Real estate disputes can be extremely complicated, as any California real estate lawyer will tell you. That’s why working with a real estate lawyer who can help untangle some of these issues is an absolute must for just about any type of property dispute. Whether you’re buying or selling, a tenant or a landlord, consult with a lawyer before making any major decisions.
While some people might hope to resolve property disputes on their own, this is rarely a practical solution. That’s because real estate disputes are usually civil matters. Unlike criminal violations, which are handled by police officers, prosecutors, and judges, it can be difficult-bordering-on-impossible to resolve a civil dispute without legal representation. Here are a few of the most common real estate disputes you should look out for — and some advice for resolving them.
Issues With Real Estate Contracts
After you’ve entered into a purchase contract, the contract should include a specific closing date (or number of days before closing). Between four and ten weeks is the average, although it can vary from state to state. Of course, that also assumes the paperwork was filled out correctly.
Unfortunately, there are plenty of discrepancies that can cause problems before closing. Here in California, for example, the Statute of Frauds requires at least three types of contracts to be filled out in writing: disclosure of any leases older than one year, commission agreements and real estate licenses, and the actual sale contracts of the property. If there are any issues regarding any of those documents, the sale could be in jeopardy.
It’s essential that your real estate lawyer is with you during these contract discussions and always with you if you’re actually signing any legally binding document. If a contract mistake has put your desired closing date in jeopardy, talk to your real estate lawyers about rectifying the issue as quickly as possible.
The Value of Property Is Being Challenged
In real estate deals, it’s fairly common for the value of the property to be questioned. Of course, you need to make sure this valuation is being done in good faith, not simply as a negotiating tactic. Be sure that you and any other party involved with the sale have all the necessary records on hand during negotiations. Sadly, you usually can’t just ask for a lower price because you aren’t happy with the asking price. Remember: Any request to lower the value of a property must be completely backed up by evidence. No matter which side of the dispute you’re on, your real estate lawyer should help you identify any documents, records, or evidence you need to verify the value of the property.
Disagreements Between Tenants and Landlords
Problems between landlords and tenants are a fact of life, and tenant residency is a major aspect of real estate law. Most states have very clear laws about the various rights of tenants and landlords, but these rules can be difficult for many people to understand. Often, tenants are pressured into giving up their legal rights. If you have a landlord that’s ignoring your rights as a tenant, then contact a real estate lawyer as soon as possible. They can make sure you have all the paperwork necessary to build your case against your landlord.
While real estate disputes are rarely simple, they can be especially complicated here in California, a state with a rather unique legal system. Before making any decisions you might come to regret, contact a real estate law firm to better understand both your options and your rights.