January 2016 Real Estate Newsletter

Up to the Challenge

2015 is over, but the newness of 2016 fuels the creation of resolutions, goals, projections, and plans. Blank calendars to be filled. Progress reports to be completed. Growth forecasts to be actualized.


For many, a new year offers the prospect of a blank slate – a tabula rasa for making resolutions. Some resolve to shake the difficulties that loomed large last year. Some resolve to start on a path towards achieving something new and great. Some resolve to correct long-term flaws by setting achievable, short-term milestones. 

In any case, the beginning of the year is the best time to venture forward in making positive changes. With an entire year of possibility in front of us, now is the time for resolve – identifying challenges, making decisions, and committing to a plan. 

Brewer Offord & Pedersen LLP is determined to start 2016 off right, and so the theme of our first newsletter in 2016 is about stepping up to the challenge. You’ll first get to read our 2015 Annual Review, where we celebrate the trials and tests we overcame last year. We then offer a free e-book for understanding the new laws in 2016 and provide analysis on how you can meet the demands presented by new real estate laws. Our featured article explains how tenants can overcome the challenge presented by landlords who fail to make necessary unit repairs. In our blog, you’ll read about how recent court decisions dealt with challenges to HOA rules and to eviction proceedings. 


We hope you enjoy reading the first 2016 edition of our newsletter, and we wish you much success towards your goals in the New Year!


Highlights in this month’s issue:

  • View the 2015 Brewer Firm Annual Review, showcasing all the exciting things that happened last year at our firm
  • Download our new e-book: 2016 New Real Estate and Lending Laws in California
  • Read a featured article by Ashlee D. Adkins about the Repair & Deduct Remedy
  • Check out recent blog articles written by Simon Offord and Henry Chuang
  • Catch up on MANY updates from our firm, including trips, articles, honeymoons, speaking engagements, committee appointments, and more. 
2015 Brewer Firm Annual Review
    2015 review cover

2015 marked the 20th year in business for Brewer Offord & Pedersen LLP. Since 1995, our firm has grown from a solo practice to 6 attorneys and 3 staff, servicing thousands of clients in California. Through changing years and fluctuating market conditions, our firm’s mission has always stayed the same: provide an outstanding client experience in delivering excellent legal services. 


In many ways, 2015 was a perfect representation of what makes our boutique law firm great, and we are proud to highlight events, milestones, and achievements from last year in our annual review. 

View 2015 review
Repair & Deduct Article
The rental economy in California is extremely competitive, since the state boasts some of the highest rent prices in the country and a scarce supply of available units. Inevitably, renters looking to sign a lease in the Bay Area may settle for less-than-optimal rental conditions, such as signing with an unresponsive landlord or renting a unit that needs updating. 
Thankfully, the laws of California offer some of the best legal protections for tenants, so when a situation arises that negatively affects a tenant, there are remedies available.
One such event occurs when the condition of a rental unit becomes substandard and requires repair. It is a landlord’s duty to provide these repairs, but if a landlord fails to act in a timely manner, the tenant is afforded a method for making repairs and passing the cost on to the landlord: the Repair & Deduct remedy. Attorney Ashlee Adkins explains more in her article about this tenant right. 
Read Liquidated Damages Article
2016 New Laws E-Book
 2016 New Laws Cover

The California legislature passed hundreds of bills in 2015, addressing everything from criminal justice to voting rights to the severe drought the state is currently experiencing.


Our firm has taken the time to identify the most relevant new laws for the California real estate community, and analyzed the impact of those laws in an e-book titled 2016 New Real Estate and Lending Laws in California.


This free, 38-page publication takes a comprehensive approach to understanding the new laws, by including a narrative about how each bill changes existing law, an analysis about the impact each bill will have, an index of laws sorted by audience, and a list of additional resources and sample forms. 

Visit www.BrewerFirm.com/2016NewLaws


click the button below to download your free copy of 2016 New Real Estate and Lending Laws in California today!

Download Button
New Blog Articles
 HOA Rules cover Challenge UD Cover

HOA Rules Upheld Again

Court Limits a Tenant’s Ability to Challenge an Unlawful Detainer Action

The courts in California have historically afforded a wide latitude for Homeowners’ Associations (HOAs) with respect to the types of rules they can establish for their members. The same trend continued in a recent case, brought by owners in San Louis Obispo county, that attempted to challenge new rules and fees. Simon Offord has more in his blog article.

Tenants in California have traditionally used a motion to quash as a way to challenge the service of a three-day notice in an unlawful detainer action. However, a recent decision by the 2nd Appellate District of the Court of Appeals addresses a technical issue impacting whether tenants may use such a motion. Henry Chuang covers the case and its implications in his blog article. 

Read Blog Article

Brewer Firm News
  • Over the holiday break, Henry Chuang and his husband Jordan Bowler enjoyed their honeymoon, which had been postponed since June, by traveling across Japan – including visits to Tokyo, Kyoto, and Hakone
  • Julia M. Wei spoke on January 11th to the Don Edwards Inns of Court about representing multiple creditors in bankruptcy and about compliance with Rule 2019 
  • Simon Offord presented at the SILVAR® District Tour Meeting for the Los Altos – Mountain View district on January 15th about the legal pitfalls that real estate agents are facing in 2016
  • Peter N. Brewer and Simon Offord attended the SILVAR® leadership installation dinner at the La Rinconada Country Club on January 14th
  • Henry Chuang and Julia M. Wei co-authored an article, titled “Shared Responsibility Mortgages”, that appeared in the most recent edition of the California Real Property Journal
  • Over the new year, Clayton Dodds traveled to the Orange Bowl in Miami, Florida to watch the College Football Playoff National Semifinal game between the Oklahoma Sooners and the Clemson Tigers
  • In his official capacity as the Vice Chair, Peter N. Brewer attended the Law Practice Management & Technology (LPMT) Executive Committee meeting on January 16th in San Francisco
  • Simon Offord was the featured presenter for the Santa Clara County Association of REALTORS® (SCCAOR) University on January 26th. His presentation was titled “Understanding Liquidated Damages, Arbitration, & Mediation Provisions in the Residential Purchase Agreement” 
  • Ashlee D. Adkins attended the Santa Clara County Bar Association (SCCBA) new admittee mixer on January 14th
  • Director of Marketing Clayton Dodds was appointed to the Legal Marketing Association (LMA) – Bay Area Chapter Board as the 2016 co-chair of the communications committee 
  • Henry Chuang served as a guest lecturer at Menlo College on January 20th, speaking about the preemption of law at different levels
  • Simon Offord spoke at the SILVAR® Los Gatos/Saratoga District tour meeting about rainwater issues and real estate law in California
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