Real Estate

Nashville Mayor Briley Expected to Announce Major Public Housing Initiative

Nashville Mayor David Briley is expected to announce plans later this month for the allocation of millions in city funds to support redevelopment of aged public housing, The Tennessean reports. If approved, Briley’s plan will take a three-pronged approach —a ten-year commitment to pay for redevelopment projects, city-funded infrastructure at those sites and earmarks for the Barnes Fund for Affordable Housing Innovation, which provides grants to affordable housing developers. The city recently took ownership of its public housing stock from the federal government, to facilitate private borrowing for new construction and upgrades.

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Don't Blame Looming Recession on Slump in Residential Real Estate

The threat of a looming recession is not the fault of a sluggish real estate market, despite conflation by many economists, The New York Times reports. Though the United States has experienced 11 recessions since World War II, only two were precipitated by housing market decline. The sector often receives the brunt of the blame as it is more volatile than others, however, residential real estate accounts for only about 3 percent of economic output during recessions. Though the buying slump is a reality, this is likely a byproduct more than a driving factor — owing much to rising prices of existing homes in most markets, with the construction of new dwellings grinding to a screeching halt.

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Legislation Affecting Real Estate Practice

As the legislative session progresses, many bills of interest to dirt lawyers are on the move. Here is a list of notable legislation which has the potential to affect your practice area:
 
Rights of survivorship. Allows creation of a joint tenancy with right of survivorship and requires any share of a descended tenant to go to the surviving one.  

Taxation of residential property based on tree density. Requires that tree density is considered as a factor in determining residential property value and the respective taxation in Davidson and Shelby Counties.

Requires landlords provide email addresses. Requires a landlord to provide certain local governmental agencies responsible for enforcing building codes the landlord's email address, in addition to name, telephone number, and physical address. 

Notice landlord regarding change of tenant's email address. Requires a tenant to notify the landlord within ten days of a change of email address. 

Addresses tenant and landlord email notification. Allows a tenant to rescind the use of an email address provided in the rental agreement by written notice to the landlord. Broadly captioned.

Requires register of deeds send written notice to the property owner before recording a lien. Requires the register of deeds to send written notice to the property owner prior to recording a lien.

Removes certain state provisions regarding property tax. Eliminates certify valuation to local officials, authority to place liens, and issue distress warrants for state property tax.

Payment rights of contractors and subcontractors. Prohibits a written contract to have a condition precedent for payment clause where the prime contractor is not required to pay the remote contractor due to contract, or until they are paid by the construction owner. 

Requires baby changing station in new buildings. Adds at least one baby diaper changing station that is accessible to both men and women for new public bathrooms in any public building that is owned or operated by a public entity. 

Certification for electrical inspects contracted by local or state government. Requires electrical inspectors employed by a local or state government to be certified by the state fire marshal and for this certification to be completed every three years. 

Creates a registry of tenants evicted through writs of possession. Directs the housing development agency to create a registry of tenants who have been evicted through the execution of a writ of possession, which will be accessible to landlords in this state. 

The requirement of notice from the delinquent tax attorney relative to property tax. Requires the delinquent tax attorney to pose a copy of the proceeding and send a copy by first-class mail addressed to “occupant” at the last known municipal address of the parcel. 

Authority to impose a monitoring inspection fee on each manufactured home. Removes the authority to impose a monitoring inspection fee on each manufactured home produced in Tennessee from the commissioner of commerce and insurance.

An increase of the homestead exemption. Creates a homestead exemption for agricultural land, increases aggregate value of real property homestead exemptions while establishing that, in 3-year intervals, the fiscal review committee will recommend to the general assembly increases in the homestead exemption.

Service of process. Adds a private process server to the list of individuals authorized to personally serve a copy of a warrant or summons on behalf of a landlord in an action for forcible entry and detainer to regain possession of such landlord's real property.

Time-share and vacation club property. Classifies time-share and vacation club property that includes an interest in real property as residential property. 

Increases time allotted for a home seller to refund a buyer. Increases from 10 days to 15 days the time frame which a buyer is required to refund payments to the buyer when a home solicitation sale has been canceled or an offer to purchase was revoked.
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Why All Apartment Buildings in America Look the Same

Wood-framed balloon structures have become a ubiquitous part of our cityscapes, seemingly popping up overnight and changing the face of urban and suburban areas across America. No matter where you are, the buildings are ostensibly homogenous — blocky, colorful and three to seven stories tall. Bloomberg News examines the rise and controversy surrounding these ’stick framed’ structures, including why some municipalities seek to curb construction of the buildings in densely populated areas altogether.

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Casino Planned for Tennessee, Virginia Border

Private investors intend to convert a failing Bristol, Virginia, shopping mall into a casino, resort and convention center, The Business Journal reports. The city built The Falls shopping center with taxpayer dollars in hopes to compete with the booming retail sector of its sister city in Tennessee, adding $48 million to the city’s debt and creating a heavy bond-debt. Investors believe the project will be a boon to the local economy, creating somewhere between 5,000 and 10,000 jobs in the area. The total conversion is expected to cost $300 million to $400 million.

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Downtown Memphis Development Board Approves First TIF Property

The Center City Revenue Finance Corp., a state-chartered industrial development board in Memphis, recently approved its first tax increment financing initiative, the Memphis Business Journal reports. The Union Row project will develop around 800 apartments, 200 hotel rooms and 460,000 square feet of mixed-use office and retail space in a location between South City and Downtown. Construction is set to start in June 2019, with the first phase scheduled for completion by June 2021.

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Hot Topics in Real Estate 2018

The Tennessee Bar Association Real Estate Law Section in cooperation with the Tennessee Land Title Association recently held its annual Hot Topics in Real Estate program, packing the house at the ‘Batman’ building in Nashville. The seminar remains a staple for Tennessee dirt lawyers, allowing attendees to stay on top of cutting-edge developments while connecting with professionals of a similar focus. The TBA would like to thank the program’s producers, Real Estate Law Section Chair David Wicker and Immediate Past Chair Joe Kirkland, along with the section’s executive council for their hard work in putting this program together.

For those unable to attend, watch for online versions of this program coming soon.

2018–19 TBA Real Estate Law Section Leadership
 
Section Chair: David Wicker — Stites & Harbison (Middle)
Section Vice-Chair: Jim Lenschau — Wyatt, Tarrant & Combs, LLP (West)
Immediate Past Chair: Joe Kirkland — Closetrak (West)
 
Eastern Delegates
Brian Kopet — The Title Guaranty and Trust Company
Jay Moneyhun — Bass, Berry & Sims PLC
Ryan McNally — Croley, Davidson & Huie PLLC
Valerie Webb — Webb Sanders PLLC
 
Middle Delegates
Courtney Hollins — Dickinson Wright PLLC
 
Western Delegates
Cathy Frost — Hornsby Law Firm PC
Sarah-Katherine "S.K." Wright — Realty Title & Escrow
 

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Lawsuit Involving US Nitrogen Pipelines Settled for Undisclosed Amount

A longstanding legal battle between landowners and builders of a double pipeline connecting the Greene County US Nitrogen plant to the Nolichucky River ended this month with a confidential settlement, The Citizen Tribune reports. The landowners initially filed a petition asking Davidson County Chancery Court to stop the installation, with some residents claiming the company trespassed on their property during construction. The pipelines, which are used to transfer water from the river to the plant for use in manufacturing liquid ammonium nitrate then to discharge effluent water back into the river, also came under fire from The Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation earlier this year for negatively impacting water quality in the area.

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U.S. Supreme Court Dismisses Appeal Regarding Real Estate Search Patents

The U.S. Supreme Court earlier this month shot down a petition related to the ruling of a Federal Circuit Court regarding Real Estate Alliance Ltd.’s (REAL) search patents, according to Inman.com. The ruling affirms a Feb. 1 decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit that its real estate search tools are not, in fact, patent eligible. The dispute arose in 2007 when Move Inc. filed a lawsuit against REAL seeking a declaratory judgment that the patents were invalid.

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Nashville MLS Stadium Approval Spurs Quick Fairground Reconstruction Plans

Nashville’s fairground reconstruction plans are moving forward following last week’s Metro Council approval of a $275 million Major League Soccer stadium, The Tennessean reports. Construction to begin the consolidation of multiple buildings into a newly transformed expo center is slated to begin mid-October. The new expo center will sit on a currently vacant, lower-elevation piece of fairground land, and it will house the Nashville Flea Market as well as other events. Demolition and construction for the MLS stadium are scheduled to begin after the expo center is completed. The future 30,500-seat stadium and 10-acres of mixed-use private development are planned to sit on higher-elevation fairground land.

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