Real Estate Law April Newsletter

April 2017 Real Estate Law Newsletter


All In at All Levels

The real estate market in the San Francisco Bay Area is experiencing a pricing squeeze — limited supply of inventory and ever-growing demand has increased prices, despite the fact that the volume of transactions is decreasing. This unique mix of micro-economic conditions, coupled with rising national interest rates, sets the stage for an interesting summer season for real estate in California.

Investors, homeowners, agents, landlords, and brokers alike must be ready to adapt to changing conditions at all levels, in order to stay competitive and to advance their interests. This month, our firm goes “all in at all levels” to help the real estate community gear up for the upcoming busy season. From a webinar about the basics of landlord & tenant law in California, to a recent jury trial victory at the county level, to attorneys networking at the state level on behalf of private money lenders, our growing law firm is all in for our community!

Highlights in this month’s issue:

—Register for the second installment in our California Landlord Basics webinar series, covering pests, mold, and lease termination

—Read about a recent jury trial victory for attorneys Charlie Bronitsky and Ashlee D. Adkins

—Learn about the latest court ruling on real estate commissions by reading Julia M. Wei’s blog article

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

—Meet our newest employee, Marisa Chavez-Columbus

—Catch up on updates from the firm, including speaking engagements, conferences, victories, and more!

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

California Landlord Part2

After one of the heaviest rain seasons ever in California, many tenants, landlords, and homeowners are now discovering water issues with their property. Roof or foundation leaks can create water damage to homes. More moisture increases the prevalence of mold issues. Changing weather conditions compel pesky rodents and pests to migrate indoors. When these scenarios occur in a rental property, many legal issues and disputes can arise — resulting in litigation or termination of the lease.

Please join us for a free webinar on Wednesday, April 12th at 10:00 AM PST, covering essential information about landlord and tenant law in California. Homeowners, REALTORS®, investors, and landlords and tenants will learn valuable information about terminating leases, mitigating mold issues, handling flood damage, and treating rodent infestations. Other topics include:

  • Voluntary Terminations & Involuntary Breaches of Contract
  • Possession & Abandonment
  • Expiration & Renewal of Leases
  • Water Damage & Floods
  • Bed Bugs, Termites, & Rodents
  • Mold Remediation & Mitigation Responsibilities
  • and more!

Register for our free webinar on April 12th by clicking the button below!

jury trial victory

After an 11-day jury trial in the Superior Court of San Mateo, attorney Charlie Bronitsky secured a unanimous victory defending a real estate agent from claims of fraud and negligence. Assisted by attorney Ashlee D. Adkins, the team successfully convinced the jury that an agent did not commit fraud for making a recommendation to an unlicensed contractor.

On charges of intentional representation, unjust enrichment, negligence, and fraud, the jury decided unanimously in favor of the defense, on every single count. As a result, the client (a real estate agent), the client’s employing broker, and the brokerage’s CEO avoided over $2 million in relief and damages sought by the plaintiff.

Read the press release from the trial victory by clicking the button below!

Read More

real estate commissions

When a real estate agent engages a client to sell their home, the owner will sign a listing agreement. In California, it is very common for a property to have multiple owners. A recent case in the Sixth District Court of Appeals involved a scenario wherein a real estate agent sold a home that had 5 owners. However, the listing agreement was only signed by one owner, who added “et al” to his signature. Once the property was sold, the sellers withheld the commission from the agent, claiming that they never agreed to the terms of the listing agreement. The lower court held that the agent was unable to collect her commission, but the decision was overturned on appeal.

You can read Julia M. Wei’s blog article about the case by clicking the button below.

Read More

simon on KGO

On March 14th, 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

Meet Our New Assistant!

marisa chavez-columbus

We are excited to announce the newest addition to Brewer Offord & Pedersen LLP team — Marisa Chavez-Columbus!

Marisa joins the firm as an Administrative & Paralegal Assistant. She graduated with her undergraduate degree in English Literature from UC Berkeley, and is currently pursuing her paralegal certificate from CSU San Francisco. She is passionate about interior design, art, and furniture restoration.

Welcome Marisa!

cma legislative day

On Tuesday, March 14th, attorneys Julia M. Wei and Henry Chuang attended the California Mortgage Association’s Legislative Day. The duo traveled to Sacramento and attended meetings with state legislators to discuss important topics, trends, and challenges for the private money loan industry. Henry and Julia also met with CMA lobbyists to learn about upcoming bills and to understand the impact on real estate investors.

simon at sccaor

On Wednesday, March 22nd, attorney Simon Offord gave a presentation about the liquidated damages, mediation, and arbitration provisions in the CAR purchase contract. The course was produced by the Santa Clara County Association of REALTORS®.

You can read more about the liquidated damages clause by clicking the button below.


brewer firm news

  • Julia M. Wei and Simon Offord gave a presentation to the Independent Brokers Network on March 30th about the new California laws that impact real estate professionals

  • Ashlee D. Adkins and Peter N. Brewer helped clear title and remove a lien from a property by settling a dispute regarding an erroneous promissory note and deed of trust
  • Henry Chuang was a guest lecturer about maximum occupancy and zoning ordinances to students of Lincoln Law School on April 3rd
  • Simon Offord resolved a failure to disclose case related to water damage, plumbing, and electrical issues with a Santa Clara County home
  • Julia M. Wei and Henry Chuang attended the California Mortgage Association (CMA) Legislative Day on March 14th in Sacramento
  • Director of Marketing Clayton Dodds spoke at the 2017 Legal Marketing Association (LMA) Annual Conference in Las Vegas from March 26-29. His presentation was about the principles and practices of marketing automation
  • Brewer Offord & Pedersen LLP was a lunch sponsor for the March 8th meeting of the International Network of Boutique Law Firms (INBLF)
  • Simon Offord assisted in the negotiation and preparation of multiple commercial leases and a commercial sublease



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