Q4 2016: Year in Review

This edition of the quarterly report analyzes legal trends in risk management areas that affect real estate professionals: Agency, Property Condition Disclosure, RESPA and Fair Housing.

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In This Issue

A.         Cases

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Earlier this year, we examined the following two cases. Each case exemplifies an agency issue seen in many 2016 cases. The Maguire case was one of the larger damage awards involving an agency issue in 2016. In that case, the

The Property Condition Disclosure cases retrieved this quarter address a wide range of disclosure topics. In one case, the Idaho Supreme Court considered the interplay between contract provisions that attempt to limit a licensee’s disclosure duties and the duties imposed on licensees by statute. In other cases, the courts considered whether a transaction broker could be liable for...

Over the past few years, we have seen several cases in which borrowers challenged a lender’s captive reinsurance scheme as a violation of RESPA. This quarter, a federal court made a significant ruling on this issue. The court determined that captive reinsurance arrangements do not violate RESPA as long as the mortgage insurer pays market value for the reinsurance. The court overturned a...

This quarter, we have updates to two Fair Housing cases discussed in last year’s Legal Pulse. One of these updates addresses accessibility standards in the design and construction of a residential apartment building. Another case decided in the fourth quarter of 2016 involves very similar design and construction issues. In both cases, the properties did not meet accessibility...

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State Law Based Changes

Read a summary of this quarter's additions to the State Law Based Changes.