Issue No.243, September 15, 2021

Look For NEW Events Posted Since The Last Issue!
RE&C in review: Design professionals will be granted lien rights on commercial projects under Senate Bill 49
Beginning September 30, 2021, architects, landscape architects, professional engineers, and professional surveyors will be granted lien rights on commercial projects, a right that has long been available to prime contractors, subcontractors, laborers, and material suppliers. A lien is a powerful collection tool, and designers now have much more leverage when they have not been paid.

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Recorder’s Office Launches Subscription-Based Recording Notification System
The Clark County Recorder’s Office announces that it will begin offering document filing notifications to the public via the Record Notification Service (RNS). RNS is a subscriber-driven tool/service. Members of the public can sign up for the service on the Recorder’s Office website. After completing a few simple steps, subscribers will be enrolled to receive an email alert whenever a document is recorded on a specific property, name, or parcel number that may raise a concern, i.e., a mechanics lien or an IRS tax lien.

A Plan to Hasten the Sale of Surplus Federal Property Gets Bogged Down
A little-known independent board created to expedite the disposal of unused land and buildings has been hampered by a lawsuit, staff shortages and pushback from other agencies.

The Race Is On for Built-for-Rent Land
Investors are pouring in millions to create more built-for-rent single-family communities. It’s fueling a land rush to find open land.

“Land brokers dealing in residential parcels traditionally sell to developers and builders who are planning communities in which people buy homes,” reported. “Now, they are starting to see a growing share who are buying land to build rental single-family communities.”

Old Republic settles charges of anti-competitive hiring practices
Old Republic International will pay $1 million to the New York Attorney General's office to settle charges that the title underwriter worked with unspecified agencies to foster anti-competitive hiring practices.

Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court allows enforcement to require removal of unauthorized wetlands fill for three years after each new property transfer
On August 31, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court (the highest court in the Commonwealth) decided that the local conservation commission (and presumably the state) can sue a new owner of real estate to require restoration of wetlands filled by a prior owner decades earlier, and that the ability to sue a new owner renews for three years after each property transfer forever. Conservation Comm’n of Norton v. Pesa, SJC-13058 (Mass. Aug. 31, 2021). That holding not only enlarges liability, but perhaps complicates the diligence that prudent buyers will undertake.

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In appeal over busted $5.8 bln hotel deal, Anbang throws shade at Greenberg Traurig
Last December, when Vice Chancellor Travis Laster of Delaware Chancery Court ruled that South Korea’s Mirae Asset Capital Co was entitled to ditch a $5.8 billion agreement to buy 15 luxury hotels from a successor to China’s Anbang Insurance Group Ltd, the judge savaged Anbang’s lawyers from Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher for allegedly deceiving Mirae about a bizarre scheme to fabricate false deeds to some of the hotels..

Elk Grove property owners sue Walmart trust over claim on land titles
Elk Grove property owners are suing the Wal-Mart Real Estate Business Trust over an agreement they say was completed in 2015 but has yet to be closed, hindering their ability to sell their properties.

Cattle Grazing Leases: Key Considerations for Real Estate Developers
Real estate developers in Florida are buying and improving rural land at a record pace. In many cases, this land has been devoted to purposes which resulted in the land being categorized as agricultural for real estate tax assessment purposes. Florida Statutes, Section 193.461, requires county property appraisers to categorize land as agricultural upon request by the owner if it is demonstrated that the land is being used for a bona fide agricultural purpose.

Insurers to offer new title insurance policy: Irdai
Irdai has asked general insurance companies, besides standalone health insurers and specialised insurers, to launch new title insurance products for promotors/developers, allottees and retail property buyers

Chaos as 'junior worker' who thought he was testing dummy council website rejects and approves REAL planning applications
Bungling council staff have accidentally approved or rejected five planning applications, adding bizarre sarcastic comments at the end of each one.
One applicant, a charity boss was told their scheme was turned down because 'your proposal is whack'. But even though they were mistakes, lawyers have told bosses at Swale Council in Kent the decisions are legally binding and they will have to spend thousands obtaining a judicial review to have each decision reversed in court.

How to Turn Your Android Phone Into a Free High-Res Webcam
Considering we’re living in the Age of the Video Meeting, if you are using a computer without a webcam, there’s a good chance you have the need for a quality video camera from time to time. Before you go out and buy a new webcam, though, you should consider converting your Android phone into a high-resolution camera.

Virtual prime land in KL selling fast
EVEN as the overall property market in Malaysia remains sluggish, prime land and assets in Kuala Lumpur are selling like hot cakes — well, at least in the virtual realm. Investors are buying “land” and “buildings” like Suria KLCC, The Pavilion Mall, The Exchange 106, Merdeka 118 and the Bukit Jalil Stadium, as well as the surrounding parcels of land, in the hope that these assets will have utility in the future and like tangible property assets, will one day appreciate in value.

How NFTs Could Change Real Estate
The world of property is changing fast, and it is important to stay up to date on all the innovations in the space. The blockchain and cryptocurrency realm is slowly changing the way many markets work, and the property industry is no exception. With these innovations, there will be many new opportunities that you should be aware of as an investor.

Providence Title Co. v. Truly Title, Inc.
Providence Title Company ("Providence") and Truly Title, Inc. ("Truly") are competitors in the Texas title insurance market. In 2019, Truly and Providence unsuccessfully negotiated Truly's potential acquisition of Providence. Afterward, Truly successfully recruited a number of Providence's senior employees in North Texas, including Tracie Fleming, Mark Fleming, and Kim Sheets Sheffield.

New York County Worker Charged in Digital Currency Mining Scheme
An employee cost a New York county at least $6,000 in electricity bills by allegedly secretly installing dozens of machines at his workplace in a cryptocurrency scheme, authorities said Wednesday, announcing charges against him.

New York’s Forgotten Outpost of European Aristocracy
Wildlife has always shared the landscape with people, but the big loser in this arrangement is — and always has been — wildlife. Is it time to grant wildlife legal ownership of their homes?

A new $350 million Bering Sea fish fight could hinge on a miniature Canadian railroad
A high-seas legal fight is causing havoc for one of Alaska’s biggest commercial fisheries, the Bering Sea pollock harvest out of Dutch Harbor.

Who wants to buy a prison? Pa. hopes to sell 20-acre Western Penitentiary site, warden’s house
Another move is afoot to try to sell the closed State Correctional Institution Pittsburgh on the North Side, two years after Manchester Bidwell Corp. backed out of a deal to buy it. State Sen. Wayne Fontana, D- Brookline, has advanced legislation that would set up a competitive process to accept proposals for the sale of the 20.2-acre property in the Marshall-Shadeland neighborhood.

DNA Test Reveals Unexplainable Fertility Clinic Mix-Up; Families Seek Damages
Like many couples, Donna and Vanner Johnson turned to assisted reproductive medicine when they were unable to conceive on their own. After researching their options, they chose a reputable local fertility clinic. Little did they know that a mix-up at the clinic would upend their lives, as well as the lives of another family, over a decade later.

This TikToker Is Virtually Touring All the Most Terrifying Real Estate Listings
There’s no shame if spending time on Zillow is one of your favorite pastimes — Kelly Clarkson even told the New York Times that she spends most Friday nights checking out “Zillow porn” instead of checking social media. But for all the beautiful homes out there you simply can’t resist ogling, there’s some downright terrifying stuff to behold, too, and one TikTok user is virtually “touring” it all for his more than 48,000 followers.