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David Frankenberger To Speak at MC Consultants 19th Annual Conference

Posted on August 15th, 2013

David Frankenberger will speak at MC Consultants 19th Annual West Region Construction Defect & Insurance Coverage Conference at the Hilton San Diego Bayfront September 18-20, 2013. Mr. Frankenberger will speak on Friday, September 20 at 9:00 a.m. regarding Coverage and Current Trends. The topics he will cover include Title 24 of the updated Energy Code, the new Americans with Disabilities Act standards and the updated Green Building Code requirements for non-residential building alterations and additions.  In addition, he will present on SB 474 and Indemnity/Risk Transfer Limitations.

For more information about the conference, please click here.

Mr. Frankenberger is in the firm’s Fresno office.  He can be reached at dfrankenberger@ericksenarbuthnot.com or 559.449.2600.

Brian Sanders to Speak at the 2013 Claims Conference of Northern California

Posted on August 15th, 2013

Brian Sanders will be one of the featured speakers at the 20th Anniversary Claims Conference & Tradeshow: Pillars of Education at the Hyatt Regency, being held in Downtown Sacramento on September 16-17, 2013. 

Mr. Sanders will give his presentation on Monday, September 16 at 1:00 p.m.  He will address The Post-SB 474 Playing Field: Evolving Claims Issues in Construction Litigation.  For more information regarding the conference, please click here.

Mr. Sanders is a partner in the Oakland office.  He can be reached at bsanders@ericksenarbuthnot.com or 510.832.7770.

Disclosures: The Basics

Posted on August 7th, 2013

The real estate market in the Bay Area is currently “on fire”.  We are now seeing houses in San Francisco sell for well over their asking price, and houses in the East Bay are being purchased by cash-buyers on the day of first offering.  If you are connected to a seller in this market, as a broker or agent, you should reacquaint yourself with the rules of disclosure considering that houses in the Bay Area are not cheap and can lead to substantial liability if something isn’t disclosed.

A seller must pass along to any prospective buyer information concerning any serious issues with a piece of property.  One California court defined the disclosure of material facts as “the affirmative duty to conduct a reasonably competent and diligent inspection of the residential property listed for sale and to disclose to prospective purchasers all facts materially affecting the value or desirability of the property that such an investigation would reveal.”  (Robinson v. Grossman (1997) 57 Cal.App.4th 634, 640 (emphasis added).)

The California Bureau of Real Estate has provided some guidance as to what facts materially affect the value or the desirability of a property.  Some examples of the facts that need to be disclosed are: 1) the presence of lead paint; 2) significant defects within the structure of the unit; 3) environmental contamination; 4) the presence of an HOA; 5) or even whether someone has died in the unit(!).  Regrettably, courts will often be the final arbiter of whether something materially affects the value or desirability of a property, and then it will likely come down to what a jury thinks should have reasonably been disclosed.

There are other ins-and-outs regarding a seller’s disclosure requirements, such as whether there is a relationship between the seller’s agent and other professionals involved with the sale of the house.  The general rule of thumb is “when in doubt, disclose.”  For reference, the Bureau of Real Estate publishes a 79-page book regarding disclosures available here: http://www.dre.ca.gov/files/pdf/re6.pdf.