Orange County Real Estate Litigation Attorney
Unlike the market itself, the laws protecting individuals who are participating in real estate transactions remain consistent. Whether you are a leaseholder, business owner, developer, buyer, seller, landlord, tenant, or any other entity involved in a real estate transaction, knowing your rights, contractual agreements, and legal obligations can help you avoid real estate litigation. These types of legal matters can arise from any number of failures in the real estate process, including lease agreements, contracts, conflict disputes, financial disputes, defects in construction, failure to disclose, zoning disputes, and more.
Real estate is an investment. You painstakingly take time to ensure that you buy or sell the right property for the right price in the hopes that you will gain monetarily from it. At Thaler Law, we understand how complex the real estate process is and the protections that our clients deserve. For over a decade, we have been helping individuals and businesses in Orange County, CA with their real estate transactions to ensure that their investments are protected and that their rights are upheld. Whether buying, selling, leasing, or building, our team understands how important it is to provide your real estate transaction with legal protection.
Types of Real Estate Litigation
Real estate litigation is a non-criminal area of the law that involves civil disputes between the parties involved. This process is often very time-consuming and expensive, which makes alternative forms of resolution more appealing. These types of alternative methods include arbitration and mediation.
Mediation uses an independent third party who can act as the go-between for the two parties involved in the claim. The goal is to help them voluntarily reach an agreement that both parties find appropriate. Arbiters are used when the two parties involved submit their evidence and complaint to an independent third party, who makes a decision without the presence of those involved. The decision is then legally binding.
Thaler Law handles all types of real estate litigation for commercial, residential, and industrial disputes that could include any of the following:
- Breach of duty or negligence. Each person involved in the transaction of real estate has an obligation to represent their respective entity truthfully and appropriately by looking out for their client’s interests. Further, real estate transactions are filled with financial data and other information that must be kept confidential. There is also an obligation to ensure that there are appropriate disclosures to each party.
- Specific performance of contract. Breaches of contracts are common reasons that litigation occurs in California real estate. When either party entering the contract fails to uphold their end, they are in breach and could be held legally responsible. When there is a breach of contract, the title could be held until the resolution occurs.
- Boundary disputes. Researching the legal boundary of any potential property that you may lease or acquire could save time and money in litigation. Previous ownership may not have honored or respected the legal boundary lines that already existed and therefore caused confusion. However, if there is a breach of the boundary, litigation could result.
- Failure to disclose from the seller or the landlord. Defects exist on properties, whether they are new construction or have existed for years. From design and construction to wear and tear on the property, it is the duty of a landlord or seller to disclose any known property defects. This disclosure includes anything related to mold, leaks, problems with the roof, or any improvements made without a permit. These disclosures could cost the new owner significant amounts of money. For landlords, they have an obligation to properly maintain the property and inform potential tenants of any problems. Landlords also have an obligation to disclose the presence of any other tenants in a building that may be considered a nuisance.
In addition to these common disputes, our team can help with other potential litigation involving the following:
- Litigation for sales and purchases
- Disputes in partnerships
- Breaches of fiduciary duty
- Disputes with insurance
- Construction contracts and disputes with defective designs
- Disputes with neighbors or homeowner’s associations
- Tax assessments
- Disputes with title
- Problems with broker transactions
- Landlord-tenant disputes
- Leasing disputes
These types of claims and more are common in real estate. Having the right legal team to help you can not only protect your investments but also help ensure that your real estate rights are protected.
Zoning is another common area of real estate litigation that could arise, particularly for business and industry owners. City planners take care to appropriate certain lands for specific uses. While not everyone may agree with certain zoning specifications, they are designed to protect the neighborhoods, businesses, and industries in an area. Zoning regulations have an impact on traffic, are used to protect against urban spreading, and help modify existing plans to reduce congestion.
Zoning is more than just classifying the type of building that exists on the land; it may also specify the limitations of that building. This could include the height, the size, the setbacks, the signage, and more. If a business or entity fails to adhere to the zoning laws, it could cost significant amounts of money later. Using an attorney to help review the zoning laws and the plans for the land usage can save considerable time and money later.
Types of disputes that can arise in land-use litigation include:
- Boundary and easement disputes
- Development plans
- Eminent domain
- Inverse condemnation
- Contamination of soil and groundwater
If you are planning to buy or build a property on a specific parcel of land, have the zoning requirements reviewed before purchasing it to ensure that your dream location will allow for your dream building. A real estate attorney can help avoid legal problems before they arise.
Commercial Contracts and Leases
However, breaches of contract can occur, and holding both parties accountable is the reason for seeking legal representation to help with these matters. Whether there are claims of fraud, misrepresentation, or broken contracts, settling these disputes is ideally handled by skilled and experienced real estate attorneys.
In cases of commercial leasing contracts, the parties involved must adhere to the Uniform Commercial Code, which acts as the primary authority for business transactions and contracts. Under the guidance of the UCC, there are several legal resolutions that can be reached. It can also help determine if litigation is needed.
Real Estate Litigation FAQs
Q: What Is the Statute of Limitations on Real Estate Transactions in Orange County, California?
A: For most civil litigation involving real estate, the statute of limitations is two years. However, if there is an instance of fraud involved in the buying or selling of the real estate in question, the statute is three years. If there is a breach of contract in the process, California has a statute of limitations of four years for all breaches of contract.
Q: Can I Use a Real Estate Attorney Instead of an Agent in Orange County, CA?
A: Using a real estate attorney is always recommended for all contracts and legal questions surrounding the sale or purchase of a property. This is particularly important for those who wish to save money on commissions by acting as their own agent in the purchasing or selling of a property. Utilizing the help of an attorney can help protect you from future litigation.
Q: How Long Does a Buyer Have to Sue a Seller in California?
A: Real estate transactions in California are considered a contractual agreement between a purchaser and a seller. Therefore, there is a statute of limitations of four years that begins from the instance of the breach. This means that the timeline does not begin until there is a discovery of a breach and not at the date of signing.
Q: Can a Creditor Force the Sale of My Home in California?
A: Yes, creditors can force the sale of a property if it will help them recover the monies that they are owed. In a judgment sale, creditors are allowed to sell the property if the value exceeds the liens that are placed on the property. This is often highly sought by creditors who wish to use it as a form of recovery. The process is fairly inexpensive but could take months to resolve.
Orange County Real Estate Litigation Lawyer
Whether you are involved in a residential, commercial, or industrial real estate transaction, you should have an experienced attorney on your side. At Thaler Law, our team has over a decade of experience helping our clients ensure that their real estate decisions are made with confidence in their legal backing. From assisting with creating or reviewing contracts to disputes in zoning to lease agreements, our team is ready to answer any real estate law question you have. Our firm works with our clients to protect them from real estate litigation, but we fight on their behalf when it is necessary to hold others accountable. Contact our offices today and let us help with your real estate disputes.