Real estate transactions are complex and can result in a variety of issues that may require litigation to resolve. If you become a party to a real estate lawsuit, contact the attorneys at Venditti Law to protect your interest and investment.
Real Estate Disputes
The attorneys at Venditti Law have the knowledge and experience to handle a wide variety of real estate disputes including, but not limited to:
Title Disputes / Quiet Title Actions: Title disputes occur when a disagreement arises over who owns or has rights to a specific parcel of property, or the amount of land the property includes. This commonly occurs in the form of boundary disputes between neighbors, but may also include easements, water rights, or mineral rights.
In cases where property ownership is in dispute, a quiet title action legally determines ownership. A person with a claim to real property files an action against all others with a claim to the same property. Once the court grants a clear title to the property, no one else may challenge the title.
Contract Disputes: A real estate purchase agreement is a signed contract between a buyer and seller for the transfer of ownership of real property. Real estate purchase contracts specify each parties' rights and responsibilities in connection with the sale of real property. Disputes may arise after both parties have signed the contract but before (or even after) the sale is finalized (the "closing"), and either party may be accused of breaching the contract by failing to act in good faith or comply with its terms. Typical disputes involve:
- Property legal description
- Items included or not included in the sale
- Condition of the property
- Type of deed to be transferred
- Encumbrances to title
- Closing date
- Value of the property and purchase price
Fraudulent Misrepresentation/Concealment/Non-Disclosure: Most of the time, real estate is purchased and sold "as-is." However, even property bought or sold "as-is" may still give rise to claims for fraud or fraudulent inducement, misrepresentation, concealment, or non-disclosure where knowingly false statements were made to induce the sale, or where defects were known by the seller but not disclosed.
Easement Disputes: Easements may be expressed or implied. A person may obtain an easement through a deed, through "necessity of use," or sometimes through adverse possession. Disputes can arise between adjacent landowners or third-parties over easements and right-of-way issues, such as scope of use, unclear easement descriptions in deeds, limiting access, maintenance, and overuse.
Construction Defects: Construction defect disputes occur when the building design has a flaw, the workmanship is poor, or the materials used are inferior. Construction defects can decrease the property's value and result in other economic harm or injury.
Landlord-Tenant / Lease Disputes: Lease disputes occur when the landlord or tenant fail to comply with their obligations under the lease. Typical issues include: failure to maintain the property, removal of installed fixtures, late payment or non-payment of rent, failure to use the property for the agreed-upon purpose or using it for a purpose that violates the law, return of security deposits, or property damage.
Tenant's who do not pay rent or otherwise breach the lease agreement are subject to eviction. An eviction action in Arizona is known as a forcible detainer action.
Trustee's Sales and Judicial Foreclosure
Many real estate buyers take out a loan to purchase property. In this case, the buyer signs a contract with the lender called a promissory note. The promissory note contains the terms of repayment, including the interest rate, penalties for late payments, and length of the loan.
People often refer to their home loan as their "mortgage," but a mortgage is a document between the buyer and the lender that creates the lien on the property to secure the loan. A mortgage involves two parties -- the borrower, called the mortgagor, and the lender, called the mortgagee.
Some states, including Arizona, use deeds of trust rather than mortgages. Like a mortgage, a deed of trust creates a lien on real property to secure a loan to the borrower. Deeds of trust involve three parties: the borrower, called the trustor; the lender, called the beneficiary; and an independent third-party who holds title to the property, called the trustee. A deed of trust gives the trustee the power of sale - that is, the trustee may sell the property by issuing a Notice of Trustee's Sale if the borrower defaults on the loan. In some cases, the beneficiary may elect instead to file an action in court to foreclose on the deed of trust. This is called judicial foreclosure.
Parties to Real Estate Litigation
Each real estate dispute is unique, and the parties involved will vary based on the details of the specific case. Potential parties include:
- Real Estate Agent
- Real Estate Broker
Real Estate Lawsuit Remedies and Relief
In a real estate lawsuit, the Plaintiff asks the court to grant them specific relief. The remedies available in real estate disputes vary based on the specifics of each unique case. Potential remedies include:
- Compensatory damages to compensate a party for harm suffered.
- Specific performance (where the other party is ordered to perform their obligations agreed to in the contract).
- Injunctive Relief (where the court orders a party to act or refrain from acting in a manner likely to result in irreparable harm).
- Punitive damages
- Attorneys' fees
Contact an Experienced Arizona Real Estate Litigation Attorney
If you are involved in a real estate dispute, call us today at (480) 771-3986 or contact us online. Who you choose to represent you MATTERS. Choose WISELY!