Why do real estate lawyers ask for deeds to be signed in “wet ink”?

The facility agreement is finally agreed. The execution versions of the ancillary documents have been deftly zipped and are ready for email circulation to the wider team. A real estate lawyer interjects that the charge needs to be executed in “wet ink” and the original document sent by post. The invariable incredulity arises as to what makes real estate different from other areas of law, requiring hard copy documents and original signatures.

The situation is even more particular on pure real estate transactions such as the sale and acquisition of property, the completion of leases, deeds and easements etc. Execution version documents, referred to as “engrossments” by real estate lawyers, are sent out in hard copy for signing in original (the part signed by seller or landlord) and counterpart (the part signed by the purchaser or tenant). A typical journey of the counterpart engrossment would take it from the hands of: (1) the seller / landlord’s solicitor, to (2) the purchaser / tenant’s solicitor, on to (3) the purchaser / tenant for signing or executing, back to (4) the purchaser / tenant’s solicitor so the document can be dated, and then finally back to (5) the seller / landlord’s solicitor to retain the document or pass it to their own client.


Continue Reading Executing Real Estate Deeds During Lockdown – Where Are We Now?

The spread of COVID-19 has forced the mass closure of workspace and the implementation of work-from-home policies in the majority of industries.

As the UK contemplates easing lockdown measures, businesses are having to consider what the world of work will look like in the “new normal”. But what does that “new normal” look like and

There has been much discussion of late around the effect of COVID-19 on leases, focusing in particular on the non-payment of rents by tenants and the limitation on the landlord’s usual arsenal of options for non-payment. As the lockdown eases and tenants prepare to return to their premises, there are likely to be other lease provisions which need to be considered by landlords and tenants. This article considers a number of typical lease provisions which tenants may like to consider.

Continue Reading The Return to Work: COVID-19 Considerations for Leases

The UK Government has temporarily banned commercial landlords from issuing statutory demands and winding up petitions against commercial tenants unable to pay their bills due to coronavirus.  A statutory demand can be issued where a corporate debtor owes £750 to a creditor.  If the debt is not paid within 21 days of the issue of the statutory demand, the landlord creditor can then issue a winding up petition against their tenant.  Although in most cases a landlord does not ultimately want their tenant to be wound up (as that could lead to them having to take back the premises), the procedure is sometimes used to put pressure on tenants to pay their rent.  Under these new measures, any winding up petition that claims that the company is unable to pay its debts must first be reviewed by the court to determine why. The law will not permit petitions to be presented, or winding up orders made, where the company’s inability to pay is the result of COVID-19.

Continue Reading Commercial Property Landlords Banned from Making Statutory Demands

In the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, the US Federal government and a number of State and local governments have enacted moratoriums on foreclosures and evictions. The chart linked below describes the application of federal and selected state and local moratoriums with regard to commercial and residential borrowers and tenants, the duration of such actions, and requirements for such relief. Given the rapidly evolving nature of COVID-19, it’s possible that many of the dates noted within will be extended or modified, and that additional jurisdictions will impose similar restrictions.

Continue Reading Guide to US Federal, State and Local Foreclosure & Eviction Moratoriums

Interruption on the activities of the Public Notary and Real Estate Registry Offices

Following what had already been contained in Recommendation No. 25, published on March 17, 2020 and also the most recent measures taken by the Brazil Federal, State and Municipal governments to contain COVID-19, the National Council of Justice (CNJ) edited, on March 22, 2020, Provision No. 91, allowing the suspension or reduction of face-to-face services, as well as the operation of Public Notary and Real Estate Registry Offices.

Notwithstanding the exclusive jurisdiction of the State Courts to regulate the operation of notary and registry offices throughout Brazil, CNJ Provision No. 91 establishes that notaries and real estate registry offices must comply with the determinations of municipal, state and national authorities of public health, issued in accordance with the law and that impose a reduction in public service or suspension of the operation of the service. In addition, CNJ Provision No. 91 establishes: (i) the possibility of replacing face-to-face service with remote service (except urgent requests); (ii) that, in the event of interruption of operations, the legal terms of the acts submitted to the notary or registry office will be automatically suspended; and (iii) that the suspension or reduction of face-to-face service must made known to the public and to the internal affairs of the local Court of Justice. Provision No. 91 is valid until April 30, 2020.


Continue Reading Updates Regarding the Effects of COVID-19 on the Brazilian Real Estate Sector