Common Real Estate Litigation Disputes
Real estate litigation disputes have become increasingly common in today’s world. Whether you are a residential property owner or commercial real estate developer, there is always a chance that you could find yourself in a real estate dispute. Although some disputes can be resolved without going to court, sometimes litigation is necessary.
The following are some common real estate disputes that can lead to litigation:
Failure to Disclose Defect
Sellers of property have a duty to disclose any known latent defects to the property that could affect the value. A latent defect is a defect that is not readily apparent to anyone exercising reasonable care in inspecting the property, and it is a defect that can render the property dangerous and/or unfit for habitation. A buyer who purchases a property and subsequently discovers a latent defect after the closing date may have a claim against the seller. However, upon the commencement of a lawsuit for failure to disclose a defect, the buyer must be able to prove that the seller had knowledge of the defect, or ought to have known about the defect, and purposely concealed it.
Some common defects include mould, leaks, rotten wood, infestations, and the failure to obtain proper permits when conducting home improvements and repairs.
Breach of Contract
When purchasing real property, parties will typically be required to sign a contract (with the most common form of contract being an Agreement of Purchase and Sale). There are various terms and conditions of the sale contained within the contract, and one party’s failure to fulfill their obligations could result in a breach. In some cases, a breach could result in a termination of the contract.
In order to avoid a breach, it is highly recommended that you review the terms and conditions of the contract carefully and ensure that you are familiar with all provisions. Obtaining the help of a real estate lawyer can assist you in understanding the terms of conditions of a real estate contract.
Failure of Specific Performance
Real estate litigation may also arise when one party fails to perform their obligations under the contract. When a party to the real estate contract fails to perform an action that is necessarily required, the other party (who feels they have been harmed by such failure) has a right to commence an action. If you feel that a party to a real estate contract is not fulfilling their obligations, you should speak to a lawyer as soon as possible to discuss a course of action. Doing so may create an opportunity to negotiate and avoid litigation.
If you need assistance with a real estate dispute, or you would like assistance reviewing your real estate documents, please connect with one of our real estate or commercial litigation lawyers today. We would be happy to assist you!