Real estate disputes are increasingly common in today’s market. No matter what kind of property you’re dealing with, becoming involved in real estate litigation can quickly become expensive. Buying a property is a significant investment, and when ownership is on the line, people stand to lose a lot. Hiring a real estate attorney can help you perform the due diligence necessary to avoid some of the most common reasons for real estate litigation. Below is a list of 5 of the most common causes of real estate litigation and how to avoid them.
1. Boundary Disputes
One of the most common reasons real estate litigation conflicts is over boundaries. Often, a property’s practical boundary line and the legal one are different. This leads to neighbors arguing over a strip of land between their adjacent properties, each claiming ownership. Conflicting surveys may show each neighbor as the owner, or one neighbor may use the other’s property as an easement. This generates a separate use agreement that can change the usage and ownership rights of the land for both parties.
What a real estate attorney can do is perform property research, comparing public records with the newly done survey and the current practical use of the land. They may provide advice and recommendations to resolve the conflict or award estate ownership to one party.
2. Public Records Errors
One of the most common real estate litigation disputes are over public record errors. Public records are what people search for to determine the rightful owner of a property. Something as small as a typo can undermine someone’s right to claim ownership. While it is possible to resolve a public record error, it can take time to fix and be costly. Many people don’t realize that there’s an issue until the situation is dire.
Working with a real estate attorney can reduce the risk of clerical errors when you file documents. They will double-check with an eagle eye to ensure all of the information is correct.
3. Title Disputes
A title dispute arises when someone else claims to have legal ownership rights to your real estate. This can be one of the most challenging real estate litigation disputes for property owners to experience. It takes extensive research to ensure that the claimed seller of a property is its sole and rightful owner. In a worst-case scenario, a third party may successfully argue in front of a judge that they have a claim to the property. This will leave the new buyer with a financial loss and no property.
A real estate attorney can do the necessary research to ensure that you have a complete picture of your property’s ownership history. This reduces the risk of an unknown third party making an ownership claim.
4. Property Liens
A lien is a legal claim against property that can be used as collateral to repay a debt. Your mortgage company has an ownership claim on your property. However, real estate could have a property lien placed on it for an unpaid contractor, delinquent taxes, or another debt. Liens follow the property, not the debtor. As the new owner, you won’t have a clear title until those debts are paid. This is a common real estate litigation dispute with real estate that was foreclosed on.
A real estate attorney will assist in identifying and negotiating a resolution of any property debts so that the title is free and clear when you purchase a property.
5. Construction Conflicts
If your plan is to build and develop a property, you will likely have contractors and subcontractors who perform the labor during the construction project. Unfortunately, disputes can arise between a property owner and the contractor or subcontractor that delay your project and result in a financial loss.
By partnering with a real estate attorney, you’ll have someone looking out for your best interest. They will review any construction or real estate agreements to ensure that you understand the individual terms and the contractor’s duties.
Real Estate Law Services
Buying or selling a home is a significant undertaking. We provide professional and experienced legal counsel so that our clients can rest easy knowing their rights are protected. Our team ensures that everything moves as smoothly as possible, so you don’t have to worry about becoming entangled in a real estate litigation case. Request a consultation today, and one of our skilled attorneys will be happy to discuss your real estate plans.