What is real estate litigation? Under civil litigation, this covers any form of dispute that arises from a property or an interest in a property. For example, it may involve the acquisition of property or ownership rights.
Per a report from Forbes, roughly 35-50% of small businesses experience some form of litigation in any given year. Moreover, at any given time, as many as 90% of all businesses experience some type of legal dispute. The real estate market is no different.
Through real estate litigation, people have a tool to protect their interests. This includes agents, brokers, buyers, sellers, landlords, and tenants. When you want to protect your legal rights, it’s important to understand your options.
This is especially true when you need to redress a wrong you perceive or experience. Below, we take a look at some common issues that arise in real estate.
What Issues Arise in Real Estate Litigation?
Generally speaking, litigation is an action people take to resolve severe disputes. Oftentimes, people use it as a last resort when someone threatens the title to their property. Alternatively, someone’s actions might have a significant impact on the value of a property.
Breach of Contract
One of the most common reasons people go to court in the real estate industry is a breach of contract. In a transaction, the terms of the contract contain specific details regarding title clearance, the closing date, the assets, etc.
When a lawsuit claims a breach of this contract, the plaintiff has to prove 2 things.
- Plaintiff (the wronged) party fulfilled their obligations
- Defendant failed to fulfill the agreement
In a successful suit, the plaintiff receives compensation for any losses they suffered from the breach. To avoid inadvertently breaking the provisions of the contract, people have a real estate lawyer review the agreement. In doing so, they gain a better understanding of the requirements.
Negligence and Breach of Duty
Another common reason for real estate litigation is a breach of duty. Unfortunately, this is one of the most common claims people make against real estate agents. Realtors have a legal obligation to act in their clients’ best interests.
When they act in the interest of a third party or a salesperson, they breach that obligation.
Moreover, they have an obligation to keep client details confidential. This also includes a duty to disclose information to their clients that benefit the client.
It is crucial for a real estate agent to perform their services to the best of their abilities and knowledge. When they display negligence, it tends to be at the disadvantage or loss of their clients.
As such, it warrants a lawsuit.
Failure to Disclose Property Defects
In real estate transactions, the seller has an obligation to disclose non-evident and known defects that impact a property’s value. When a buyer discovers a defect after closing on a property, they have the option to initiate a lawsuit.
Through real estate litigation, they have an opportunity to prove the defendant had reasonable knowledge or purposefully concealed this information. When you work with a civil litigation attorney, you have someone to help you investigate.
Other Calls for Real Estate Litigation
Generally, the need for litigation stems from many circumstances. Here are a few additional examples.
- Landlord-tenant disputes
- Breach of construction contracts
- Title disputes
- Defects of title
- Zoning disputes
- Mortgage disputes
- Land use disputes
Real Estate Litigation: Alternatives to Civil Lawsuits
When a dispute arises, you have options outside of litigation. In many cases, people want to find an alternative and avoid court. Instead of taking the matter to court, you have the option to mediate or negotiate the conflict.
In order to resolve a conflict out of court, a real estate lawyer is an essential advocate. With a working knowledge of local regulations and laws, they protect your best interests. Moreover, they help guide parties through negotiations and review any contracts.
As you begin to explore your options, your attorney also offers advice about how to proceed. This includes devising the best course of action and what strategy works best per your interests.
Curious About Your Options With Real Estate Litigation?
When you have questions about real estate law, your best option is to schedule a consultation with an attorney. From mortgage issues to transactions, a civil litigation practice is your resource. They offer you the best means to protect your interests.
For buyers, owners, sellers, and developers across Houston, Nguyen & Chen offers an array of resources and expertise. When you need insight into a conflict, trust our attorneys to be your advocates.
Whether you want to buy your first home or convert a commercial property, our legal team is ready to help you move forward. We offer assistance and guidance for a broad spectrum of real estate litigation matters.
Reach out today to begin the conversation and set up your free consultation.