What are the Different Types of Real Estate Disputes a Lawyer Can Help Me With?
By Space Coast Daily // September 21, 2021
Real estate litigation is a broad area of business law that covers a variety of disputes ranging from real estate business partnership quarrels to land use disputes. Real estate litigation can be complicated, as there are often numerous parties involved in disputes.
For example, a dispute over the sale of a property may involve the original property owner, the property buyer, real estate brokers, property inspectors, and other involved parties.
A Real Estate Lawyer that has real estate dispute and mediation experience can handle all the following while you get back to your business.
Parties that are Commonly Involved in Real Estate Litigation
■ Property buyer
■ Property seller
■ Seller’s real estate broker
■ Buyer’s broker
■ Property inspectors
■ Architects and developers
■ Title or escrow companies
■ Pest Control specialists
■ Homeowners or condo associations
■ Real estate professionals
Commercial Lease Disputes
In real estate litigation, commercial lease disputes often involve commercial landlords and tenants, either of which may bring a claim against the other party.
Commercial lease disputes involving landlord negligence or wrongdoing can involve issues related to:
■ tenant options to extend or terminate a commercial lease term
■ unlawful increases in rent (including percentage rent based on business revenue) or change of terms
■ common area maintenance fees
■ the leasing of space for competing businesses
■ Accusations that a landlord has tried to default on a current tenant to secure “better” tenancy
Commercial lease disputes involving tenant negligence can involve issues related to:
■ the storage of hazardous or other materials on site
■ damage claims, including fire damage
■ failure to pay rent
■ violation of lease terms
■ Unauthorized changes to the exterior of leased space
Landlord/tenant disputes often involve similar matters as commercial lease disputes but involve rental agreement disputes and other disparagements.
More specifically, landlord-tenant disputes can involve:
- Disagreements over rent increases
- Responsibility for repair work
- The return of a security deposit
- Other disputes related to property, rent, deposits, etc.
To protect your legal rights in a tenant landlord dispute, it is wise to familiarize yourself with federal, state, and local laws.
To ensure the terms of your lease or rental agreement are clear, keep open communication with your landlord or tenant, and keep a written record of all correspondence and important documents.
While many landlord-tenant disputes can be handled privately or through mediation, more serious situations may involve hiring a competent attorney who can help you secure your damages in a small claims or other court.
Real Estate Partnership Disputes
Investments in real estate provide numerous opportunities to forge partnerships with other professionals. These partners can bring benefits of cash, knowledge and experience, and other advantages that you may not otherwise have in your business dealings.
However, as each partner has his or her own interests and agendas, real estate partnership disputes can arise and bring significant problems.
Do I Need a Lawyer for Help with Real Estate Disputes?
Real estate disputes might involve several possible legal remedies. You may need to hire an experienced property attorney if you need help with any type of real estate conflict. Your attorney can research the law in your area and can help determine your best course of action.
While some real estate partnership disputes can be resolved privately, in other cases, the partnership may dissolve, or legal action may be necessary to recover substantial losses. For this reason, it is vital to have a competent real estate litigation attorney on your side to look out for your best interest and help you protect your legal rights.
Real estate partnership disputes can include such issues as:
■ disputes over profits or properties
■ poorly structures real estate partnership agreements
■ transaction dispute
■ partner bankruptcy
■ failure to provide capital
■ failed occupancy expectations
■ intellectual property infringement
Land Use Matters
Land use and zoning laws limit property owner’s right to use their property in specific ways. These regulations limit the government’s right to regulate land use. In most cases, the government has a valid right to institute zoning restrictions if they are reasonable and have a substantial benefit for public health, safety, comfort, and general welfare.
Because these stipulations are so subjective, it leaves much room for interpretation, disagreement, and sometimes even real estate litigation. Real estate litigation may involve any of the following or other pertinent issues:
■ spot zoning
■ development entitlement
■ special uses
■ recapture agreements
■ public way approvals
■ annexation agreements
■ covenants and easements
Real Estate Brokerage Disputes
In the United States, real estate brokers can represent either the buyer or the seller of a property for a commission. These professionals are required to act in the best interests of their clients (this is called fiduciary duty) but unfortunately, this does not always happen.
A real estate broker that commits fraud or otherwise causes damage to their client, or any other party in a complex real estate transaction, may be liable to provide compensation to that injured party through real estate litigation.
Other Real Estate Matters
The real estate dispute issues discussed above are just some examples of the countless transgressions that may make up an actionable offense for which an injured party could seek compensation through real estate litigation.
Other areas of real estate that may involve a dispute requiring litigation include, but are not limited to:
■ Decisions made during the construction phase of real estate development may involve matters of timing, quality, costs, the scope of work, and the division of obligations and benefits between contractors, architects, owners, buyers, and trade professionals.
■ Disputes over real estate commissions
■ Title disputes
■ Condo, cooperative, or homeowner’s disputes
■ Tax certiorari disputes
■ Property condemnation case issues
■ Disputes arising from the dissolution of a joint venture or business entity, or divorce estate settlement
■ Disputes involving clubs, casinos, hotels, or motels
If a solution cannot be found through negotiation or other alternative dispute resolution and the case must go to court, your attorney will be able to represent you at court hearings and at trial, if necessary. You are likely to get the best outcome if you have an experienced real estate lawyer representing your interests.