Airbnb Update in the City of Boston

 

Recently. the governor signed legislation in hopes to even the playing field between hotels and short-term rentals. This change is directly affecting investors who have bought multiple condo units to then rent out through AirBnB. Through these multiple purchases, these investors have created a sort of virtual hotel where they have been able to run a central office anywhere, regardless of where their units may be. Despite running their virtual hotel, they have not been paying the same fees and taxes as a traditional hotel. This legislation is aimed to address this issue in hopes to achieve fairness across the board.

Recently, in Boston specifically, Mayor Marty Walsh, signed a bill that pulled back the ability to enter short term rentals. AirBnB initially was unhappy with this, and a lawsuit ensued. Since the lawsuit has been resolved, AirBnB is now enforcing that measure. Ultimately, the new law requires that a person who owns a short-term rental will be restricted to only hosting through their primary residence. AirBnB is now compliant with the city, so if an individual has a property that is not registered with the city, the application will not list it on the AirBnB website.

The restrictions are as follows:
1. If you own a house, you are able to rent out a room of your primary residence.
2. If you own a house and you are going away and during that period you would like to rent out your home, you are able to do this.
3. If you own a two/three family, you are able to rent it out, but are limited to only renting out one of the units.
4. You can only be a host for one property in the city of Boston.

These changes are meant to address Boston’s shortage of apartments to rent. Long-term rental properties are now returning to the market. 2,000-2,300 units are now open for long-term rental, so while this may be detrimental to some investors, it has led to opportunities for others to buy condos.

If you have any questions about renting or purchasing a condominium, contact Stiles Law by calling (781) 319-1900.

Copyright © 2020 Stiles Law, All rights reserved. Stiles Law is a Massachusetts licensed law firm and all content is based on Massachusetts law. The information presented above is meant to be used for general informational purposes and it should not be construed as legal advice or legal opinion on any specific facts.

Land Swap

 

Another question came in from a viewer asking: “I have a friend who is also a neighbor who would like to purchase a portion of our land, can we even do that?”

The simple answer is that it depends, but more than likely you will be able to. There are a few things you’ll want to think about first. The first question you will need answered is if giving or selling this portion of land will put you in a non-conforming status. You’ll want to confirm with your building inspector that you will remain in conformity with your town zoning bylaws.

You also need to take your mortgage into consideration. If you have a mortgage on your property and you sell your land to your neighbor, that land will need to be in compliance with your lender. You will have to get a partial release of that mortgage which will allow a parcel to be excluded from the mortgage contract.

Something else you will want to think about is granting an easement. An easement is the right to use land you don’t own. Regardless, you’re going to want to gain the services of a licensed engineer, a professional to gather measurements and map everything out so that you are able to have these documents recorded properly with the registry of deeds.

Your last option in this situation could potentially be a land swap. If it is at equal value you can do it without money being exchanged. This still requires a land surveyor, who would measure it out and create new parcels. Once created you would then trade those through the quitclaim deeds and then record them at the registry of deeds.

If you have any questions about selling your land or taken part in a land swap, contact Stiles Law by calling (781) 319-1900.

Copyright © 2019 Stiles Law, All rights reserved. Stiles Law is a Massachusetts licensed law firm and all content is based on Massachusetts law. The information presented above is meant to be used for general informational purposes and it should not be construed as legal advice or legal opinion on any specific facts.

Thompson v Chase Update

 

There is a case that came down that is relevant to the process of conducting a foreclosure. Thompson v. JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A., No. 18-1559, 2019 WL 493164 (1st Cir. Feb. 8, 2019). In short, lenders and servicers were not using the precise language of the default provision in the mortgage when notifying borrowers of their impending foreclosure. The United States First Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that Massachusetts law required “strict compliance” when a lender exercises its right to foreclose. Id. citing Pinti v. Emigrant Mortg. Co., 472 Mass. 226 (2015). So what does that mean for the buyer or subsequent owner of a foreclosed property?

If you are buying a bank-owned property, before spending any money, confirm with the bank if they are compliant with Thompson v. JP Morgan Chase. Your attorney and title insurance underwriter will review the notices that were sent against the default provision contained in the mortgage. If the notice is not identical, the foreclosure may be deemed invalid. If the lender has complied with the requirements of Thompson, then the transaction will proceed as an ordinary bank-owned purchase.

Overall, It is clear that Thompson is a case where if you are looking to buy a bank-owned property it slows the process down quite a bit. With that, it halted a lot of purchases. If a closing was derailed because of Thompson, we can help you. Call us at Stiles.

\If you have any questions about buying a bank-owned property, contact Stiles Law by calling (781) 319-1900.

Copyright © 2019 Stiles Law, All rights reserved. Stiles Law is a Massachusetts licensed law firm and all content is based on Massachusetts law. The information presented above is meant to be used for general informational purposes and it should not be construed as legal advice or legal opinion on any specific facts.

 

 

Future-Proofing Your Company

 

Attorney Brian Lynch and Mark Stiles are back to discuss issues related to small businesses.

In video one, Brian and Mark discussed the different corporate structures that are available. In video two, they discussed two common structures: corporations and limited liability companies. In this video, Brian and Mark discuss some of the other documents that you may need to start your successful small business.

Many small business owners need agreements between owners or key employees. These agreements dictate the relationship between the parties. For instance, many agreements include provisions handling owners or key employees who are leaving. Some dictate whether the company or other owners can purchase the departing owner’s share.

Next, most small businesses have documents that deal with employees and contractors. Perhaps there is proprietary information that an owner does not want to be disclosed to third parties—a non-disclosure agreement may be in order. Perhaps an employee or contractor will be privy to information that would make a non-compete agreement appropriate.

Finally, many businesses will have relationships with vendors. Having contracts in place helps to make this relationship more predictable and stable. Some common agreements include: master service agreements and end user agreements. Most importantly, these agreements lay out the expectations and requirements of both parties.

If you have any questions about starting a business, contact Stiles Law by calling (781) 319-1900.

Copyright © 2019 Stiles Law, All rights reserved. Stiles Law is a Massachusetts licensed law firm and all content is based on Massachusetts law. The information presented above is meant to be used for general informational purposes and it should not be construed as legal advice or legal opinion on any specific facts.

LLC or Corporation: What’s Right for Me?

 

In last week’s video, we discussed starting a new company and all of the entities that you have to choose from. This week, we are going to focus on limited liability companies (LLCs) and corporations.

Corporations are owned by shareholders. The shareholders elect a board of directors who make high level decisions. The board of directors also appoints officers who handle day-to-day operations of the corporation. LLCs are owned by members. The members can operate day-to-day operations; however, the members can nominate a manager to handle day-to-day operations.

Both corporations and LLCs can be treated identically for tax purposes. A so called “S-Corp” designation will result in the owners, whether shareholders or members, being taxed individually. This is often called “pass through” taxation. A “C-Corp” designation will result in the corporation being taxed as a separate entity. C-Corps are often used for a corporation that intends to seek financing or venture capital.

If you have any questions about starting a business, contact Stiles Law by calling (781) 319-1900.

Copyright © 2019 Stiles Law, All rights reserved. Stiles Law is a Massachusetts licensed law firm and all content is based on Massachusetts law. The information presented above is meant to be used for general informational purposes and it should not be construed as legal advice or legal opinion on any specific facts.

Forming a Business in 2020

 

Stiles Law has a question for you this week: What’s your 2020 vision? Are you thinking about starting your own business? Brian Lynch, our business attorney, is here to discuss the different types of structure a new business should consider.

The first is Sole Proprietorship, which means conducting business in your own name. The second is General Partnership which entails two or more people working together. LLC, an abbreviation for Limited Liability Company, is the third; and the fourth is a Corporation.

There are four main business structures: sole proprietor, partnership, limited liability company (LLC), and corporation. An entrepreneur may choose to structure their business as an LLC or corporation over sole proprietorship or partnership to shield personal liability from the activities of the business. In other words, creating a separate entity can protect personal assets from the debts of the business. Creditors of sole proprietors and partnerships are able to satisfy debts by seeking personal assets of the owners.

The first step to establish a corporation or LLC is assembling a team to develop a strategy that will work best for each member. The second is to have an attorney properly draft documents and file paperwork with the state. The third is ensuring you have a good accountant as there are a number of important tax considerations.

If you have any questions about starting a business, contact Stiles Law by calling (781) 319-1900.

Copyright © 2019 Stiles Law, All rights reserved. Stiles Law is a Massachusetts licensed law firm and all content is based on Massachusetts law. The information presented above is meant to be used for general informational purposes and it should not be construed as legal advice or legal opinion on any specific facts