Common Interest Developments
Little & Saputo has over 25 years of experience with a broad range of issues creating common interest development projects and preparing governing documents for thousands of condominium and planned developments throughout California. The firm expedites the process for obtaining public reports from the Department of Real Estate (DRE) by advising or managing the DRE team, maintaining a strong working relationship with DRE deputies and commissioners, and submitting project specific documents based on our pre-approved Master Management Documents.
After public reports are issued by DRE, Little & Saputo assists subdividers to properly transfer control of the common interest development to the homeowners association. The firm also assists in the incorporation process, filings with the Secretary of State, and initial start-up and establishment of developer-controlled associations.
Little & Saputo has experience with condominium conversion and zoning issues and helps guide and facilitate the entire process - helping to guide engineers in the development of accurate and legal condominium plans, navigating the conversion requirements of the local jurisdiction and subdivision map act requirements, including preparation of tenant notices, developing a clear and complete set of condominium documents, reviewing proposed association budgets, and preparing all legal documents necessary to obtain approval from the local jurisdictions.
Whether new construction or condominium conversions, Little & Saputo assists our clients in all aspects of condominium development. We guide and facilitate the entire process by coordinating with engineers to develop accurate and legal subdivision final maps and condominium plans, navigating the requirements of the local jurisdictions, preparing a clear and complete set of condominium documents, reviewing proposed association budgets (ensuring internal consistency with the governing documents) and preparing all documents necessary to obtain approval from the local jurisdictions and DRE.
Department of Real Estate (DRE) Approvals
Little & Saputo assists subdividers to obtain preliminary, interim, conditional and final subdivision public reports issued by DRE for both standard and common interest developments. Our role generally involves the preparation of governing documents (including articles of incorporation, bylaws and CC&Rs), subsidy agreements, sample documents and other documentation reviewed by DRE. We also advise our clients on how best to navigate the DRE approval process for their development projects and how to comply with DRE Regulations governing common interest subdivisions. When problems arise in the DRE review process, we work with our clients to resolve the issues. We also assist subdividers when desist and refrain orders have been issued.
Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, FHA and VA
Little & Saputo issues attorney opinion letters to the Federal National Mortgage Association ("Fannie Mae"), the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation ("Freddie Mac"), the Federal Housing Administration ("FHA") and the Veterans Administration ("VA") as part of the agency project approval process. In addition, we prepare amendments to bylaws and CC&Rs as appropriate to comply with the requirements of these agencies. Little & Saputo also assists developers in the documentation necessary to establish working capital accounts needed as part of the FHA project approval process.
Interstate Land Sales Act
Many real estate subdivisions must comply with the Interstate Land Sales Act as well as California laws and regulations. Little & Saputo guides its clients through the potential minefield of the Interstate Land Sales Act and assures that documentation used for subdivision sales is in compliance.
Little & Saputo has a variety of litigation experience and consults with clients and other attorneys concerning the merits and tactics of particular disputes. Our experience includes negotiated settlements, alternative dispute resolution or litigation involving land use entitlements, Subdivision Map Act, municipal law, easements, environmental issues (CEQA and CERCLA), real estate purchase and sale agreements and other contracts.
Little & Saputo prepares real estate purchase agreements and addenda for lots, condominiums, mixed use (commercial) subdivisions and multi-family projects. The firm also drafts, reviews and revises general and specific disclosures involving diverse matters and conditions.
The firm reviews and revises client purchase agreements to ensure that they are functional and comply with state and federal law, including the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA), the Interstate Land Sales Act, Subdivided Lands Act and regulations of the California Department of Real Estate.
The firm represents developers/sellers in dispute with buyers who cancel purchase contracts or are in default of any provisions of their purchase contracts. Little & Saputo has successfully resolved most disputes over liquidated damages and deposits through direct negotiation or alternative dispute resolution, rarely resulting in litigation.
Real Estate Transactions
Little & Saputo has extensive experience in negotiating real property acquisitions and dispositions. We assist our clients in conducting "due diligence" investigations when purchasing real estate. Our experience includes vacant land, single family and multi-family residential subdivisions, mixed use subdivisions (which includes shopping centers and commercial uses), mixed use high rise residential/office buildings and commercial/light industrial developments. We have handled reciprocal easement agreements, license agreements, and shared maintenance agreements, as well as title and escrow issues.
Subdivision Map Act
Little & Saputo has significant experience involving the California Subdivision Map Act. We review proposed and existing subdivision maps for compliance and for accuracy for the intended use. We have experience with general plan changes, specific plans, rezonings, annexations, and other related permits and approvals required for the development of real property under the California Subdivision Map Act.
Little & Saputo has significant experience with all aspects of subdivisions - both residential and commercial - in traditional or condominium ownership. Our experience includes single family residential subdivisions (Master Planned Communities and smaller subdivisions), mixed commercial and residential subdivisions, senior housing communities, and commercial/light industrial subdivisions.
Title 7 / Right to Repair Law
Little & Saputo prepares governing documents and sales documents which implement the statutory requirements of Title 7 (SB 800), the so-called "Right to Repair" law, including warranty programs, customer service processes and dispute resolution procedures. We advise and assist our clients with coordination and preparation of owner and association maintenance manuals and creating programs for Title 7 compliance. Click here for further info about Title 7
Updating and Revising Governing Documents for Existing Associations
Little & Saputo assists community associations in complying with changes in the law by updating and revising association governing documents, including bylaws, CC&Rs, election rules, regulations and procedures, and architectural standards.