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John T. Kontrabecki

John T. Kontrabecki

Commercial Real Estate Mediator, Advisor and Transactional Consultant
  • Arbitration & Mediation, Real Estate Law, Construction Law...
  • California, Illinois
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Accomplished attorney and financier with over 30 years of experience advising companies in commercial real estate transactions, including legal entity formation, joint ventures, property acquisitions and sales, due diligence, land use planning and entitlements, secured and unsecured financing, construction contracts, litigation and arbitration.

Transaction oriented with significant experience in a wide range of commercial contracts, including reviewing, drafting and negotiating joint venture agreements, development agreements, construction contracts, public utility agreements (including service design, installation and power purchase), vendor agreements, service contracts, operation and maintenance agreements, real estate leases, secured and unsecured financing loan agreements, etc. Adept at working collaboratively and effectively with business principals and counsel on large scale real estate development projects to review relevant legal issues and to facilitate transactions to completion.

Skilled in business entity governance and general corporate matters, including entity formation and dissolution, corporate restructuring, planning and conducting shareholder meetings, drafting and maintaining corporate records and preparing required governmental filings.

Strong experience in both domestic and international real estate financing transactional practice. Extensive financing deal structuring and due diligence experience including reviewing and evaluating contracts, assessing property rights, determining necessary consents and notices, reviewing and negotiating closing documents and managing closings.

Adept at banking and financing matters, including reviewing and negotiating standard documentation for secured and unsecured lending transactions, including project financing, operating lines of credit secured by collateralized asset pools and municipal financing for infrastructure improvements.

Accomplished mediator.

Practice Areas
  • Arbitration & Mediation
  • Real Estate Law
  • Construction Law
  • Landlord Tenant
Additional Practice Area
  • Land Use Law
  • Free Consultation
  • Contingent Fees
Jurisdictions Admitted to Practice
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  • English: Spoken, Written
Professional Experience
President and General Counsel
TKG International
- Current
Founder, president and general counsel of commercial real estate investment, development and consulting firm.
Chief Financial Officer
Berg & Berg Developers
CFO of Silicon Valley Based Industrial Real Estate Development Company.
Vice President
Wells Fargo Bank
Real Estate Industries Group financier.
Associate Attorney
Locke Lord Bissell & Liddell LLP
Real estate practice including land use planning, construction and secured financing.
Cornell University
MBA (1977) | Finance and accounting
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Cornell University
J.D. | Business law
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Cornell University
B.A. (1973) | Government, history and economics
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Professional Associations
State Bar of California # 95398
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Cornell Real Estate Council
- Current
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Illinois State Bar Association
- Current
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Urban Land Institute
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American Bar Association
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Real Estate Broker
California Department of Real Estate
Websites & Blogs
Legal Answers
22 Questions Answered

Q. Can a landlord make changes to my new lease and not tell me about these changes until the second i am about to sign it?
A: Yes, but your landlord's actions demonstrate either a lack of professionalism or bad faith. I suggest you tell the landlord you need time to consider the changes to the lease and hold over on your current lease. Then study the changes and see if they are fair and reasonable, given your circumstances and the rent you are paying. If they are not, then negotiate with the landlord over the changes. If you cannot reach an agreement, give you landlord 30 days notice and move out.
Q. Can I bar entry to my roommate’s boyfriend and friends ?
A: As a matter of real estate law, you have correctly assessed the situation. Your roommate has a legal right to enter the premises. He boy friend does not. If they do enter without permission they will commit a civil trespass. They may also commit a criminal trespass, especially if you tell them before hand that they are not welcome. Since one of your roommates was physically threatened, you may go to court and seek a restraining order baring the boyfriend from coming anywhere near the property. Unless you perceive this as a serious threat, I would recommend you de-esculate the conflict, figure out how to get your roommate out of the property and put this behind you.
Q. I own my home and rented out extra rooms to some friends many years have passed now. I want them to move out to renovate
A: Correct. Nice friends.
Q. My lease ends on/is paid through 6/30/18. Landlord is telling me to leave early so he can clean. What are my rights
A: Your landlord is incorrect. The obligation to clean the premises is your obligation not to hire landlords. if your landlord wishes for you to vacate so he may assume the cleaning obligation then you need to amend the lease to reflect this. Otherwise you can remain on the premises through the last day of the lease term. If you do not wish to clean the apartment I would negotiate with your landlord and vacate early in exchange for being released of the cleaning obligation.
Q. what in California is required to get out of a lease of an apartment. with five months remaining on it?
A: Either a valid legal reason or an agreement for early termination with the landlord. Check your lease to see if the landlord has breached any of the provisions. If so, you may have a basis for termination. If not, then you will need to negotiate your way out of the lease. The first thing to check is the fair market value of your apartment. If the fair market value is greater than what you are paying, you can probably get out. If not, you have a problem that only money can solve. Another alternative to consider is putting the apartment on the sublease market to find a replacement tenant. Then offer to vacate the premises to enable the landlord to enter into a direct lease with the new tenant.
Q. My mom and 4 sisters inherited land in MO. years ago. All sisters have passed away and now we cousins want to sell. How?
A: First you need to hire a lawyer in Missouri. Most likely, the attorney will have to file a declaratory judgment action seeking an order from the court establishing the identities of the proper title holders today.
Q. Married couple renting 10 yrs.Divorcing.Husb staying with a roommate. How handle security depo with wife?
A: I assume the lease is in the name of both the husband and the wife. You need to enter into a new lease agreement where you require as a condition to renting the payment of a new security deposit. You then need a letter of instruction signed by both the husband and the wife as to how to return the original security deposit and to whom it should be paid. The alternative is to issue a joint check and tender it to the address for notice provided in the lease and let the husband and wife sort it out. You need to avoid getting entangled in the property settlement taking place between the divorced couple. Either technique will work.
Q. Tenant agrees to pay the first One Hundred Fifty Dollars ($150) repairs?
A: Neither do I. It is not commercially common and I suggest you strike the language. Perhaps a compromise would be repair and deduct from rent. Tenant agrees to pay the first $150 of any structural, plumbing, electrical etc. and tenant may deduct any payments made from the next month's rent.
Q. Can the landlord charge me for wear on a tubs enamel paint?
A: Most residential leases obligate the tenant to return the premises to landlord at the end of the lease term in the condition in which it was originally leased, subject to normal wear and tear. You need to read the "surrender" clause in your lease to see what condition the premises must be in at the end of the lease. If you have "normal wear and tear" language, I do not think wear on tub enamel can be charged to you as this would be considered "normal." If you were using the tub for something other than bathing and/or you damaged the enamel beyond normal wear and tear, your landlord could charge you for fixing it.
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Contact & Map
PO Box 29263
San Francisco, CA 94129
Telephone: (415) 416-6860