“How Do I Find My Property Lines?”

Knowing the location of your property lines is crucial when determining where to erect new structures, such as a fence or pool, on your land. It can even come in handy when doing such things as cutting the grass or trimming trees. Not knowing your land from your neighbor’s is a surefire way to end up in a dispute – even litigation. Finding out where the lines are is not necessarily difficult, but if you are considering taking drastic action that involves time and/or money, it is certainly worth it to double-check with a professional about whose land is whose.

The first step in determining the lines is to check your deed. A deed will contain a description, in words, of a property’s boundaries. The problem with deeds is that they may rely on landmarks that are no longer present (such a tree or gravel road) to indicate the lines. In some instances, it may be necessary to trace a deed back to older deeds in order to find a complete description.

If the deed description is no longer up-to-date or you need to obtain a more accurate overview of the lines, then you can consult a property survey (also known as a plat). A property survey is generally included with the paperwork when a home or parcel is purchased. If a property survey is not readily available, the local clerk’s office should have one on file. The third option is to hire a professional to conduct a land survey. A surveyor will use professional equipment to determine precise property boundaries.

While deeds, plats, and land surveys can help you determine where property boundaries exist, they may fail to describe existing easements on the property. A real estate attorney can give you peace of mind by finding out if there are any recorded easements or other issues with the land that you should know about before starting your next big project. Contact the real estate attorneys at McBrayer today if you need additional help in determining where your property ends and your neighbor’s begins.

House Exterior. Entrance Porch And Front Yard View

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 and does not constitute legal advice.

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‘Tis The Season To Think About Your Retail Lease

With November nearly upon us, the holiday shopping season is right around the corner. For retailers, the peak season can bring a whole host of issues to be considered in connection with a commercial lease. The best time to think about these issues is now – before the droves of eager customers start lining up at the doors. So, if you are a retailer and lease a space for your business, take a few minutes and consider the following:

  1. Does your lease require that you only operate during certain hours, preventing you from participating in “Black Friday” or staying open late during especially busy days?
  2. Is there available parking for seasonal employees?
  3. Are there any limitations in the lease about the type of signage or decorations? Must signs or decorations be approved by a landlord?
  4. Are there any provisions prohibiting special activities in or around the store (i.e., having carolers, a gift wrapping station, or passing out hot chocolate to bystanders)?
  5. If you are in a multi-unit building, how will advertising and general maintenance costs be divided? In other words, who is really paying for Santa and his elves to be stationed in the center?

Shopping Christmas Santa

By addressing these issues early, landlords and tenants can reduce the possibility of misunderstandings and disputes during the shopping season. A little forethought and communication can go a long way in making everything merry and bright. If you are a landlord or tenant and have questions about your commercial lease, contact the attorneys at McBrayer today.

CRichardson

Christopher A. Richardson is an associate at McBrayer, McGinnis, Leslie & Kirkland, PLLC in the Louisville, KY office. Mr. Richardson concentrates primarily in real estate, where he is experienced in residential and commercial closing transactions, landlord/tenant relations, and mortgage lien enforcement/foreclosure. Mr. Richardson has closed innumerable secondary market and portfolio residential real estate transactions and his commercial practice ranges from short-term collateralized financing and construction lending to development revolving lines of credit. He can be reached at 502-327-5400 or crichardson@mmlk.com.

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

National Association of Realtors Pushing For Drone Use in Industry

Currently, pursuant to Federal Aviation Administration (“FAA”) policy, the use of unmanned aerial vehicles (“UAVs”, also known as “drones”) for commercial use is strictly prohibited. The National Association of Realtors (“NAR”) is hoping to change that very soon. On September 23, the President of the NAR sent a letter to the Director of the FAA, compelling him to consider the ways in which drones can benefit all industries. According to the letter, drones have the unique potential to be a “game changer for the real estate industry.”

Quadrocopter drone ready to takeoff

In 2012, Congress passed the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012, covering fiscal years 2011 through 2014. The law imposed on the FAA a requirement to promulgate regulations and implement a comprehensive plan to “accelerate” the integration of drones into the national airspace system by the end of September 2015. In June 2014, the FAA issued comments clarifying the permitted use of drones for commercial purposes and specifically named real estate as a prohibited use. NAR’s recent letter was in response to those comments.

“Realtors are showing tremendous interest and enthusiasm for new drone technologies that could help them market listings…,” NAR said. The letter emphasized that drone imagery is a “creative and dynamic way to present” properties and while NAR assured the FAA that it supports rules that protect safety and privacy, it warned that “overly burdensome regulation” would be detrimental. In its letter, NAR encouraged the FAA to comply with the September 2015 statutory deadline.

Not only do drones present unique marketing opportunities for realtors, NAR pointed out, but they also benefit anyone making a real estate purchase or entering into a lease by helping them make “an informed decision.” Further, drone technology also has environmental benefits. A battery-powered drone emits less pollution that traditional aerial vehicles and limits the need for consumers to physically visit properties for inspection purposes. In short, the letter made drone usage sound like a win-win for all those involved in the real estate industry. Now, we just have to wait and see if the FAA will agree when it issues its new set of regulations.

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.

Here One Minute, Gone The Next: Temporary Retail Tenants

A sure sign that fall is approaching: Halloween costume stores start popping up in retail centers. These stores are only around for a short period, but they can certainly draw a crowd in the time that they are there. It seems that temporary tenants (also called “pop-up stores”) have become commonplace over the last few years…and they are opening more than the standard Halloween shop.

Smiling Young Woman In Halloween Hat With Shopping BagsKate Spade Saturday (a less-expensive sister brand to the iconic Kate Spade New York), for instance, has opened a successful pop-up shop in New York City, as a way to test-run the new line in the fashion market. Major online brands like Amazon have experimented with short-term leases to showcase new products. In fact, according to a 2013 Specialty Retail Report, temporary retail continues to thrive as an $8 billion industry that has grown 16% annually since 2009.

Short-term retail leases offer a variety of benefits, for both landlords and retailers alike. Landlords (1) can fill a vacant space, thereby alleviating the undesirability of an empty storefront; (2) increase cash flow with the rental payments; (2) bring larger crowds and new attention to the space, thanks to the allure of a new retailor; (4) potentially test-run a long-term tenant on a short-term basis; and, (5) satisfy co-tenancy requirements specified in other tenant leases. Retailers can (1) offer seasonal products or services (i.e., Halloween stores or Christmas ornament shops); (2) test-run a new product or raise brand awareness; (3) reach a new audience; (4) experiment with the transition from an online presence to a brick-and-mortar location; and, (5) take advantage of a high-traffic area during a prime shopping season.

While the lease may be short-term, the considerations that go with entering into such a lease should not be shortsighted. Entering into any lease, no matter the length, carries with it significant legal responsibilities for all parties. It is important to structure short-term lease agreements carefully to cover all necessary provisions (i.e., maintenance and repair obligations, insurance requirements, use clauses) and ensure that such agreements do not violate other tenants’ exclusive or restriction rights. In the event that a short-term tenant evolves into a long-term tenant, then the agreement will need to be revisited. It is likely that the original agreement will not suffice. For example, a short-term lease may require tenants to pay a monthly fixed income whereas a longer lease agreement may call for a percentage rent.

If you are a landlord or a retailer and are considering entering into a short-term lease, speak with a real estate attorney today about the terms and conditions that would be most beneficial for you.

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.