Finding black and white in those grey areas
I’m sure I’m mixing my metaphors, but I think you will get the picture.
There are so many grey areas in real estate investing and real estate law, that even the most seasoned investors can make mistakes. Your brother-in-law says one thing, your real estate agent says another, and sometimes even the attorneys don’t agree. And what used to be customary and legal just a couple of years ago may be illegal, or at least frowned upon now.
Richard Vetstein has been practicing law for 16 years, specializing in conveyance and landlord/tenant law. He writes a popular Massachusetts Real Estate Law Blog, and is going to discuss some of the grey areas of real estate that we encounter regularly.
He will discuss:
- Student housing do’s and don’ts: How many students can you really cram into that condo? Can the town limit the number?
- Wholesale and Bird Dog fees: Are they “illegal” or simply not permitted by the NAR? What do you tell the “Realtor” when they say: “You can’t do that!” How can you pay someone for bringing you a deal, and not run afoul of real estate licensing laws?
- Zoning vs Building department vs Tax Assessor: When is that three-unit really a duplex? Who decides, and which department is “the horse’s mouth” and gets the finally word.
- Are you, if you’re a real estate agent, liable if you sell a 3-unit and it turns out to be a legal 2-unit? What about if you are not licensed, is there any liability if you didn’t know?
- And if it turns out to be only a 2-unit, how do you best go about converting to a 3-unit?
- Discriminating rental practices: can you market to a protected class? Is it legal to market that your building is ADA Compliant? What about marketing to health professionals if the property is walking distance to a hospital?
- How does it change if the building is owner occupied? How much can you discriminate?
- Do emails count as contracts?
- Transfer tax: When can you reduce the amount of transfer tax, and pay on only the equity in the property?
This will be an interactive presentation, with time for questions from the audience, so bring your stumpers.