When parties can’t come to a resolution regarding a dispute over interests in a real estate transaction or matter, that may lead to litigation. While working out a settlement as soon as possible to avoid greater litigation costs may make sense, sometimes an agreement can’t be easily reached, or not without spending a few innings in the courts. When the latter occurs, both parties typically will get the chance to state their case to the court, allowing the court to make the final decision.
As with almost any litigation, there is some risk in proceeding to Court. Among other things, parties don’t have control once the judge makes the decision. When considering taking a real estate dispute to court, the following may be helpful.
Understanding Real Estate Litigation
Real estate litigation involves many types of disputes including those among or between, buyers and sellers, agents or brokers, parters, minority and majority stakeholders, landlords and tenants, as well as lenders and borrowers. Whether a commercial landlord needs to evict a wayward tenant, whether the latter has a claim against the landlord, whether a partnership agreement has been breached, among many other possible disputes, finding an attorney that handles real estate litigation is generally necessary.
3 Common Types of Real Estate Litigation
One common real estate dispute occurs when the seller doesn’t disclose something material about the property before the sale and the buyer sues for damages resulting from the non-disclosure. For example, if a homeowner builds an addition and never had the right permits or was aware of defects, then this may cause problems for the new homeowner especially if the addition is structurally unsound and the buyer was not made aware of it. The buyer may have a claim for expenses incurred to put the property into proper condition.
Another is where a number of persons, whether individuals or other legal entities join together in a single entity to develop and/or manage real estate interests and a dispute among them follows concerning any number of things. Often there is some form of written partnership or operating agreement, but they can be lengthy and difficult to understand to those with little experience. Other laws may be implicated outside the four corners of the contract documents. To fully understand these issues, legal assistance is usually required.
The foreclosure process is also a common example of real estate litigation. In order for a lender to foreclose on a property, every filing has to be done correctly. The borrower has some legal remedies before the home can be foreclosed upon, and it’s beneficial for both the lender and the borrower to seek legal counsel during this time.
How Hiring a Lawyer Helps During Litigation in a Real Estate Case
Hiring a lawyer usually will help one better understand the many issues which may be implicated as well as the procedural roadmap which lies ahead if a real estate cannot be easily resolved. In some jurisdictions, mediation and arbitration have become standard features of real estate purchase contracts. These issues alone will usually require assistance from a lawyer to ensure one understands his or her rights and options ahead. In addition, a lawyer can help both sides explore the potential for an earlier and less expensive resolution than the more protracted route through the courts. Real estate law can be complex, and it is usually worthwhile to seek assistance from counsel before making decisions about a course of action by oneself.
My office is here to help those dealing with a real estate dispute to get the matter resolved quickly and assist clients who need answers. Contact my office today to get a free initial consultation.