May 2017 Real Estate Law Newsletter

Slowly, but surely, the temperature is beginning to rise. The days are getting a little bit longer, and the sun is getting a little bit brighter. The summer season is right on the horizon, so bring on the sunglasses, pool parties, vacations…and of course, the busy real estate season! 2017 promises to be an interesting year for real estate: interest rates are growing, housing supply is shrinking, home prices are increasing, and competition is escalating. As the market starts to warm up for the busy season, gear up with resources from Brewer Offord & Pedersen LLP!

Highlights in this month’s issue:

—Watch the webinar replay for the latest in our California Landlord Basics webinar series, presented by Ashlee D. Adkins and Henry Chuang

—Read a lending law case study that explores how attorney Henry Chuang successfully defended against a predatory lending claim

—Download a free bed bug notice form, that landlords can use to comply with new requirements by July 2017

—Hear the podcast of Simon Offord’s most recent appearance on the Brian Copeland radio show

—Check out recent commercial real estate blog articles published by Simon Offord and Ashlee D. Adkins

—Catch up on updates from the firm,
including speaking engagements, seminars, articles, vacations, victories, and more

We hope you enjoy reading the May edition of our newsletter!

webinar replay - landlord

One of the most ambiguous legal concepts in California landlord-tenant law is the definition of “habitability”. California law mandates that landlords provide a habitable living environment for tenants to occupy. What constitutes an uninhabitable living condition is determined by the courts, after analyzing the facts of each particular case. The courts have specified that certain situations, such as flooded units, create an uninhabitable living environment that a landlord must remediate. However, in many other situations, the determination of habitability is not so clearly defined.

California landlord and tenant disputes often involve mold, pest infestations, or water damage. These circumstances sometimes result in a lease being terminated, either voluntarily or involuntarily. To address these critical issues in California landlord law, attorneys Henry Chuang and Ashlee D. Adkins recently presented a webinar about pests, mold, & lease termination. In this second installment of our firm’s California Landlord Basics webinar series, the attorneys focused on the specifics of lease termination, as well as the remediation requirements and procedures for mold, pests, and water damage.

Watch the replay & download the slides from the webinar by clicking the button below!

spotlight lending law

Recently, attorney Henry Chuang successfully defended a loan servicer against claims of predatory lending and loan fraud. The client provided a hard money loan for a four-unit residential property in Berkeley. When the borrower defaulted on payments, the hard money lender was to be “wiped out” by the foreclosing institutional lender in first position. Attorney Chuang expertly helped the client to reinstate the first loan, so that the client could begin foreclosure proceedings for the hard money loan. The borrower sued, claiming loan fraud and predatory lending. However, attorney Chuang not only prevailed against all of the borrower’s claims in court — the judge also awarded 100% attorney fees plus interest to the client.

Read more about this case, spotlighting attorney Henry Chuang’s recent lending law trial success, by clicking the button below!

Read More

bed bug notice form

Last year, the California legislature passed AB 551, and Governor Brown signed the bill into law on September 25th, 2016. The new law creates guidelines that both tenants and landlords should follow to prevent and treat bed bug outbreaks in residential rental housing. One of the new provisions requires landlords to provide a written notice to tenants. The notice must contain general information about bed bug biology, behavior, prevention, and treatment, and must be provided to tenants by the deadlines below.


July 1st, 2017 — all new tenants must be provided a written notice about bed bugs

January 1st, 2018 — all tenants (new & existing) must be provided written notice about bed bugs

Our firm has provided a free downloadable form that contains the information required by statute (California Civil Code, Section

Visit or click the “Download” button below to get the form!


simon on KGO

On April 19th, attorney Simon Offord appeared as a guest on The Brian Copeland Show on KGO 810. The popular radio talk show is hosted by Brian Copeland, an award-winning actor, comedian, author, and radio personality.

During the real estate clinic, Simon spoke about trends in the Bay Area real estate market and answered questions from callers, along with a panel of local real estate agents.

You can listen to the entire podcast of this month’s show, including Simon Offord’s insights, by clicking the button below.

brian copeland show


commercial dual agency

Proposed Assembly Bills Could Change Commercial Real Estate

Current law in California allows for dual agency in commercial real estate transactions, where one agent represents both the buyer and seller (or landlord and tenant). However, two proposed bills in the California State Assembly may impact dual agency in commercial
transactions, with one bill prohibiting the practice and another bill increasing disclosure requirements for dual agency. Ashlee D. Adkins discusses the two bills and their implications in her most recent blog article.

Read More

commercial subleases

Sublease Considerations for Commercial Tenants

Often, commercial tenants will sublease part of their property to another tenant. A sublease can be a great bargain for certain types of commercial tenants or for when rents are particularly high. However, several issues must be considered before entering into a commercial sublease. Simon Offord discusses a few of these considerations, such as understanding the master lease and securing protection against sublessor default, in his newest blog

Read More


You can find all of our firm’s published resources in one place on our website — our RESOURCE LIBRARY!

Access all of our resources, including

  • Past Newsletters
  • Articles
  • E-books
  • Infographics
  • Published Industry Materials
  • And much more!

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Brewer Firm News

  • Attorneys from Brewer Offord & Pedersen LLP attended the Spring 2017 Seminar for the California Mortgage Association on April 6th – 7th. The firm was a featured exhibitor for the seminar, and the firm also hosted a private dinner & mixer at the Sir Francis Drake Scala’s Bistro
  • Charlie
    , who serves as the Mayor of Foster City, was interviewed on NBC Bay Area News on May 8th about approving plans to raise the levee in Foster City to prevent flooding from sea level rise
  • Julia M. Wei and her family traveled to Maui for a family reunion and vacation from April 3rd – 14th

  • On April 19th, Simon Offord appeared as a guest on the Briand Copeland Show on KGO 810
  • Ashlee D. Adkins & Charlie Bronitsky helped settle a case to remove a mechanic’s lien placed on an East Palo Alto residential property
  • Clayton Dodds spoke
    at the Legal Marketing Association (LMA) panel & networking event on April 5th, recapping technology trends from the LMA Annual Conference
  • Director of Marketing Clayton Dodds gave a presentation to the International Network of Boutique Law Firms (INBLF) Silicon Valley chapter about law firm marketing and business development strategy on April 12th
  • Charlie Bronitsky had an article published in the May 3rd edition of the Foster City Islander, titled “The Foster City Levee – Be Careful Who You Listen To”
  • Ashlee D. Adkins & Simon
    attended the Spring California Association of REALTORS® Legal Affairs Forum in Sacramento on May 5th