Real Estate

The ever-changing landscape of state government requires businesses across all industries to stay informed on the happenings in Madison. Welcome to the June 2024 Recap issue of the Capitol Connection.

Inside this issue

Vos Recall Denied by Elections Commission

A months-long back-and-forth between Assembly Speaker Robin Vos and a group seeking to recall the Republican leader ended on June 27th when in a 4-2 decision, the Wisconsin Elections Commission decided that organizers of the effort failed to collect enough
Continue Reading Capitol Connection, June 2024 Recap

Contracts form the foundation of many business transactions and relationships. When one party fails to fulfill their obligations under a contract, the other party will need to determine how to address the breach of contract. Commercial litigation may be necessary to resolve contract disputes. By demonstrating that they have suffered harm due to a breach of contract, the injured party can receive appropriate remedies. An experienced attorney can provide representation in these cases, helping injured parties seek remedies
Continue Reading When Can Civil Litigation Address a Breach of Contract?

As of February 13, 2024, the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) E1527–21 “Standard Practice for Environmental Site Assessments: Phase I Environmental Site Assessment Process” is now required when Phase I Environmental Site Assessments (ESAs) are conducted by environmental consultants to qualify for the innocent landowner defense, or the bona fide prospective purchaser or contiguous property owner liability protections, under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) (see: 42 U.S.C. 9601 et seq.).

The goal of
Continue Reading Use of the ASTM E1527-21 Phase I Environmental Site Assessment Standard Practice is Now Required to Meet CERCLA Liability Protections

As the demand for renewable energy sources continues to grow worldwide, landowners and developers have realized the potential in harnessing the power of solar and wind energy in Wisconsin. Wisconsin is well known for having large swaths of flat, open land, often used for traditional farming activities. Such topography is perfect for energy companies looking to expand their generating capacity, often paying landowners a premium for the use of such land.  

Leasing and easement arrangements are the essential methods
Continue Reading Solar and Wind Lease Agreements

Posted on January 31, 2024 in Real Estate
Real estate is a complex and multifaceted field that involves numerous legal concerns, and there are a variety of reasons that disputes may occur. When conflicts arise, real estate litigation may become necessary to resolve these issues through the court system. Buyers or sellers who are involved in real estate transactions or property owners who encounter legal concerns can work with an attorney to determine their best options for resolving disputes
Continue Reading What Issues Can Be Addressed Through Real Estate Litigation?

Posted on January 15, 2024 in Mediation
In today’s fast-paced world, conflicts and disputes are inevitable. When individuals or businesses find themselves involved in civil disputes, they often turn to the legal system for resolution. However, civil litigation can be time-consuming, expensive, and emotionally draining.

Fortunately, there is an alternative method of resolving civil disputes that is gaining popularity: mediation. During this voluntary process, a neutral third-party mediator helps the disputing parties reach a mutually acceptable agreement. Mediation
Continue Reading Types of Civil Disputes That Can Be Resolved by Using Mediation

The intersection of access easement rights and timber rights presents an interesting question for attorneys practicing in rural areas.

Access easements often become overgrown with and blocked by trees and other vegetation, especially in wooded areas of northern Wisconsin. When this happens, both the benefited and burdened property owners may ask “what right does the easement holder have to cut timber on the burdened property?”

Unfortunately, this question does not have an easy answer, though Wisconsin’s statutes and case
Continue Reading Easement Rights versus Timber Rights

Hunting leases present a number of issues, which if not addressed in writing, can lead to misunderstandings at best, and unexpected liability or litigation at worst.  Because both the owner’s and the hunter’s needs vary depending on the type of land and the type of hunting involved, each leasing situation presents its own set of unique requirements and expectations.  An owner may be a farmer who allows hunting only during gun deer season or spring turkey hunting season.  This
Continue Reading Hunting Lease Issues

Selling a home in 2023 is unlike selling a home in any year of recent memory. The majority of homeowners have mortgages with interest rates below 6.0%, and nearly a quarter have mortgages with interest rates below 3.0%. While interest rates may only be one factor when deciding to sell a home, it does not help homeowners who have to contend with the highest average home values in U.S. history.

Some homeowners have the ability to wait for conditions
Continue Reading Gain Exclusion for Sale or Exchange of Principal Residence

Caleb R. Gerbitz

It’s time for our monthly check-in on the latest civil law developments at the Wisconsin Supreme Court. In the past month, the court decided five civil cases spanning a broad array of issues including insurance law, eminent domain, and arbitration. Plus, the court granted review in a case touching on taxation and religious liberty. Read on for all the latest.
Cases Decided
Banuelos v. UW Hospitals & Clinics Authority, No. 2020AP1582

Healthcare

Decision Filed: April 4,
Continue Reading Wisconsin Supreme Court Update: May 2023

Generally speaking, real estate is subject to the laws of the jurisdiction in which it is located. That makes coordination of property ownership outside your home state an especially important piece of your overall estate plan. Failing to specifically address the funding/titling of this real estate can cause, among other hassles, unnecessary court processes at death. The following are a few things to consider.

Out-Of-State Real Estate
If you utilize a revocable trust as your main estate planning vehicle
Continue Reading A Home Away From Home: Planning Considerations for Out-of-State Real Estate, Mobile Homes and Foreign Real Estate

It is that time of year again. Summer is around the corner, and lakefront and riverfront property owners all across the state are starting to think about when to get their piers back in or what day they want to drop their boat in. Inevitably, this time of year is when neighbors old and new may start to interfere with other waterfront property owners’ rights to access the water. One of the many issues surrounding lake and river property
Continue Reading What are Riparian Rights & Why are They Important?

This month, the Court of Appeals affirmed a circuit court decision that held that the City of Brookfield engaged in an unconstitutional taking when it conditioned the approval of a subdivision development on construction of a new public street. The Court of Appeals determined that this “exaction” was not permissible because it did not address a need caused by the development proposal and, even if it did, the exaction was not proportional to the conditions sought to be addressed
Continue Reading Court of Appeals Determines City Development Condition Is Unconstitutional Taking

Owners of real estate property are required to pay property taxes, and each year, property tax assessments are performed to determine the value of a property and the portion of a local tax levy that the property owner will be responsible for. A property tax assessment will affect the amount of taxes that a property owner will be required to pay, and property owners will need to make sure their property is valued correctly to avoid being required to
Continue Reading Can a Property Tax Assessment for an Apartment Building Be Challenged?

Real estate transactions can be very complicated, and there are multiple types of legal issues that buyers and sellers will want to be aware of. Easements are one issue that will affect how a piece of property can be used. If easements are not properly disclosed during a transaction, real estate litigation may be required to address this issue.
Understanding Easements
An easement is a legal agreement that gives a person, company, or organization the right to use
Continue Reading How Do Easements Affect Real Estate Transactions and Litigation?

The Wisconsin Supreme Court has further refined the standard for what is a continuation of a legal non-conforming use.  In Village of Slinger vs. Polk Properties, LLC  the Court, in a unanimous decision, set a clear standard to judge a municipality’s effort to enforce the abandonment of a legal non-conforming use.

Non-conforming uses, or structures, are created when a rezoning of a parcel takes place, causing the current use to not conform with the new zoning designation placed on
Continue Reading What Constitutes the Continuation of a Legal Non-Conforming Use