There are many different issues that may lead to real estate litigation for both businesses and individuals. Sometimes developers run into difficulties with land sellers over purchase and sale agreements. When dealing with municipalities, a builder may have challenges over zoning and entitlements. Contractors sometimes find themselves in a dispute over construction bidding, cost overruns, or construction defects and delays. For lenders, litigation may stem from disagreements with borrowers over loan commitments, loan defaults, and related debt and collateral recovery. Landlords may find themselves in litigation with residential or commercial tenants over unpaid rent, repair and restoration obligations, and rights of first refusal. Property owners may also have disputes over the purchase and sale of real property, escrow deposits, failure to disclose defects, encroachments into your property, or damage caused to your property. 

While the attorneys at Apfelbaum Law are happy to handle many different kinds of real estate litigation matters, here are some common situations clients often ask us about:

Contract Disputes

Contract disputes are a very common reason why clients first seek the help of a real estate litigation attorney. Contracts are used to establish the terms, conditions, and remedies that are available to the parties in real estate transactions. Often a well-written contract can prevent problems later on. However, sometimes even with a properly-worded contract, you may run into difficulties—especially if the other party doesn’t feel like holding up their end of the bargain. If this happens though, you will be glad to have enlisted the help of an experienced real estate attorney in crafting your contract. Aside from properly wording contracts so they hold up in court, our real estate litigation attorneys will also help you negotiate with other parties and go through the litigation process. 

Landlord/Tenant Litigation – Commercial and Residential Properties

Landlords and tenants may have disputes over residential or commercial leases, breaking or terminating leases, evictions, and property damage claims. There are many state laws that govern how a landlord or tenant may terminate a lease, evict a tenant, or file a property damage claim, and an experienced real estate litigation attorney can help you navigate through them.

Escrow Deposit Disputes

Sometimes, clients run into problems when they are close to the end of their buying or selling journey. They may believe they have a legal claim to an earnest money deposit due to breach of contract. In other cases, they may have a claim for wrongdoing involving an escrow account in a Florida real estate transaction. It can be frustrating to encounter this kind of problem when you are so close to buying or selling a property, but our real estate litigation lawyers can help you work out these challenges.

Construction Defect Disputes

Construction defect claims have statutory, complex pre-requisites that must be satisfied before litigation can begin. A construction defect is generally defined as a flaw in designs, material, or workmanship that results in the failure of at least one component of a structure. Common construction defects are facade leaks, faulty windows, roof problems, defective floors, cracks in concrete, and hot and cold spots. However, other defects may also occur. Your Florida real estate litigation lawyer can help you figure out if you have cause for a claim, and how to proceed.

Property Insurance Claims

Insurance policies are designed to help individuals or organizations protect both their property and/or their business. Unfortunately, sometimes clients need to challenge insurance claims that have been denied in “bad faith,” or in violation of the terms and conditions of the policy. 

Quiet Title Litigation

The purpose of a quiet title action is to stop previous owners, or mortgage and lien holders, from asserting any interest in real property. Generally, it is used to solve problems with property titles and have a court determine ownership rights. 

Partition of Real Property

A partition action lets people or entities who own property jointly to separate their interests and take their individual share of the property. These actions can be useful when co-owners have very different ideas on whether to sell, keep, or divide the property, and/or agreements cannot be reached as to those matters.

Ejectment

If you have someone living in your property without a rental or landlord/tenant agreement, getting those people out of your property may not be subject to the Florida landlord-tenant statutes.  There are proceedings in place to seek the removal of those individuals from your property. Likewise, if there are issues with a neighbor’s property intruding into your own property (for example, a face built within your property’s boundaries), an action for ejectment may also assist with redressing those property line disputes or intrusions. 

If you need assistance with your real estate litigation, or have questions about any potential legal matter, please contact Apfelbaum Law for a consultation. We have offices in Port St. Lucie and Stuart, but provide legal services throughout the Treasure Coast and Florida.