Eviction Notices: Common Mistakes Seattle Landlords Should Avoid

Any landlord delivering an eviction notice to a tenant must follow the procedures to the letter of the law. The delivery of eviction documentation must be clear, traceable and extensive. Any slip, or lack of clarity in the proper delivery of eviction notices, could see the landlord’s eviction request kicked out of court. Such failures occur at a surprising rate. 

The attorneys at Holmquist + Gardiner have extensive experience supporting landlord-tenant legal issues. We routinely provide guidance to landlords of multi-family and commercial properties who seek the eviction of a tenant in breach of…

Protecting Homebuyers and Sellers from Earnest Money Disputes

The last thing a homebuyer wants is to emotionally commit to purchasing a home and then lose it. Similarly, no seller wants to select a buyer, only to see the home sale fall apart. Everybody made plans. Suddenly, both parties have to start over. When the sale falls through, both buyer and seller can feel an emotional attachment to the initial earnest money deposit. That’s when earnest money disputes arise.

Sales fall through for unexpected reasons. Sometimes it’s an unforseen life event, cold feet or a sudden change in finances. Earnest money disputes seek to determine whether the buyer or the seller deserves to retain the original monetary deposit. If you’re a potential buyer or seller, it’s a good idea to understand a few concepts about earnest money to help reduce the possibility of a bitter trip to the courtroom. 

Updated Condo Act Offers Incentives to Spark New Property Developments

There’s big news this summer for residential real estate developers, sales agents and future buyers of condominium properties in Seattle. Washington state’s updated condo act, known as SB 5334, became effective law on July 28, 2019. The new legislation eases regulations on condominium defect liabilities for residential condominium developers and management companies. That means exciting prospects for the condominium market in the city of Seattle. SB 5334 reduces concerns of risk and uncertainty that previously plagued condominium investments across Washington state. 

The experienced attorneys at Holmquist + Gardiner support clients involved in all phases of the construction process including property developers, contractors, architects, engineers, management firms and individual tenants. We assist our clients with diverse issues specific to Seattle and Washington state laws and regulations. SB 5334 represents a transformative moment in…

Opportunity Zone Investments – What You Need to Know

The federal Opportunity Zone program offers significant tax incentives to taxpayers who invest in land-use, business or real-estate projects within specified low-income and underserved communities. Investors with the right strategy and long-term investment goals can take advantage of this program to reduce, or event eliminate, their capital gains taxes. 

As a real-estate attorney with Holmquist + Gardiner, I specialize in transactions involving mixed-use development properties and tax-deferred investment strategies, including Opportunity Zone investments. I help clients mitigate risks and successfully take advantage of incentives. 

Advice for Borrowers Seeking Multifamily Property Loans with Freddie Mac

It’s prime time to talk Freddie Mac Loans. Freddie Mac helps generate loans to large borrowers at highly competitive rates. This summer is no exception as low interest rates offer plenty of incentive for large borrowers to refinance or purchase multifamily residential property. But understanding Freddie Mac’s function, and the process required to secure a large multifamily loan, are important to achieve goals efficiently. 

Holmquist + Gardiner helps borrowers successfully acquire Freddie Mac loans in order to refinance or purchase multi-family residential properties. These are properties with a minimum of five units per building that cater to urban life. When seeking funding over $5 million, it’s important to be prepared.  Below are a few helpful tips…

Corporation Scams

If you have formed an entity in Washington, you know that there are several forms that must be filled out and exchanged with the Secretary of State’s office. Because the creation of a business entity is visible to the public, some bad actors have recently attempted to take advantage of new business owners by mailing them official-looking letters requesting payment for documents from the Secretary of State.

Restoration Work — a Frequent Source of Conflict in Commercial Lease Agreements

There is an often overlooked, yet critical moment in every good-faith business relationship between commercial landlords and tenants. It’s not the day the price per square footage is agreed upon, nor the moment the ink burns bright on the lease agreement — or even if/when the lease is renewed. No; a great indication of a smooth landlord-tenant relationship is apparent by its orderly conclusion. When entering a lease agreement, it’s important to remember that the end is inevitable. 

I’m talking specifically about “restoration work,” a provision within every lease agreement that defines the responsibility of landlords and tenants after a lease expires. Restoration work refers to any inevitable preparation required to successfully transition the interior space from past tenant to new tenant. 

The Importance of Building Client Relationships – 10 Years of Holmquist + Gardiner

Throughout 2019, Holmquist + Gardiner is celebrating its 10-year anniversary by  reflecting on its journey to become one of Seattle’s most comprehensive and admired real-estate law firms. Read our first article in the series to discover the power of a radical idea when scrawled on the napkin of a Capitol Hill bar.

To celebrate their law firm’s 10th year providing dedicated legal services to Seattle-area clients, founding partners Imants Holmquist and Hamilton Gardiner reflected on the phrase that fortified Holmquist + Gardiner’s most distinctive quality:

Relationships make the difference.

Seattle’s Fair Chance Housing Law: Guidance for Landlords

Be advised: Seattle’s Fair Chance Housing Ordinance (FCHO) bars landlords fromconsidering prior arrest records or past convictions when screening prospective tenants. This includes prospective renters who are registered sex offenders. 

Anti-discrimination policies benefit the common good. However, such policies can create conflict when landlords have a duty to protect their tenants from foreseeable criminal conduct. Therefore, the Fair Chance Housing Ordinance presents potential complications that could unintentionally place landlords in legal jeopardy — even if landlords have the best intentions in mind.