There is a level of trust that is required to complete a proper real estate transaction. However, this is occasionally not enough to satisfy the participants. A real estate litigation attorney can be called upon when these transactions run into difficulty. And these potential issues don’t stop at the end of the purchasing process.
But what kinds of difficulty could you encounter? We have compiled the top ten reasons people find themselves in the office of a real estate litigation attorney.
1. Breach of Contract
The buyer and the seller put together a purchase agreement that is signed by all parties. This is a legally-binding contract and must be followed by everyone involved. However, this doesn’t always happen. For example, the buyer or the seller could decide not to move forward with the transaction. This constitutes a breach of contract and could cause significant expenses for the other side of the transaction.
An easement is a pre-existing agreement that pertains to a specific piece of land. A person or entity is granted the right to use this piece of land for a specific purpose, no matter who is the current owner of this piece of land. These considerations must be known by all parties involved in the transaction. Any undisclosed easements can result in the need for a real estate litigation attorney.
There are very specific rules when building on a piece of property. One such rule is that must be a certain amount of space between the property line and any buildings. One property owner might build an addition to his or her home that either crosses the property line or juts right up against it. Such an encroachment is grounds for real estate litigation between the two property owners.
4. Land Use Disputes
Your municipal and local governments set specific rules for how a piece of land can be used. Zoning regulations and permits can be applied for and even contested with the help of a real estate litigation attorney. These considerations are often related to commercial real estate and the types of businesses that can occupy a particular area.
5. Failure to Disclose
Any problem with the property such as a tendency for flooding in the basement, must be disclosed to potential buyers. A failure to inform a buyer of any defects in the property or its structure are grounds for a lawsuit after the buyer takes control of the property. The buyer will need to prove that the seller had previous knowledge of these defects.
6. Zoning Disputes
Owning a piece of land doesn’t entitle you to do whatever you like with it. There are local rules and regulations regarding what can be built and operated on a particular piece of land. For example, you will need to establish a horizontal property regime in order to build two homes where there was previously only one home. Failure to obtain the proper permits and zoning can lead to litigation.
7. Title Defects
The title of a property can occasionally have encumbrances such as a lien or a mortgage associated with it. These encumbrances can make selling the piece of real estate more difficult. Other parties can claim ownership of the property, which can remove the authority to create a sale. The title of the property cannot legally be transferred to another individual without clearing up these encumbrances.
8. Mortgage Foreclosures
Lenders will seek ownership of a property if the loan is deemed to be in default. Owners of the property are able to fight back against this process with the help of a real estate litigation attorney. Violations of foreclosure or lending laws by the lending company can be cited as reasons for halting the foreclosure process, but addressing these issues should be done with the help of an attorney.
9. Breach of Construction Contract
Real estate developers and landowners will create a contract for work with their construction company. This document outlines the scope of the work to be completed by the construction company, as well as the involved risks and legal rights of both parties. Any failure to complete the duties outlined in this contract can result in litigation.
10. Condominium Conflicts
There are many implied rights and responsibilities involved in condominium associations. Any failure to meet these responsibilities can result in litigation. This includes scenarios such as financial disclosures, common area responsibilities, contract disputes, deceptive practices, and more.