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Probate & Property

Mar/Apr 2023

Keeping Current—Property

Shelby D Green


  • In cases, auctions, seller may reject high bid based on presumption that auction is with reserve and not absolute.
  • In literature, Krapf explores the subject of landlord and tenant rights regarding improvements of a commercial lease.
  • In legislation, New York amends foreclosure statute to prohibit registration of mortgages after default without prior recording of lis pendens.
Keeping Current—Property

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Keeping Current—Property offers a look at selected recent cases, literature, and legislation. The editors of Probate & Property welcome suggestions and contributions from readers.


Adverse Possession

Repudiation of owner’s title is not required where adverse claim begins with easement and hostile acts exceed those rights. The Dowlings purchased property located on a peninsula protruding into Long Island Sound from the Bradleys for $2.6 million. All the abutting owners in the area had a common right-of-way easement over a shoreline parcel owned by the Old Black Point Association. After taking title, the Dowlings started to expand the house but were told by their architects that any expansion would encroach on Old Black Point’s parcel. The Dowlings searched the land records and concluded that the Bradleys had acquired title to the parcel by adverse possession, even though they had never claimed ownership of it. An attorney they hired concurred. Thereafter, the Dowlings filed a quiet title action against Old Black Point based on adverse possession. The defendant denied the claim and filed a counterclaim alleging slander of title by the filing of the notice of claim in the land records. The trial court rejected the Dowlings’ claim, finding the record established the defendant’s title to the parcel and nothing served as a repudiation of that title by the Bradleys. In addition, the court also found that none of the claimed possessory acts met the requirements for adverse possession. It also found the Dowlings liable for slander of title because they had filed the notice of claim “with a reckless disregard for its truth and for the purpose of slandering the defendant’s title to the fee.” The supreme court affirmed on the adverse possession claim but reversed on the slander of title claim. The court first pointed out that the trial court erred by requiring evidence of repudiation, a doctrine under which possession that is permissive in its inception may become hostile. When a claimant has the right to use land for a particular purpose but uses the land for a different, more-extensive purpose, the use may be considered hostile and may give rise to a claim of adverse possession, without more. Here, the Bradleys’ claim was founded on an easement but rested on rights outside those granted by the easement, making repudiation not applicable. Nonetheless, the court agreed that the acts asserted by the Dowlings had failed to establish the required claim of right. Explaining that the only relevant intent is that the possessor claim the land as her own, the facts as found by the trial court still fell short. Although the Bradleys had repaired the seawall, they did so only to protect their own property, and they asked for contributions toward their costs. They planted trees but only with permission and on the condition that they would remove the trees on demand by the owner. The Bradleys installed a septic system but with permission, and it was underground, negating the open and notorious element. On slander of title, the supreme court ruled that the plaintiff’s position was not malicious even though based on an incorrect legal theory. Because the court dismissed the slander of title counterclaim, Old Black Point was not entitled to the $370,000 in attorneys’ fees and costs awarded by the trial court. Dowling v. Heirs of Bond, 282 A.3d 1201 (Conn. 2022).


Seller may reject high bid based on presumption that auction is with reserve and not absolute. Williams and Hendrick decided to sell their 31-acre parcel of land and advertised an auction via a mass mailing. The ad gave details about the property and stated a requirement of a non-refundable deposit of $5,000 in certified funds payable at the auction with the balance of the price due in 14 days. No financing contingencies were allowed. Janson got a copy of the ad but was unable to reach Williams for more information. At the auction, Williams read out the terms in advance of the bidding, including the sales agreement that would be required to complete the sale. Janson bid $35,000, but not hearing a bid for at least $45,000, Williams declared “no sale.” After the auction, Janson asked whether his bid was the highest, and Williams stated it was but that he declined to sell at that sum. Janson sued for specific performance. The trial court held for Janson. The supreme court reversed. First, it explained the two kinds of auctions. In an auction with a reserve, the owner is free to withdraw the property anytime up to the hammer coming down, and no sale occurs until the auction is complete. In contrast, an absolute auction is a continuing offer to sell to bidders, meaning each bid is the consummation of a contract, subject only to a higher bid. By default, an auction is with reserve; an absolute auction occurs only when it is explicitly stated to be. Here, Williams never explicitly stated the auction to be absolute nor made any statement that limited his ability to withdraw the property or otherwise nullify the sale. The statement that the property would be sold to the high bidder was a mere declaration of the intention to hold the auction at which bids would be received. Williams’s statement was virtually identical to the ad, which Janson conceded indicated that the auction would be an auction with reserve because it did not state that it was absolute. Williams v. Janson, 878 S.E.2d 714 (Va. 2022).


Implied easements do not arise when landowner has another practical means of access to parcel. In 2008, the plaintiffs purchased a 70-acre parcel surrounded by several adjoining parcels, each of which had road frontage or other means of access to one of three public roads: Flamstead Road, Crow Hill Road, and Trebo Road. The plaintiffs also owned property adjoining the 70-acre parcel that had public road frontage on Crow Hill Road to the west. The plaintiffs’ predecessor in title, Higgins, acquired the 70-acre parcel in 1978 and periodically used a logging road across neighboring parcels owned by Luce and Scott. In 2020, the plaintiffs sued Luce and Scott, arguing that they had the right to travel from the 70-acre parcel across the logging road to Flamstead Road because of an easement implied from prior use and an easement by necessity. The trial court denied the claim. When Higgins crossed the defendant’s adjoining parcels, he had a reasonable and practical alternative method of access to the 70-acre parcel. Although access from Trebo Road was more difficult than the Luce/Scott route given the steepness of the terrain, it was not unreasonable, impractical, or infeasible to access the 70-acre parcel from that way. Based on these findings, the trial court determined that there was no necessity as required to establish an easement by prior use or by necessity. The supreme court affirmed, noting that in making its finding on necessity, the trial court recognized the different levels depending on whether the asserted easement is by grant or reservation. Even so, necessity is only one factor in the analysis; easements by prior use are created based on the presumed intentions of the parties that the use existing at conveyance would continue. Here, Higgins stated that he did not need the easement claimed by plaintiffs and that he used the parcel only for hunting and recreation. The court also upheld the trial court’s denial of the claim for an easement by necessity, noting that the modern test is not as stringent as at common law, yet plaintiffs had failed to show they lacked a practical means of reaching their parcel. In fact, at the time the 70-acre parcel was conveyed to the plaintiff’s predecessor, the parcel was not landlocked but had access from his adjoining property which had frontage on a public road. Greenfield v. Luce, 2022 Vt. Unpub. LEXIS 97 (Vt. Nov. 10, 2022).

Eminent Domain

Statute giving oil and gas operators right to use surface owners’ pore space is unconstitutional taking of property. Northwest Landowners Association brought a facial constitutional challenge to newly enacted legislation, North Dakota S.B. 2344, which regulates subsurface pore space. Pore space is defined as a cavity or void, natural or artificial, created in a subsurface sedimentary stratum. One part of the statute allowed oil and gas operators to use subsurface pore space without payment of compensation to the surface owner. Another section adopted a new definition of land that excluded pore space, thereby narrowing owners’ potential for recovery under the Damage Compensation Act, N.D. Cent. Code. § 38-11.1-04. Another section barred tort claims for injection or migration of substances into pore space. The district court granted summary judgment to the Association, and the state appealed. The supreme court affirmed, finding some sections of the bill unconstitutional and severing others. The court reviewed the history of surface owners’ rights to pore space and concluded that owners had long-established property rights, with presumed title to pore space beneath their lands. Giving oil and gas operators the right physically to invade surface owners’ property to inject substances into the pore space amounted to a per se taking of property. The statute restricted owners from having any control over the timing, extent, or nature of the invasion and thus eliminated the right to exclude. The statute was unconstitutional as it simultaneously curtailed the rights of surface owners and denied compensation for the invasion. Northwest Landowners Ass’n. v. State, 978 N.W.2d 679 (N.D. 2022).

Eminent Domain

Settlement agreement waives landowner’s statutory right to reclaim condemned property on account of nonuse by government. In 2008, the owner of a 77-acre parcel near a municipal airport filed an action for inverse condemnation to prevent the town of Dubois from condemning any portion of the parcel. The town filed an answer and a counterclaim seeking to condemn 35 acres under the Wyoming Eminent Domain Act, Wyo. Stat. § 1-26-501. The town asserted the land was necessary to complete its “Airport Master Plan.” At the end of a bench trial in 2009, the district court held the town met its burden to establish condemnation and was entitled to take 30.17 acres of the property. The court scheduled a hearing to determine the amount of compensation. Before the hearing, the parties negotiated a settlement agreement, with the town promising to pay $229,430 to the landowner for the 30.17 acres, representing the town’s initial offer of $170,430 plus an additional $59,000. The settlement agreement also granted road and utility easements to the landowner over the 30.17 acres. The agreement also contained several terms releasing the town from “all past, present, and future claims related to the disputed 30.17 acres.” Under the agreement, the landowner signed and delivered a special warranty deed to the town, conveying the 30.17 acres. The parties subsequently filed a stipulated motion to dismiss, which the court granted with prejudice. More than 10 years later in 2020, the landowner filed an action for declaratory judgment seeking to reclaim the 30.17 acres. The landowner contended the town failed to make substantial use of the property during the preceding 10 years and therefore the landowner was entitled to relief under Wyo. Stat. § 1-26-801(d), which provides that if a public entity acquires property in fee simple title under the eminent domain act, but fails to make substantial use of the property for a period of 10 years, there is a presumption that the property is no longer needed for a public purpose and the previous owner may apply to the court to request the return of the property upon repayment of the amount originally paid to the owner in the condemnation action. A public entity may rebut the presumption created under this subsection by showing good cause for the delay in using the property. Id. § 1-26-801(d). The town moved for summary judgment on two grounds: (1) the landowner expressly waived any future claims related to the 30.17 acres under the settlement agreement; and (2) there was no taking under the Wyoming Eminent Domain Act because the town acquired the property by special warranty deed and the parties stipulated to dismissal of the condemnation action with prejudice. The trial court ruled for the town, and the supreme court affirmed. The terms of the settlement agreement were clear and unambiguous; they purported to settle and resolve fully and finally the issue of compensation and all claims, demands, and actions and released the town from any and all claims, known or unknown. It was broad and unequivocal. The court went on to observe that recognizing the landowner’s waiver of his statutory right to reclaim the property did not impair the public interest reflected in the Eminent Domain Act; indeed, the public interest is served when parties can freely enter into binding agreements. Colton v. Town of Dubois, 519 P.3d 976 (Wyo. 2022).


Non-consenting spouse cannot set aside mortgage on homestead that exceeds statutory homestead exemption amount. Steve Matherly owned a residence where he lived with his wife, Jenny Matherly, after they married in 2012. In 2013, Steve granted a mortgage to Citizens Bank to secure his debts. Matherly defaulted in 2016, and Citizens Bank foreclosed and bought the Matherly property for $275,000, leaving a deficiency on Steve’s outstanding debts in the amount of $277,934. In 2018, Citizens Bank filed suit to quiet title to the Matherly property. Jenny first learned of the litigation when she discovered a letter at the marital home demanding that Steve vacate the property in 10 days. Jenny then petitioned to intervene as a party claiming homestead, arguing that the mortgage was void because she did not consent to it, relying on the Alabama homestead statute. Ala. Code § 6-10-3. In 2021, the trial court ruled that Citizens held a valid mortgage to the property but that Jenny was entitled to $5,000 as compensation for her homestead interest. On appeal, the supreme court reviewed the history of the homestead exemption, noting that at the time Steve executed the Citizens Bank mortgage the homestead value limit was $5,000 (in 2015 the Alabama legislature increased the limit to $15,000). Id. § 6-10-2. The court then rejected Jenny’s claim that the mortgage was void. Although the homestead statute requires a spouse’s signature and assent to mortgage or alienate homestead property, the right to prevent homestead alienation does not apply to a mortgage or conveyance in excess of the statutory homestead value, as long as the non-consenting spouse is paid the homestead-interest amount. In other words, the only right available to Jenny under the statute is to receive the homestead interest amount of $5,000, which is what the circuit court awarded to her. Matherly v. Citizens Bank, 2022 WL 15683592 (Ala. Oct. 28, 2022).


“Area fair market rent” in statute refers to fair market rents set by HUD and not rents set by local public housing authorities. Thompson leased a dwelling unit from Dominion and claimed that Dominion violated the Minnesota Bond Allocation Act (Act), Minn. Stat. §§ 474A.01-.21, which imposes rent limits on residential rental projects that are financed by municipal bonds. Under the terms of this affordable-housing program, rent in the subsidized units may not exceed “the area fair market rent or exception fair market rents for existing housing, if applicable, as established by the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development.” Id. § 474A.047(1)(a)(2). Thompson claimed Dominion overcharged her rent by thousands of dollars over several years. Dominion argued the rent did not exceed the payment standard set by the local public housing agency, which it contended was the applicable rent limit under the law. The lower court dismissed Thompson’s complaint, and the appellate court affirmed. The supreme court reversed and remanded. The court noted that though the Act does not define “area fair market rent,” the context of the terminology makes it clear that the legislature tied the interpretation to rent figures established by HUD; the statute explicitly states it is a rental rate established by HUD. This suggested that the legislature meant to rely on the special meaning given to the term in federal housing assistance law. The court rejected Dominion’s argument that HUD indirectly establishes payment standard amounts when it sets fair market figures that define the range in which local agencies are limited in setting payment standards. The court explained that HUD establishes the fair market rent figures for each area because HUD itself sets them. Thompson v. St. Anthony Leased Housing Assoc. II, LP, 979 N.W.2d 1 (Minn. 2022).


Retail tenant is not excused from paying rent on grounds of impossibility or frustration of purpose as a result of COVID-19 government shut-down orders. NTS W. USA Corp. (DUSA) is a retail distributor of clothing and accessories. On January 17, 2020, it executed a three-year commercial lease for retail space in New York City. Under the lease, the parties agreed that the landlord would deliver the premises to DUSA “on or about May 1, 2020, and in no event earlier than April 1, 2020,” with DUSA’s obligation to pay rent waived for the first 60 days. Section 5.05 of the lease, entitled “Interruption of Access, Use or Services,” described “natural occurrences,” changes to “applicable law,” and “other condition beyond landlord’s reasonable control,” which events could prevent DUSA from accessing or using the property. In such cases, the lease expressly preserved DUSA’s obligation to pay rent. In March 2020, the New York governor issued executive orders that shuttered all non-essential in-person businesses in the state. On March 25, while these shutdown orders were in effect, the landlord advised DUSA of its intent to deliver the property on April 1. DUSA responded with a letter declining to accept delivery, citing the pandemic-related restrictions that prohibited it from operating its retail business. Even as subsequent executive orders allowed retail stores to open, subject to safety protocols, DUSA still refused to take occupancy, and, when the 60-day free-rent period ended, DUSA defaulted on its rental obligations. Shortly thereafter, DUSA filed for bankruptcy. During the bankruptcy proceeding, DUSA brought an action against the landlord seeking, among other relief, a declaratory judgment that the doctrines of frustration of purpose and impossibility excused or abated its obligation to pay rent. The bankruptcy court disagreed, concluding that neither doctrine applied because the lease contemplated events, like the pandemic, that could affect DUSA’s ability to access or use the property. The district court affirmed. In a de novo review, the Second Circuit stated that under the frustration of purpose doctrine, a defendant may be excused from a contractual obligation when “a virtually cataclysmic, wholly unforeseeable event renders the contract valueless to one party.” However, the doctrine “is not available where the event which prevented performance was foreseeable and provision could have been made for its occurrence.” Impossibility, on the other hand, excuses a defendant from a contractual obligation when performance is impossible due to “the destruction of the means of performance by an act of God… or by law.” Economic hardship, even to the brink of insolvency, does not excuse performance. As with frustration of purpose, the inability to perform must arise from “an unanticipated event that could not have been foreseen or guarded against in the contract.” Both theories fail here because the lease expressly allocated the risk of events like the COVID-19 pandemic and ensuing government shutdown orders to DUSA, requiring DUSA to pay rent even if “natural occurrences” or changes to “applicable law” interfered with its use of the premises. The court found no merit in the claim that a different analysis should apply because COVID began after the lease was signed but before taking possession. Instead, the relevant focus is on the expressed intentions of the parties in the lease. In re NTS W. USA Corp., 2022 U.S. App. LEXIS 28811, 2022 WL 10224963 (2d Cir. Oct. 18, 2022).

Marketable Title

Reversionary interest in 1882 deed donating land to city for public park is not extinguished by marketable title act. In 1882, Jeptha Wade donated a 73-acre parcel to the city of Cleveland to develop “as a Public Park to be open at all times to the public” and to be used for no other purposes. The deed conveying the land contained a reversionary clause that, should the land ever be diverted from public use, the land would revert to Wade or his heirs. In the 1930s, the Garden Center of Greater Cleveland (CBG) was founded, and the entity leased a boathouse on the park’s lagoon. CBG and the city later entered into a series of leases covering various parts and uses of the park area. In 2003, CBG sought permission from the city and Wade’s heirs to permit charging admission to the park. CBG later started charging admission despite reaching an impasse with several heirs. In 2013, CBG sought a declaratory judgment that its use, operation, and maintenance of the park was consistent with Wade’s deed restrictions; that it could charge admission and parking fees for the garage it had constructed on the land; and that it could set hours for park visitation. CBG maintained that to be open “at all times” did not mean being free. The trial court found the original deed not only restricted use but also promoted the development of the land and that CBG’s operations were a permissible park purpose. The court further decided the Marketable Title Act (MTA), Ohio Rev. Code. § 5301.47, extinguished the possibility of reverter. The appellate court agreed that CBG’s practices did not violate the deed’s park use restrictions but reversed the finding regarding the application of the MTA. The supreme court affirmed. The court stated that because the reversionary interest was contained in the root of the title, the MTA does not extinguish it. Instead, only interests and claims that pre-date the effective date of the root of title are extinguished. Further, CBG had notice of the heirs’ reversionary interest from the time of the initial 1882 deed, such that the filing of a notice preserving the interest would have been redundant and futile. Cleveland Botanical Garden v. Worthington Drewien, 2022 Ohio LEXIS 2153 (Ohio Oct. 20, 2022).

Title Insurance

Coverage terminates when insured conveys title to his parents, even though insured claimed conveyance was to secure his debt. In 1959, Silva acquired a life estate in real property, which she purported to sell in fee simple interest to Shah for $350,000, conveying by a grant deed in 1995. Shah obtained a title insurance policy insuring fee title to the property. Silva died on May 4, 2002, and the remainder became possessory in her heirs. But the heirs did not enter, and Shah stayed in possession. On June 19, 2002, Shah recorded a grant deed in favor of his parents. Later Shah alleged that his transfer to his parents was intended to secure his debt to his parents, who were to reconvey title to him upon subsequent repayment. In 2007, Shah borrowed $350,000 against the property from a private lender, giving a deed of trust as security. Nine months later, when Shah was unable to repay as promised, the lender commenced foreclosure. While trying to refinance, Shah learned that Silva had held only a life estate. The refinancing fell through, and in 2009 the Schwartzes purchased the property at a foreclosure sale. Later in 2009, Shah sued the Silva heirs, the Schwartzes, and the lender to quiet title on the basis of adverse possession. In 2011, Shah sued the title insurance company for damages under the title policy. The insurer denied the claim on the basis of section 2(b) of the Conditions and Stipulations, which provides that the coverage of the policy shall continue “so long as the insured retains an estate or interest in the land.” Even though by the original deed to his parents in 2002, Shah had nothing to convey because Silva’s life estate had terminated, when Shah later acquired title by adverse possession, that title vested in his grantee (the parents) under the doctrine of after-acquired title. Shah’s deed was a voluntary transfer that triggered section 2(b). Because his deed used the term “grant,” there was no basis for concluding that an interest less than a fee was transferred; nothing suggested a mortgage. And the policy insured Shah’s estate, not a mere right to possess. Shah v. Fidelity Nat’l Title Ins. Co., 2022 WL 17333295 (Cal. Ct. App. Nov. 30, 2022).



In Rights to Tenant Property Upon Termination of a Commercial Lease, 17 Del. L. Rev. 39 (2021), Robert J. Krapf explores the subject of landlord and tenant rights regarding improvements, fixtures, equipment, and other personal property on leased premises at termination of a commercial lease. The article shows how the law treats the various categories of tenant property differently with respect to the tenant’s right to remove its property. He also shows that the dichotomy between trade fixtures and non-removable regular fixtures is more apparent than real and offers guidance for making the determination.

Prof. Ryan P. Sullivan provides a comprehensive historical review of Nebraska landlord-tenant law from 1974 to the present in his article Nebraska’s Anything-but-Uniform Residential Landlord and Tenant Act, 100 Neb. L. Rev. 831 (2022). Prof. Sullivan settled on 1974, as that was the year Nebraska partially adopted the Uniform Residential Landlord-tenant Act (URLTA). The URLTA, first promulgated in 1972, has been adopted in some form by 21 states. Prof. Sullivan meticulously compares Nebraska’s initial adoption to the language of the original URLTA, highlighting the abandonment of many URLTA provisions to the detriment of Nebraska’s tenants. The tenants are characterized as living in a woeful state, toiling for decades without the assistance of any dependable advocates to assure the protection of their rights and interests. He cites many instances of the Nebraska legislature’s decisions, including the reduction of adequate notice for nonpayment of rent, rules for personal notice of an eviction, removal of the right to jury trials, and a lessening of the landlord’s duty to maintain the leased premises. Though there were some improvements for tenants, they were very limited, and Prof. Sullivan points out that it was not until changes in 2021 that Nebraska comprehensively upgraded tenants’ rights. He finds the recent amendments long overdue, yet still falling short in terms of balance and equity for tenants. He advocates for ongoing consistent review of landlord-tenant laws to avoid another near half-century of biased and inequitable treatment of residential tenants. Although the article thoroughly documents factual changes in the law over the identified time period, it is high on unfavorable landlord-oriented presumptions as the basis for the language settled on. For attorneys who have represented both landlords and tenants in practice, and for persons who have transacted in both roles, some of the criticisms may feel heavy-handed. There is limited discussion of pre-1974 statutory and common law, including common law that continued to exist that may have affected the ultimate legislative drafting. For example, some states have statutes that specifically outline landlords’ duties regarding the maintenance of the premises, and most states have recognized a common-law doctrine of implied warranty of habitability. Likewise, many localities have code enforcement regulations and similar laws enforced by government entities, which affect the total rights available to each side when property maintenance is in dispute. Nonetheless, the article is an extremely helpful tool for those who seek to be tenant activists in Nebraska.

Land Use

 In Confronting the Local Land Checkerboard, 56 U. Rich. L. Rev. 665 (2022), Prof. Daniel Rosenbaum discusses the phenomenon of fractured public land ownership. By this, he refers to pockets of land owned by local governments, interspersed within neighborhoods of private land holdings and alongside highways. The phenomenon is troubling for many reasons, not the least of which are the bureaucratic costs associated with management and resolving conflicts with other owners’ rights. Prof. Rosenbaum also believes it contributes to an inequitable imbalance of local power between formal and informal landowners. He uses the community of Mechanicsville, Georgia, to illustrate the point, showing that the fragmented ownership regime serves as an obstacle to revitalizing economically declining communities as development becomes more costly due to the difficulties of surveying and assembling parcels, the hold-out problems, and the logistics of coherent management. Prof. Rosenbaum draws upon federal land law to offer a pragmatic solution, using land exchanges to consolidate disparate parcels. He cautions that land exchanges promise only the starting point, but what needs to be done is to address land governance issues, particularly through agreements between local governments, which he calls “interlocal agreements.”


Delaware amends mortgage law to provide for statutory satisfaction. The amendments set a presumption that the mortgage is paid and satisfied after ten years from the maturity date stated in the mortgage and after 40 years when no date is stated. An action to enforce a mortgage within that time extinguishes the mortgage but not the underlying obligation. The amendments apply to mortgages recorded before, on, and after the effective date of the act. 83 Del. Laws 466.

Delaware  amends landlord-tenant to provide protections against bedbug infestation. Landlords are required to investigate evidence of an infestation, remediate it, and give notice to incoming tenants of infestation in adjacent units. The amendments establish a timeframe for tenant reporting and landlord responding to alerts of infestation. Tenants are prohibited from knowingly bringing infested furniture onto the premises. 83 Del. Laws 451.

District of Columbia amends property law to protect property held in tenancy by entirety after transfer to a trust. Such property is presumed to have the same immunity from the claims of the separate creditors of the spouses or domestic partners as would exist if the property were still held by the spouses or domestic partners as tenants by the entirety. 2021 D.C. Ch. 639.

District of Columbia enacts Uniform Partition of Heirs Property Act. Cotenants are given a right of first refusal to purchase the ownership interest of the cotenant who commences the action for partition. Any sale must be in the open market at a price not lower than the court-determined value of time and must be made in a commercially reasonable manner. 2021 D.C. Ch. 638.

District of Columbia enacts Bedbug Control Act. The act requires housing providers to give notice to a tenant of any bedbug infestation within the last 120 days before the tenant signs a lease and requires professional pest control remediation within 10 calendar days of notification from a tenant that bedbugs may be present in his or her unit, with monitoring services for 12 months thereafter. Tenants must allow access for inspections and treatments. 2021 D.C. Ch. 659.

New York amends abandoned property law to add virtual currency. Virtual currency that remains unclaimed by the person entitled to it for five years is deemed abandoned. The property must be turned over to the state comptroller as soon thereafter as practicable to be deposited in the abandoned property fund. 2022 N.Y. Laws 640.

New York amends foreclosure statute to prohibit registration of mortgages after default without prior recording of lis pendens. In case of registration, local authorities may charge a fee of up to $75, which may not be passed on to the mortgagor. 2022 N.Y. Laws 600.