Have you had this happen to you? You have received word that the owners of your community are looking to sell. The weeks turn into months and you hear that negotiations are going well. The owners tell you that they will be closing the sale on a specific date, so you, of course, work diligently to close out contracts with your vendors, inform your residents, and brief your team on what’s to come. We understand that during this high pressured process, you may forget about communicating with your legal counsel. In this blog, we will discuss why this is VITAL to help ensure that the transition process to new ownerships goes smoothly.
Why is this important?
The Court’s Rules of Civil Procedure require that “[e]very claim shall be prosecuted in the name of the real party in interest….” That means that if you’ve filed a case in the name of the Property’s old owner, and the closing occurs before the court date, then that old owner is no longer the “real party in interest.” How do you avoid this?
Informing us early on in this process allows us to have these important discussions with you, so we can advise you on when and how to file these cases, in order to save valuable time. Additionally, In order to continue filing evictions for you and providing legal advice, we need the new owner to confirm they want us to represent them too. How? In the form of a new representation agreement.
In addition to changes in ownership, though, it is equally important that you inform us of any management/staff changes, particularly when the managers or staff are no longer working for your community. Not only does this help us keep our contact information up to date so we can reach you more quickly with case updates and questions, but your employee logins serve to identify you on the filings you submit to us. By using a prior employee’s login credentials, you are electronically signing that person’s name to a document making legal representations about the case-related information you are transmitting to us. For this reason, please notify us immediately of any management/staff changes so that we can disable the old log in info and create fresh login info for the new staff members.
Keep this in mind…
Remember, If you continue with our representation, the options from there will be limited: for the new Owner, the fastest and easiest way to proceed is to Dismiss the case(s) without prejudice and then re-file under the name of the new Owner. The other option would be to keep the current case(s) in place, but seek permission from the Court to perform substitution of Owner; that said, this option requires filing a Motion, having a Hearing in front of a District Court Judge and then proceeding with the eviction case(s) after that. This will take longer (30 days or more) and will cost more (our Motion and Hearing charges are higher than the cost of a new case filing).