Real Estate Litigation Attorneys Representing Clients in the Greater Orlando Area
Our attorneys work with land owners, investors, brokers, businesses and developers, purchasers, sellers to resolve all manner of real estate disputes before they need to be litigated in court.
Most real estate transactions are successfully concluded without any major issues. But, disputes do occur. Most disputes are minor in nature and are easily resolved before they morph into a lawsuit, and without the need for litigation.
However, not all disputes are simple or minor in scope. More complex disputes or those involving larger sums of money are not so easy to resolve amicably and more often than not end up being litigated in court.
Are you involved in a real estate dispute? Being threatened with a lawsuit? We can help! To learn more about how we resolve disputes and handle real estate litigation, give us a call (407) 259-2426 or Schedule a Consultation
Common Real Estate Litigation Matters Our Attorneys Handle
Whether you are purchasing, selling or leasing residential or commercial property a dispute can arise for any number of reasons and involve a wide variety of legal issues. No one wants to be forced to go to court to resolve a disagreement. But, sometimes a dispute simply can’t be amicably resolved; making it necessary to go to court. Real estate litigation can be complex. If you find yourself in a dispute over real property don’t go it alone. You need to get an attorney who is both an experienced litigator, and experienced with Florida real estate law, involved as early as possible.
With nearly 100 years of combined experience the attorneys at Walsh Banks Law can handle nearly any type of real estate litigation matter; including, but not limited to, disputes concerning:
- Breach of Purchase or Sale Agreement
- Failure to Disclose Latent Defects
- Breach of commercial leases
- Commercial landlord-tenant Disputes
- Commercial and Retail Evictions
- Title Disputes / Quiet Title Actions
- Title insurance claims/title disputes
- Property development disputes
- Investment partnership & LLC disputes
- Misrepresentations related to purchase or sale
- Easements and adverse possession disputes
- Negligent design, planning or construction
- Insurance disputes
- Property development disputes
- Mechanics and materialmen’s liens
- Lis Pendens
- Foreclosure representation
- Commercial real estate disputes
- Injunctions / Injunctive relief
- Other litigation involving real property
Common Residential Real Estate Disputes and Lawsuits
Even a “simple” residential transaction involves hundreds of thousands of dollars. Florida law has several legal protections in place for residential buyers. However, often there are factual disputes about what a buyer actually knew about a piece of property or what a seller actually communicated about potential issues or defects on the property.
A real estate litigation lawyer helps protect their client’s interests and works to persuade the court to rule in their client’s favor. Most disputes that end up in court deal with alleged breaches of the purchase or sales agreement, failures to disclose latent defects, or misrepresentations by seller.
Breach of Purchase or Sale Agreement – A purchase or sales agreement is a contract. Florida law requires contracts dealing with real estate to be in writing. Residential transactions are required to meet several specific guidelines. When one side of the agreement fails to meet all of their obligations, they are considered to be in breach of contract. This gives the other side the right to file a lawsuit to ask a court to order the other side to make them whole. In real estate cases, remedies for the breach of a purchase or sales agreement are not limited to monetary damages. Because each piece of real estate is unique and sometimes money damages are not adequate to make the injured party whole, specific performance is often ordered.
Failure to Disclose Latent Defects – When it comes to residential property the law places the responsibility on the seller to inform the buyer of certain defects. If a latent defect is later discovered by the buyer, even after the transaction has been completed, they may still have the right to sue the seller for failure to disclose the latent defect. Some examples of latent defects include lead paint, presence of radon in unacceptable levels, foundation instabilities, and leaks in the ceiling or roof.
Misrepresentations – Misrepresentations are statements of facts that are false, and that the maker of the statements knew were false, or reasonably should have known they were false. When one party to a transaction makes a misrepresentation and that misrepresentation is relied on as part of the transaction it gives the party who was hurt by the misrepresentation the right to file a lawsuit. Sometimes misrepresentations are related to latent defects. However, a material misrepresentation about any term of the sales or purchase agreement can give rise to litigation as well.
Common Commercial Real Estate Disputes and Lawsuits
Commercial real estate often involves much higher stakes than residential. The law also provides far fewer protections for commercial buyers. The expectation is that both sides of a “commercial” transaction will have the resources to conduct their own due diligence. Everything from the purchase or sales agreement to the financing of the transaction is more detailed and complicated than what you find in a residential transaction. It’s more like buying a business than a simple property transaction.
Breach of Purchase or Sale Agreement – While there are fewer legal standards when it comes to commercial transactions, Florida law still requires that all contracts relating to real estate, even commercial, be in writing. Often with commercial property transactions there will be a formal letter of intent to buy issued before a final purchase or sales agreement is drafted. These are all formal contracts outlining the specifics of the transaction. Avoid unnecessary disputes and litigation. Get these contracts and agreements reviewed before signing so that you understand the full scope of the deal. If you fail to meet your responsibilities you could be found in breach of the contract. Breaches of the purchase or sales agreement can happen in a variety of different ways. It can be something as simple as failure to secure financing to something as complicated as a failure to make the property free from environmental hazards. Due to the amount of money involved these types of disputes often wind up in court.
Commercial Landlord-Tenant Issues – One common source of commercial real estate litigation is landlord-tenant issues. Often, the contracts that govern the rental of commercial property are complicated and give both parties many different duties. Landlords and tenants may have disputes about the amount of rent due, payment of other fees, the proper formula for rent increases, who pays for repairs, and the suitability of the space for the intended purpose. Commercial tenants have almost none of the protections that the law affords residential tenants. Because of this, commercial landlord-tenant issues often end up the subject of complex litigation. Many landlord-tenant disputes can be avoided by having a lawyer negotiate the lease for you or by getting the commercial lease, provided by the landlord, reviewed before signing. That way you know what your rights and obligations are as outlined in the lease.
Commercial and Retail Evictions – The ultimate remedy for a commercial landlord is to evict a commercial or retail tenant. Eviction is a legal process. In commercial real estate the terms of an eviction are typically governed by the lease agreement. Commercial and retail tenants do not have to accept a landlord’s attempt to evict them. They are able to fight the attempted eviction in court and to make their claim that they are not in default and that the landlord’s attempt at an eviction is unlawful. We represent both landlords and tenants in eviction proceedings. We also represent lenders involved in both foreclosure and post foreclosure eviction matters.
Negligent Design, Planning, or Construction – Often part of buying or leasing a commercial property involves the building or modifying of structures on the property. If there is an issue with the way the structure is designed, planned, or built the buyer or tenant may need to turn to litigation to recover damages or force the seller or landlord to fix the defects. Construction litigation cases require expert testimony, inspections, and extensive documentation.
Most legal disputes related to commercial transactions can be avoided by working with a real estate transaction attorney when you are negotiating a commercial lease, or purchasing a property. At a minimum you should get the commercial lease reviewed prior to signing or have all the purchase contracts reviewed before the settlement / closing.
Disputes Involving Real Estate Investors and Developers
Real estate deals often involve more parties than just buyers and sellers. They also often involve investors, developers, and lenders. Each of these parties has different interests and needs. Because these deals are often complicated, involve multiple parties, and are worth millions of dollars it is critical that every detail of the deal be properly reviewed and documented. When there is a problem with a transaction it frequently ends up in litigation because the parties need to protect their rights and they need finality to the dispute.
Property Development Disputes – Property development is often contentious. Owners of adjacent properties may want to use litigation to try and stop a development project. Sometimes disputes arise between developers and contractors, developers and lenders, and developers and buyers. Real estate litigation lawyers need to aggressively represent their client’s interests throughout the litigation process.
Partnerships and LLC Disputes Relating to Real Estate – Because investors often use complex business structures for their investment holdings, there are often disputes between different entities such as partnerships and LLCs. These different entities are often each controlled by different investors. The types of disputes that often result in litigation involve everything from landlord-tenant issues to the terms of the purchase agreement to how the profits from the real estate should be distributed.
Business Litigation Relating to Real Estate -Often real property is tied up with other business matters. Our litigation attorneys also handle business disputes that in some way relate to real estate. This includes cases involving complex commercial finance arrangements that leverage real property as collateral and ownership disputes between different legal entities.
Title Disputes & Insurance
No one wants to buy property and then find out later on a third party has a legal claim on that property. Having clear title, verifying the chain of title is clear of any encumbrances is critical. Title defects can range from construction and mechanics liens to defects in the chain of ownership or restrictive covenants. Essentially, a title is a dispute, or legal claim that has been registered against the property. When a title has encumbrances it is said to be “clouded.” Some, encumbrances can often be cleared at the property closing. For instance, a construction lien, a tax lien, or HOA lien can be cleared at closing when the transaction is funded. However, some liens have to be cleared prior to closing. For, instance a lien whose validity is disputed.
Quiet Title Actions– Sometimes a thorough title search will uncover different defects in the title. These defects may be the result of carelessness or errors. They may also be the result of long forgotten disputes. However, these title defects can harm the value of a piece of property, make it difficult to obtain insurance, or keep an owner from using the property as they wish. Real estate litigation attorneys may bring a quiet title action that will settle all of the title issues once and for all. The end result of this type of litigation is clean title free from unresolved defects.
Title Insurance Claims and Disputes – When people buy residential or commercial real estate they often also buy title insurance. If sometime after the purchase of the property has been completed there arises a claim relating to the title of the property, the title insurance company under the insurance policy is responsible for covering litigation costs and any damages up to a certain limit.
We represent both title companies and property owners in title insurance claims and disputes.
Working With Walsh Banks Law
Walsh Banks has a team of expert real estate litigation attorneys who are ready to aggressively represent your interests. We have a successful track record of representing clients in real estate disputes in state and federal court. Our attorneys have the knowledge and expertise to handle residential, commercial, developer, investor, and creditor related disputes.
Our firm uses our knowledge of real estate law and litigation experience to give you every advantage possible. While we work hard to resolve a case on favorable terms, wheen possible, we are prepared to take a case all the way to trial when that is in our client’s best interest.