A knowledgeable real estate attorney is an essential team member for any subdivision.  Upon request, your Chicago Title Sales Representative will provide you with a list of qualified attorneys who specialize in real estate transactions and the requirements of the Department of Real Estate (DRE).
The following is a list of the responsibilities which you should expect your attorney to assume in connection with your project:
  • Preparation of the homeowner's association management documents which include:
    1. Declaration of Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions (CC&R's)
    2. Articles of Incorporation, if applicable
    3. Association By-Laws
    4. SB 800 Notice, if applicable
      The above documents are part of the Purchase Documents to be given to each buyer during escrow and are required for any Condominium or Planned Development project regardless of whether a Public Report is required by the DRE
  • Preparation of a sample purchaser Grand Deed (Chicago Title will consult with the attorney and ultimately approve the legal description)
  • Preparation of any association property deed or easement deed and it's accompanying irrevocable escrow instructions, if applicable
  • Review of any condominium plans or planned development maps and their conditions of approval to assure consistency with the CC&R's.  The attorney may prepare the Notes and Definitions for the condominium plan and provide them to the engineer.
  • Discuss Senate Bill 800, The Homebuilder "Fix-It" Construction Dispute Resolution Law and their recommended method of compliance
  • Preparation of the purchase agreement and escrow instructions, if requested
  • Preparation of a Subordination to the CC&R's to be signed by the lender(s) of record at the time of the CC&R recording.  Many attorneys handle the submission and discussion of this required form with your lender to assure a smooth approval and signing.
  • Preparation of form RE616 which indicates the attorney's Master Management Document Number (MMD#).  This MMD# means the attorney's documents have been pre-approved by the DRE and will require less time to be approved for your project.
  • File the Articles of Incorporation for the homeowners association with the Secretary of State.  Many attorneys also handle the filing with the Franchise Tax Board for the association's non-profit status.
In addition to the responsibilities above, the following legal services may also be offered by a qualified attorney:
  • Preparation of ownership entity documents such as incorporating, Limited Liability Company (LLC) filings or Partnership (LP) filings
  • Preparation of Special Disclosures for the project
  • Preparation of a Limited Warranty
  • Preparation of Subsidy or Maintenance Agreement
  • Preparation of Shared Use Agreements or Easement Agreements for mixed use projects
  • Preparation of Maintenance Manuals for individual homeowners and the Association
  • Preparation of election rules for the Association
  • Review of the condition of title prior to acquisition.  Chicago Title will provide copies of all underlying documents and, in some cases, plotted easements for review and discussion
  • Review of lender documents for your construction loan
  • Assistance with entitlement issues
  • DRE processing
  • Assistance with DRE issues if there are unusual aspects to your project
  • For condominium conversion projects, provide tenant notification forms and assistance
The above represents only some of the responsibilities you may wish to have your attorney assume.  Consult with your attorney about the acquisition and development of your specific project in order to come to a decision as to the total responsibilities he or she will assume on your behalf.