Foreclosed property


#1

hello frank:

there is a property going up for foreclosure with a billboard on it. if i do buy the lot from foreclosure, does the existing land lease agreement stay in place? my title company did not find any recorded lease agreements running with the property. can i force the billboard owner to renogotiate a new lease? do all permits from all municipalities and DOT transfer to me? if not, i would like to have them take down their sign so i can erect my own billboard. please advise/ any thoughts?

thanks
sven


#2

Sven,

You need a whole lot more information on this one, before you can even begin to figure out your position.

Is there an existing lease for the sign? If not, is there a nameplate on the sign? If so, in most states, the law requires you to ask them if there’s a lease, even if it was not recorded.

Most leases die in foreclosure, but you better check with an attorney.

As far as the permit on a sign, it normally runs with the sign owner, not the land owner, so you need to check that out with your lawyer, too.

As far as putting your own back, you need to check with the state and city on the sign ordinance. You might be in a legal, non-conforming area. You may also need a license to build a sign there.

You are going to need to spend a lot on legal fees on this deal so that you don’t end up getting screwed.


#3

Frank,
I recently foreclosed on a property in CA with a large billboard located on it. There was a basic two page lease agreement signed back in 1992. No mention of the billboard in the title report. The lease had no assignment clause for new ownership or foreclosure, therefore I’m assuming the lease agreement is no longer valid. If I’m correct, do I own the billboard located on my property? If not, what would be a reasonable annual lease rate? If you provide a percentage of annual revenue what is the best way to estimate the annual revenue?
Regards,
Tom


#4

I would immediately get counsel from a competent attorney before doing anything. There are volumes of case law on this very event, and you need to be protected from litigation if you make the wrong move.The fact that the lease was not recorded may be offset by the fact that the sign was easily visible and would imply that the lease exists. There are many, many issues based on your state’s laws, which I am certainly no expert on. But outdoor companies are very litigious, and this sounds like fertile territory.