Western Kentucky University & City of Bowling Green Make Great Remodeling Team

Last week, the New York Times featured a story about Bowling Green’s redeveloping district near downtown, formally called the WKU Gateway to Downtown Bowling Green (Gateway, for short). The district began taking shape in 2007, after the city and Warren County reached an agreement with the state to establish a 383-acre, 52-block special development and tax district. Since then, there has been a steadily increasing amount of projects in this once rundown area.

Twenty eights projects, to be exact, have been completed or are under construction in the Gateway district, including the Bowling Green Ballpark, Hitcents Park Plaza, the Southern Kentucky Performing Arts Center, the Bowling Green Area Chamber of Commerce building, and WKU’s Health Sciences Complex. Since 2008, $262 million has been spent in downtown construction. While that figure may cause a gasp, the renovation is nothing short of breath taking.

Mr. Gary A. Ransdell, WKU’s President, credits the construction with breaking down the barrier that once existed between the university and city. As he stated in the NYT article, “[T]here’s been a shift in student density at the north end of our campus. With each new project that density increases.” WKU itself has added $24 million dollars’ worth of student housing, new fraternity housing, parking, and a $10 million alumni center.

Pursuant to the 2007 deal, Gateway pays local government 80% of the increases in payroll, property, sales and other tax revenue generated by new development within the district. The revenue is devoted to retiring construction bonds, building infrastructure and assisting developers. It’s a win-win situation, with students, residents and visitors all coming out on top.

The recent efforts of the university and city are a testament to the transformative power of real estate. Revitalization projects shape everything from the economy to living patterns. Gateway serves as proof that hard work, interest, funding, and government cooperation can result in praiseworthy results. Hats off to them!

 J. Markham

Joshua J. Markham is a member at McBrayer, McGinnis, Leslie & Kirkland, PLLC in the Lexington, KY office. Mr. Markham practices in virtually every aspect of real estate law, including title examination, title insurance, clearing title issues, deeds, settlement statements, preparation of loan documentation, contract negotiation and preparation, lease negotiation and preparation, and any and all other needs related to residential and commercial real estate matters.He can be reached at jmarkham@mmlk.com or (859) 231-8780, ext. 149.

This article is intended as a summary of federal and state law activities and does not constitute legal advice.

 

LBAR Launches App, Just As Industry Giants Merge & New Concerns Arise

Zillow and Trulia, the two largest sites in the home listings game, are merging. These sites enable buyers to navigate an online map to find a home’s value, look at available listings, and connect with local real estate agents. And while the companies, nearly a decade old, have somewhat helped to streamline the home buying and selling process, real estate deals remain a transaction that largely require professional assistance – from agents, to bankers, to attorneys. Even with online assistance from sites like Zillow and Trulia, most homebuyers prefer one-on-one guidance and advice from a trusted professional.

The merger, which will result in the two companies becoming by far the biggest online portal in the industry, has caused concern throughout the residential brokerage business. Some are worried that the merger will result in the company having too much power over listings, possibly raising associated fees. There has even been talk that the company might now break into the brokerage business itself, something that the separate companies have not done to date.

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) has its own consumer website, realtor.com, which is operated by Move Inc. and ranks third behind Zillow and Trulia in terms of popularity. In July, a new NAR marketing campaign emphasized the accuracy of realtor.com listings and the role of realtors in buying and selling homes. The long-standing critique of both Zillow and Trulia has been the accuracy of their services’ listing information. Realtor.com, on the other hand, gets listings directly from most of the nation’s more than 800 multiple listing services (MLSs).

Local MLS associations should not worry about the merger too much, as there is still very much a need for professionals in the world of real estate transactions. Associations, should, however note that they must make more of an effort to reach consumers in the online environment and offer value-added services that the industry behemoths do not – such as proving local expertise or always having the latest listings.

Taking a page from this playbook, the Lexington-Bluegrass Association of Realtors (LBAR) just announced the launch of their mobile app, LBAR Homes, which allows users to view all homes for sale or rent in the Bluegrass Region. Users can search by address, city, or zip code to see property details for all homes for sale or rent in a specified area, including price, square footage, estimated mortgage, taxes, features, maps, pictures, and more. A contact feature allows users to connect with respective listing agents by phone or email. The free app can be downloaded from an app store or at app.lbar.com, or by texting LBAR to 87778.

Once you find your home, you’ll want to contact a closing attorney to assist in the legal aspect of the purchasing process. Contact McBrayer’s real estate group if you’re ready for this exciting step in the process!

BMacGregor

  Brittany C. MacGregor is an associate attorney practicing in the Lexington office of McBrayer, McGinnis, Leslie & Kirkland, PLLC. She is a graduate of Transylvania University and the University of Kentucky College of Law. Ms. MacGregor’s practice focuses on real estate law, including title examination, title insurance, clearing title issues, deeds, settlement statements, preparation of loan documentation, contract negotiation and preparation, and lease negotiation and preparation. She may be reached at bmacgregor@mmlk.com or at (859) 231-8780.

This article is intended as a summary of federal and state law activities and does not constitute legal advice.

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“Mi Casa Es Su Casa”… Not So Fast, Landlords

Mi Casa Es Su Case translates to “My House Is Your House.” That sounds nice, and while technically true, tenants are not always so welcoming to their landlord. In fact, sometimes they may downright refuse to let their landlord enter their unit. There are several reasons that access by the landlord to an occupied unit may be necessary: to address a disturbance, to respond to an emergency, to make repairs, etc. However, a landlord must be mindful of the parties’ respective rights under the Uniform Residential Landlord Tenant Act.[1]While tenants generally have a right to quiet and exclusive possession of the property during the lease term, the tenants may not unreasonably withhold consent or deny access to the landlord.[2] Pursuant to Kentucky Revised Statute (KRS) 383.615, the landlord is entitled “to enter the dwelling unit in order to inspect the premises, make necessary or agreed repairs, decorations, alterations, or improvements, supply the necessary or agreed services, or exhibit the dwelling unit to prospective or actual purchasers, mortgagees, tenants, workmen, or contractors.”[3]

Tenancy Agreement

It is also important to note that the landlord may enter a dwelling unit without consent of tenants in the case of an emergency. However, it is important to note that, “A landlord shall not abuse the right of access or use it to harass the tenant.”[4] Thus, except in the case of an emergency, or unless it is impracticable to do so, the landlord is required to give tenants two (2) days’ notice of intent to enter the property and such entry must be done only at reasonable times.[5]

Other than the aforementioned situations, the only other occasions on which the landlord is entitled to enter the property without first obtaining consent of the tenants are (i) pursuant to a court order; (ii) there is noncompliance by tenants which materially affects health and safety and repairs and/or cleaning are necessitated by such noncompliance (after proper notice, if applicable, has been provided); (iii) the tenants have been absent from the property for more than seven (7) days without notice to the landlord; and (iv) the tenants have abandoned or surrendered possession of the property.[6]

As a best practice, landlords should specify in the lease the reasonable time periods during which entry may be made (i.e., between 9am and 6pm) and should also specify how and where notice shall be given (i.e., by phone and/or written notice). The lease should also include the circumstances (as set forth above and in KRS 383.615) where entry without tenant approval is permitted. This will help landlords eliminate surprise and reduce situations where tenants may ask for workmen, prospective tenants, or others to “come back at a better time.” Moreover, it will serve to protect both the tenants’ and landlord’s interests and help maintain a healthy and cordial landlord-tenant relationship.

[1] The information contained herein assumes application of URLTA.

[2] See generally KRS 383.615.

[3] KRS 383.615(1).

[4] KRS 383.615(3).

[5] KRS 383.615(3).

[6] See KRS 383.615; KRS 383.665; and KRS 383.670(2).

 

BYates

 Brendan R. Yates joined the Lexington office of the firm as an associate in 2002. Brendan is a member of the firm’s Litigation Department, where he focuses his practice on construction and real estate litigation, workers’ compensation defense litigation, insurance defense and commercial litigation. He has successfully defended his clients in state and federal courts, the Kentucky Court of Appeals, the Kentucky Supreme Court, and in administrative agency proceedings in Kentucky. He can be reached at byates@mmlk.com or (859) 231-8780, ext. 208.

This article is intended as a summary of  federal and state law and does not constitute legal advice.