Elizabeth Whitman is a real estate attorney and broker who has represented clients in more than $1 billion in real estate transactions. From her office in suburban Washington, DC, Elizabeth represents real estate owners, and securities sponsors throughout the nation.

Landlord Best Practices for Rent Increases



As increased demand for apartments outpaces increases in supply, multifamily rental rates are increasing. Landlords should keep pace with the market. Landlords also need to increase rent regularly so that their revenue is adequate to cover increased costs. Yet no landlord wants an increase to cause an exodus of tenants. How a landlord communicates a […]

How an Access Agreement Can Speed Up Your Commercial Real Estate Transaction



Buyers and sellers want their commercial real estate transactions to move forward quickly. A buyer may ask to start inspecting the real estate and “kick the tires” while the parties negotiate a real estate purchase contract. The seller may have concerns about allowing this with no contract in place. To address these concerns, the buyer […]

Why You Want a Force Majeure Clause in Your Real Estate Contract



Recent news coverage has discussed buildings destroyed by wildfires in California. Properties in Hawaii have been threatened by earthquakes and volcanos, as well as mudslides following a tropical storm.

Understanding Commercial Lease Types



Commercial leases are not one-size-fits all. The type of commercial lease will vary depending upon the asset class and building class and the landlord’s and tenant’s needs.

Residential Landlords’ Guide to Assistance Animals



News reports recently have included much discussion about The Air Carrier Access Act and FAA regulations governing assistance animals on airplanes.

Mortgage or Deed of Trust?



When real estate purchasers apply for a loan, they call it a mortgage. In about 35 of the states, a mortgage is what they will sign at closing.

Negotiating Common Area Maintenance Charges in Commercial Leases



When signing a commercial lease, tenants may look at only the base rent amount. They are surprised when common area maintenance (CAM) charges result in a monthly rent bill that is higher than expected. Tenants may receive an additional surprise at the end of the year when they receive a bill for a CAM shortfall. […]

Fair Housing Act Primer for Multifamily Owners



Fifty years ago, on April 11, 1968, The Fair Housing Act (FHA) became law. At first, the FHA only prohibited housing discrimination based upon race, color, religion, and national origin.

Registered Land Uncommon but Still Exists in Some U.S. Urban Areas



When you buy a car, you get a certificate of title, which names all lienholders for the vehicle. But when you buy real estate you expect to receive a deed and to have to do a title search to determine whether there is a mortgage on the property.

Choosing an Ownership Structure for Your Real Estate Investment



don’t think much about how they take title. Yet, real estate ownership structure can play a key role in meeting the investor’s economic goals.