Rachel M. Hess focuses her practice on representing national, regional and local residential and commercial developers, builders and management companies throughout the real estate transaction process. Rachel’s new and existing clients routinely rely on her experience and intimate knowledge to determine the most feasible structure of the project to accomplish the client’s goals while reducing potential liability. She regularly advises and counsels clients relating to the structure and formation of all types of commercial, residential and mixed-use projects.
Her experience includes preparation and review of all documents necessary to implement the establishment of community associations, homeowners associations, land condominiums and building condominiums, including contracts, leases, declarations, bylaws, articles of incorporation, corporate documents, entity formation, deeds for the private transfer or public dedication of land, easement agreements, homeowners association depository statements, public offering statements, documents in compliance with the Interstate Land Sales Full Disclosure Act, disclosure statements, and attorney opinion letters for VA, FHA and FNMA project approvals.
For clients who wish to impose private utility charges against their property, Rachel routinely prepares and records the necessary instruments to establish these charges, including the declaration, disclosure statement and entity formation. Rachel also represents private utility companies in collection matters when homeowners are delinquent in their payments.
As part of her practice, Rachel provides legal advice to existing community associations concerning document interpretation and amendment of governing documents, collection of assessments, covenant and rule enforcement, architectural control issues and negotiation of contracts.
Rachel is well regarded by her peers and colleagues and considered a leading real estate attorney in Baltimore. She has written manuals (including Developing and Operating Planned Communities and Condominiums in Maryland, National Business Institute, 2006) and lectured on condominium law, testified before the Maryland legislature concerning then pending legislation, and served as an expert witness for cases involving condominium disputes. Rachel also has lectured on the subject of the importance of covenants in the development process and how to address them at the the Maryland Building Industry Association of Maryland Land Development Council and The Land Use Institute seminar.
Rachel also serves as a Director of the Maryland Building Industry Association of Maryland Land Development Council. The Council offers services and special interest programs covering government relations and representation, educational opportunities, marketing exposure as well as the exchange of ideas to promote high standards within the development industry.
Rachel graduated from the University of Maryland, College Park, in 1979 with a Bachelor of Science degree in accounting and the University of Baltimore Law School in 1982. She is admitted to practice law in all of the courts of Maryland and is a member of the Maryland State Bar Association and Maryland Building Industry Association.