unsafe or crime ridden there might be a greater duty for the landlord to provide some level of security,” he said. 

Denver Police Division Chief Ron Thomas tells FOX31 it is important to monitor who enters shared garages and residents must be aware of their surroundings at all times.

See the story and interview here: https://kdvr.com/news/problem-solvers/denver-police-be-aware-when-using-apartment-parking-garages/

If you have a landlord or tenant or other real estate related matter that you would like to discuss with our firm, contact us here! or you can reach our office via telephone at 303-741-2354.

What Happens When A Seller Signs Two Contracts?

What Happens When A Seller Signs Two Contracts?

There are several situations in which a property seller may enter into two separate sales contracts at the same time. It is important to understand why a seller would do this and what rights both sellers and buyers have in these scenarios. With the help of an experienced real estate lawyer, most sellers and buyers can avoid many of the headaches that can be caused by multi-contract situations.

Second Contract Prior to First Signing

The first, and perhaps most straightforward example, would be a situation where the seller receives a better offer after receiving an initial offer but before executing or signing the contract. In this situation, it is clear that the seller can reject the initial contract and accept the second.

Contingent Contracts

Another common practice is to accept a contingent contract. In this scenario, the seller agrees to sell to one buyer (usually the one with the better offer), but also accepts a second offer, contingent upon the first one failing. In other words, if the first buyer falls through, does not get financing, wants to cancel due to a negative item in the inspection, or for any other reason chooses to back out of the deal, the seller has a backup offer they can accept. These contingent contracts are binding on the buyer if and when accepted. They only become enforceable upon the seller notifying the buyer that the first buyer has fallen through and the seller is acting on the contingent deal.

True Two Contract Scenarios

Finally, there are situations in which a seller truly signs two contracts, attempting to hedge his or her bets and ensure that a deal is made. This is not generally appropriate and can wind up in litigation. In many cases, nothing bad will happen. One buyer backs out, and the second buys. However, one must consider what happens if both buyers have active and valid contracts to buy the same property, but the owner chooses one and breaches the contract with the other. This can put the parties at odds with each other and lead to court battles.

Colorado Real Estate Law

Many people, including realtors and experienced investors alike, choose to use pre-generated real estate contracts and forms. And for many simple transactions, these may do fine. Colorado even has some pre-approved forms that can be used for residential contracts. However, none of these can take into consideration the various unique issues that can arise in a commercial context. This is especially true when you are entering into multiple contingent contracts or have time-limited purchase options.

Colorado Real Estate Lawyer

One of the easiest ways to prevent these mistakes, whether accidental or intentional, is to hire an experienced real estate attorney. At the Law Offices of Eric L. Nesbitt, P.C., our team devotes considerable time and resources to making sure we remain up-to-date on the latest in real estate law and trends in the market. We serve clients throughout Colorado from three convenient locations. So if you need experienced guidance through a complex commercial contract, or just need help on your next residential real estate deal, give us a call today.

Interview with Fox 31 Problem Solvers – Withholding rent can complicate landlord disputes but tenants have rights

Interview with Fox 31 Problem Solvers – Withholding rent can complicate landlord disputes but tenants have rights

Cold temperatures can cause a range of problems for those who rent homes and apartments.

If your heat goes out, or a pipe bursts, what do you do?

It can be tempting to just withhold rent from a landlord that isn’t making needed repairs, but legal experts say that’s the last thing you should do unless you follow proper legal procedures.Watch attorney Eric Nesbitt’s legal advice and comments with Shaul Turner of Fox 31 Problem Solvers here: 

Failure to Disclose Latent Defects

When commiting to a commercial real estate transaction, you want to make sure that all the disclosures are accurate. Disclosures are statements or affirmations regarding the state of the property at the time of sale. While no seller can fully contemplate all contingencies and issues that are likely to arise after the sale, there are some obvious things that must be disclosed to a would-be buyer. For those who are considering a large-scale investment — whether as the buyer or the seller — making sure the disclosures are right is a big part of the deal. For help with your next real estate investment, call the Law Offices of Eric Nesbitt, P.C. 

What are Disclosures?

A disclosure in a real estate contract is merely the seller’s statement as to what may be wrong with the property. Not everything must be disclosed to potential buyers. The key to deciding what to include in your disclosures is to identify latent defects and those items that may be material defects. This can be a bit challenging because what one person considers “material” or “latent” may differ from what someone else considers a latent or material defect. 

Latent vs. Patent Defects

A patent defect is a condition that is readily visible to a potential buyer upon inspection. So, if there are cracking walls in a room of the property, then it is reasonable to assume that the buyer will be able to see those with the naked eye and inspect further to figure out what is wrong. This allows the buyer to make an educated determination about whether to purchase the property or not. 

On the other hand, a latent defect is one that is not readily visible or identifiable upon typical inspection. If there is a condition that one would not expect a buyer to notice without performing a much more in-depth inspection, then this may be considered a latent or “hidden” defect. Examples may potentially include:

  • Leaks in the roof
  • Faulty HVAC equipment
  • Foundation issues
  • Subfloor damage

Hiding a Known Problem

While most latent defects must be disclosed, there are naturally times when even the seller has no idea a problem exists. This is not necessarily an indication that the seller is doing something fraudulent; it could just mean they are unaware of the underlying condition of the property. On the other hand, if a seller intentionally conceals problems that could materially affect the condition and value of the property, this could be grounds for rescinding the contract. Further, Colorado law views this type of concealment as potential fraud, and such false representation can give the other party the right to back out of the deal or pursue civil penalties. 

For more help with your next commercial investment, call an experienced real estate attorney near you to make sure you do not leave yourself exposed to liability. Call the Law Offices of Eric L. Nesbitt, P.C. today. Nothing compares to the experience and training of a seasoned real estate attorney when negotiating a commercial investment. So, do not take chances and leave yourself open to losing a lucrative deal ever again. 

Marketing and Selling Real Estate in a Virtual Universe

As everyone is aware, many professions and jobs have become somewhat more complicated – if not downright impractical – due to the challenges of social distancing in a COVID-19 landscape. Real estate is certainly not immune. Realtors, banks, closing officers, and even home inspectors are all having to find creative and safe options for marketing and selling property during the worldwide pandemic. Those who fail to take precautions seriously could end up in court or worse. A Colorado real estate law firm can help provide guidance, even in the most uncertain times. It is usually best to talk to an attorney long before problems even arise. Here are a few pro tips for staying safe and selling real estate in 2020.

Leverage Tech Wherever You Can

Seriously, it is 2020 and there are still realtors using flip phones out there. They drive from location to location, meeting clients on site. There is a better way: In many cities, you can find affordable real estate photographers who specialize in aerial imaging through drones or 360-degree photo shoots inside a property. These are not the photos of the past. There are even decent affordable DIY options for those so inclined.

Zoom and Webex are Your Friends

Perhaps this is all part of technology, but it is worth separating video conferencing options into their own category. More and more companies are discovering that much of what used to take up countless hours can be reduced to quick face-to-face calls, where screensharing and e-signature platforms make small work of agreements.

Masks, Distancing, and Hygiene

If you must show real estate to a potential buyer, consider first allowing them to tour the property virtually. If you have a website, ask that clients first tour online to make sure they really want to view it in person. In advance of the tour, make sure that all surfaces are disinfected, including kitchen appliances, light switches, and so forth. Then, when showing, ask that clients simply not touch any surfaces. Here are several potential suggestions:

  • Wear disposable shoe covers on entry
  • Wear masks, per state guidelines
  • Do not touch surfaces…allow the agent to do so for the client.
  • Consider disposable gloves
  • Consider a quick forehead scan for temperature to rule out fever
  • Keep groups to as few as possible, preferably no more than two clients per showing

Colorado Guidelines

Ultimately, the guidelines from the State of Colorado are continuously evolving to keep up with information from national and local government and research entities that are tracking the Coronavirus. Make sure to bookmark the State’s COVID response website for more information and to stay up-to-date on any changes. Ultimately, you may want to run any corporate policy or plan by a skilled real estate attorney before implementing it in the field. For advice or to deal with potential lawsuits concerning your real estate business, call the Law Offices of Eric L. Nesbitt, P.C. With offices in Denver, Centennial, and Englewood, there is an office ready to serve you throughout the region.

Is it Time to Rethink the Metro Area?

Is it Time to Rethink the Metro Area?

As the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic continues to create challenges across many industries, the commercial real estate sector is also seeing struggles. In many downtown metro areas, demand for commercial real estate is diminishing. Real estate investors may need to reconsider where and how they invest. It is unlikely that commercial real estate will stop being a valuable commodity; however, savvy investors will need to quickly adapt in order to remain profitable. Experienced commercial real estate attorney and broker, Eric L. Nesbitt, advises clients across a wide range of business and real estate matters. Dwindling demand and rapidly decreasing profits often leads to disputes and conflicts, which is why it is so important to work with a professional who knows the industry well.

Office Space Demand Down

According to a story in the July 20, 2020 edition of the Denver Business Journal, leasing activity in the Denver metro area has reached historic lows with companies largely putting their searches for office space on hold during the second and third quarters of 2020.  Moreover, there’s plenty of space on the market with total vacancy in the metro area growing to 13.6%.  The glut of new sublease space will put downward pressure on direct rents.  Asking rents in Denver area office buildings have not fallen drastically yet, but tenants can still find a good deal if they are patient.

Remote Work and Telecommuting on the Rise Before COVID

While yes, the current pandemic has put the shift toward remote working in hyperdrive, the trend started long before 2020. Just consider a report by Flexjobs.com, a job board that serves telecommuting job seekers. Per the report, which was a collaboration with Global Workplace Analytics, telecommuters earned on average about $4,000 more per year than those who reported to physical work locations. Furthermore, with the cost and expense savings of not having to drive, use fuel, and purchase expensive clothing, among other expenses, telecommuters tend to keep more of their money too. Another report reviewing the state of remote work in 2019, by OWL Labs, showed that even back in 2019, remote workers made more on the whole.

Diminishing Need for Office Space in Urban Areas

As employers continue recognizing the impact of COVID-19 and the growing trend toward remote work environments, companies are also discovering the cost-cutting benefits associated with using remote technology to perform many job tasks. For instance, large companies that once needed hundreds of cubicles to employee customer relations employees to answer phones and handle customer concerns are now discovering that with video conferencing, call forwarding, and secure tech options, they no longer need these employees in a large building. Ergo, they are discovering less need for large office leases. This in turn is reducing demand for commercial real estate in metro areas. However, the suburbs are now presenting a good deal of untapped potential, as many remote workers are opting to live in lower-cost but higher quality of life areas, such as far suburbs.

Where is the Demand Headed?

Interestingly, much of the demand in commercial real estate – especially in office leases – is shifting toward coworking and shared workspaces, as well as executive office suites. In particular, the demand is beginning to shift to distant suburbs, especially in cities that are on the rise economically. Coworking and shared workspaces are simply options that allow remote workers or those with flexible schedules the option to use a separate office for a limited amount of time or just when convenient, without long-term commitments or overhead. Per allwork.space, the demand for coworking office space is expected to continue showing rapid growth, with estimates as high as a 6% increase through 2022.

For those seeking to capitalize on the shifting trends in commercial real estate, it may be time to reevaluate large office spaces and consider how they may be repurposed to serve this new breed of remote workers. For questions about investing in suburban commercial properties, including coworking spaces, or other real estate legal needs in Colorado, contact the Law Offices of Eric L. Nesbitt, P.C. at 303-741-2354 or Info@NesbittLawOffices.com.

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