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Real Estate Law
Real Estate Law
Real estate and real property law is comprised of a wide variety of often complex legal issues including rights and interests in real property, sales, purchases and other transfers of real property, legal aspects of commercial and residential rental property and landlord and tenant issues, title issues, zoning and land use, CC&R’s, and mortgages and foreclosures.
Real estate transactions require an experienced legal professional to advise and guide their clients through this complex practice area, further complicated by the inconsistencies in the laws throughout different cities and states. The Heieck Law firm is experienced in foreclosure defense, the drafting and review of commercial and residential leases and purchase contracts, unlawful detainers (evictions), the drafting and filing of liens and deeds, and in resolving and litigating disputes related to real property including HOA disputes.
Real Property Disputes
Real estate property disputes are part of a complex area of litigation, which gives rise to many different potential causes of action. Disputes over real property are common in the California civil courts.
Breach of Contract
Breach of contract is one of the most common causes of action in a dispute over real property. There is either an oral or written contract that relates to a parcel of real property. The contract can include a purchase and sale agreement, a lease, an option, or any other term where a party has made a promise to another about the rights to real property. Where one party does not perform on their contractual obligations, the other party can sue to recover damages they have suffered as a result of the other party’s breach. In real property disputes, courts can sometimes order specific performance as a remedy, which is forcing a party to actually perform what they promised to perform, such as compelling the sale of a property.
Covenants, Conditions, and Restrictions (CC&R’s) and Homeowners’ Associations (HOA’s) Disputes
CC&R’s run with the land. This means that the rules and regulations regarding the property attach to the party regardless of the transfer of ownership. By purchasing a property with CC&R’s, you are agreeing to abide by their terms. HOA’s are boards elected by the homeowners in a development who monitor and enforce CC&R compliance. While some homeowners violate CC&R’s, there are times when the HOA is wrong. The penalties for violating CC&R’s can be harsh including fines, penalties, the payment of attorneys’ fees incurred by the HOA, liens, and even foreclosure. A competent and experienced real estate attorney should be consulted when there is an HOA dispute.
Partition is a lawsuit among co-owners to real property that allows the parties to separate from that co-ownership relationship either through a buy-out or sale of a property. Partition actions typically include a request for an accounting of how the proceeds from the property have been spent. An accounting allows the court to determine if one owner received or contributed more than another owner to attempt to equalize the interests of the parties in the property.
Fraud applies to real estate when the other party makes a misrepresentation reasonably relied upon by the other party to their detriment. For example, If a seller conceals a material defect in a property, he could be liable for fraud. In addition to compensatory damages, if a party can prove fraud, they are also potentially able to recover punitive damages, which are intended to “punish” the fraudulent party for their bad acts.
Quiet title settles real property disputes over whom owns a parcel of land. Quiet title can be used to correct a defect in title of in the chain of title. Quiet title is a useful cause of action to bring where there is a dispute in real property ownership.
Boundary disputes are disagreements between neighboring property owners over whom is entitled to rights, use or ownership over a certain portion of a parcel of land. A quiet title cause of action can resolve these disputes which and often involve an easement, which is a legal right to cross or use someone else’s land for a specified purpose.
Real estate litigation is a broad and complex area of the law. As a result, additional causes of action and remedies may be applicable to and available in your situation. This brief introduction to common types of real property disputes is no substitute for legal advice, but should familiarize you with a few basic real property litigation terms.
Contact for more information on how the Heieck Law Center can help you regarding your real property dispute.