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July 16, 2018

More of Something: The California Legislature’s Effort to Increase the Supply of Affordable Housing

In January 2017, the Department of Housing and Community Development published statistics indicating that there is a need, on average, for approximately 180,000 housing units to be developed each year in California, while only 80,000 housing units are currently being constructed—a shortfall of at least 100,000 units per year that has been accumulating for several years and is anticipated to continue each year for the foreseeable future. In response to this report, as well as almost daily anecdotal reports of skyrocketing rents, neighborhood gentrification, homelessness in the midst of affluence, and rapidly escalating costs of purchasing a home in several metropolitan counties, the state legislature in 2017 enacted a “comprehensive housing package” of legislation intended to encourage the development of more housing, or to be specific, more “affordable” housing.

July 16, 2018

Got Privity? Understanding Privity Of Estate And Privity Of Contract In California Real Property Leases

Parties to real estate contracts often change over time, whether as the result of an assignment, financing, or otherwise. Relatedly, additional parties (beyond those named in the underlying contract) may claim a property interest in the subject of such a contract, perhaps in connection with a security interest in the underlying fee in the form of a mortgage or a deed of trust, or a security interest in a leasehold estate by way of a leasehold mortgage. Just as it is  fundamentally important for parties to real estate contracts to understand the nature and priority of their real estate interest as it relates to the rights of other interested parties, it is also crucial that parties be aware of the nature of the contractual relationships (and the consequential rights and obligations) between the various parties with potentially competing interests in the real property at issue. 

June 18, 2018

Miller Starr Regalia Launches New Website

Miller Starr Regalia (MSR), a preeminent California real estate law firm for more than 50 years, announced today it has launched a new website that is reflective of the firm's breath of real property legal services. 

May 1, 2018

Do You Feel Lucky, Banker? The Shaky Prospects For Financial Transactions With Marijuana-Related Businesses

Federal law prohibits the manufacture, possession, or use of marijuana for any purpose, including medical purposes. This prohibition notwithstanding, as of January of 2018, 29 states plus the District of Columbia have legalized marijuana for medical purposes, six states have legalized marijuana for recreational use, and Maine and Massachusetts have approved legalization measures that have not yet taken effect. Because of this conflict between federal law and the growing state-level legalization movement, financial institutions, the majority of which are governed by federal law or, in the case of state- chartered banks and credit unions, are reliant upon systems and services overseen and administered by federal agencies, are wary of potential federal enforcement actions and, as a result, state-legal marijuana-related businesses are largely denied access to the banking system.