What is Real Estate Litigation?
I’m attorney Chad Walker and I wanted to answer the question: what is real estate litigation? Real estate litigation is any type of dispute arising out of real property or an interest in real property. Real estate litigation could include a dispute that arises during the acquisition of property or it could be a dispute arising out of ownership rights or other interest in a property.
For example, a dispute arising out of the acquisition of property could be as simple as a dispute relating to the purchase and sale that is essentially a dispute that’s part of the purchase and sale agreement and the terms as to what the parties agreed to. And what would be delivered and what would be done before the sale or in connection with the sale, what was represented before the sale. You also could have disputes about whether material defects were with the property were disclosed to the purchaser in the context of a residential or even a commercial transaction.
Resolving Property Disputes
Real estate litigation can also encompass the rights of an existing landowner where you have claims potentially for a trespass or a nuisance for something that’s occurring on an adjacent property and our firm has experience with litigating and resolving disputes that really encompass all of those types of disputes, whether it be something arising out of the purchase and sale property or whether it be something arising out of an existing ownership and an infringement on the existing owners’ rights.
Trespass or Nuisance Claims
Our real estate clients could be individuals or entities who are involved in the acquisition of property. Predominantly it would be commercial property for our firm, where they’re acquiring or have acquired a piece of commercial property and the dispute has arisen out of the purchase and sale of that property.
They could also be owners, business owners, of a piece of real property and disputes that have arisen out of some sort of infringement on their rights as a property owner. It could be in the form of a trespass claim or it could be in the form of a nuisance claim arising out of, or infringing upon their ownership, of that piece of commercial property.
Different Types of Real Estate Litigation
Real estate litigation is one of the leading legal disputes handled by our firm. I’m Jeff Regan and I wanted to explain that our law firm is often involved in the trial or arbitration of real estate disputes. Real estate litigation can range from a simple breach of a real estate contractor between a vendor and purchaser or it can get into complex title issues.
Boundary Disputes, Title Defect Claims, Property Rights
Real estate litigation involves boundary disputes, title defect claims, property rights use. It can involve environmental issues with property. It can involve taking some properties by governmental agencies.
One of the more complex real estate litigations that I’ve been involved in in my career involved a conflict between mining rights of a mining company and the owner of the surface estate. The mining company in that particular case had the right to mine the minerals, but in doing so, they also interfered with the operations of the surface estate owner.
That particular case involved the mining company exceeding its rights and led to a federal court litigation. It turned out to be a very complex case and it took many years to finally get resolved. But we were able to successfully resolve it in the interest of our client.
Anticipatory Breach of a Contract
I’m Gene Atwood and I wanted to talk about a real estate dispute that I handled that involved an issue that was between a developer and a large regional home builder. It was under development of a track for a development and it involved what we call an anticipatory breach of the contract. The residential builder had come to the developer about halfway through the development of the project. Roads were beginning to go in and informed the developer, even if he was to deliver the door fronts on time, they would not be purchased.
And the residential builder, a regional builder, was somewhat surprised when a developer brought a complaint against him for anticipatory breach of the contract. It ended up being a successful resolution for the client, but it was one of those issues where a couple of law firms had looked at the problem and had not come up with a cause of action that satisfied the client or would give a satisfactory result to the client.
Easements or Encumbrances on Property
Real estate litigation involves obviously real estate, so it can be any kind of dispute or issue or question involving real estate, real property, or land and that can be pretty diverse. I mean that that can be a dispute involving the purchase and sale of land or a building. It could also involve a boundary line dispute between the neighboring landowner or business owner.
Easements on Property or Encumbrances
There can be issues involving easements on property or encumbrances on properties such as a lien or a mortgage. So really, a real estate matter could involve a homeowner or a business owner. It can involve a developer or any number of different actors that are involved in business deals and transactions.
In litigation, the litigators in our firm don’t typically put the deals together per se, but we are involved in the process. We do help answer questions. We do help resolve disputes of course. Sometimes those end up in a lawsuit type situation and sometimes not. So it’s really going to vary depending on the situation.
But again, it can be breach of contract type of claims involving real estate, or it can even involve zoning issues or things like trespass on the property or damages on your property that were caused by somebody else or maybe by a neighboring construction project. It could even involve issues such as getting a variance on your property for maybe a new type of a business or really anything along those lines.