Real estate litigation is a multifaceted legal practice that encompasses several different areas of the law. Typically, it involves disputes between property buyers, sellers, or investors. While the process of real estate litigation may seem complicated and intimidating, it offers an essential means for resolving disputes and upholding legal rights in real estate matters.
Common Causes of Real Estate Litigation
Real estate litigation can arise due to numerous reasons, such as:
Non-Disclosure or Misrepresentation of Property Information
Whether non-disclosure is committed on the part of the real estate agent, buyer, or seller, a real estate lawyer can protect the interest of the client. This form of misrepresentation of property information can stop a transaction.
Breach of Contract
A Breach of Contract involves a misrepresentation or a change of mind on the part of either the buyer or seller during a real estate transaction. The terms of the Agreement of Purchase and Sale should highlight all details that, if not upheld, could make the entire process null and void.
Title Issues and Encumbrances
A common issue with real estate transactions is the dispute of title ownership and boundary lines. The wording of the documentation is important to protect the deal and any potential future issues. A real estate lawyer can help with this.
Property Damage or Defects
Property damage or defects hidden intentionally or unintentionally by the seller can jeopardize the real estate transactions. This can include, but is not limited to, leaking pipes, mould, poor roof shingles, or infestations.
Lease Agreement Violations
In terms of real estate leases, it is common to see agreement violations when the property changes hands. Any lease contract made before, during, or after the transaction has legal rights in regard to the ownership.
How a Real Estate Lawyer Can Help with Real Estate Litigation
Real estate lawyers who specialize in real estate law must possess a thorough understanding of all the legal aspects of real estate transactions, including provincial and federal laws, regulations, and codes. In addition, effective communication, negotiation, and advocacy skills are also essential for a real estate litigator, as they must represent clients in courtrooms, mediations, arbitrations, and negotiations.
Here’s how a real estate lawyer can help with real estate litigation.
- Expertise in Real Estate Laws and Regulations. Regulations and laws within the real estate world often change and can present disputes without the expertise of a real estate lawyer.
- Legal Guidance and Representation. Litigation involves legal documents, contracts, and signed agreements. To protect the investment and rights of a client, a real estate lawyer can explain the jargon and legal terms and conditions.
- Case Evaluation and Strategy Development. Preparing for real estate litigation requires the keen eye and intelligence that only a real estate lawyer can provide. Building a strong legal case with all valid details can help result in a positive outcome.
- Negotiation and Settlement Assistance. The negotiation process is a major part of real estate litigation. With the right real estate lawyer, all pertinent details and information can be used in the interested party’s favour. Any type of settlement agreement must also protect and cover the person’s interest.
- Advocacy in Court Proceedings. Legal support requires experience, knowledge, and an understanding of the litigation process. Having representation to protect your rights and interests is needed for property disputes and zoning problems.
The Real Estate Litigation Process
Before a real estate litigation process can begin, a real estate lawyer will need to perform an interview with the client to ensure the potential evidence has weight. Filing pleadings in a real estate case gives the interested parties an opportunity to explain their complaint or issue.
Part of the real estate lawyer’s responsibility to the client is to perform extensive research and comb through documents during the discovery process. This involves depositions, speaking to people with a vested interest in the property, and gathering evidence.
Before the court proceedings, there are often mediations, negotiations, and possible settlement discussions between the legal representation teams. Then, during the trial and/or appeal stage(s), each party has the chance to present their case regarding the aspects of the litigation.
Having legal representation helps to have a clear and precise case presented for a favorable outcome.
Tips to Avoid Real Estate Litigation
It’s important to remember that litigation can cost you time, money, and your reputation. Luckily, there are several things you can do to minimize the likelihood of a lawsuit.
Conduct Thorough Due Diligence
Due diligence refers to a thorough investigation of all details of the real estate transaction and its potential value. If all steps are taken to evaluate the agreements, real estate litigation may be avoided.
Review Contracts and Agreements Carefully
Real estate transactions involve contracts that serve as legally bonding documents to protect the rights of all parties. Because of this, reviewing agreements is crucial to ensure the wording, pricing, and information is accurate.
Communicate Clearly and Document Correspondence
As with any legal case or situation, it is crucial that every portion of a real estate transaction be properly documented in clear and concise correspondence. Both parties have the right and need to understand each step of the transaction and be apprised of all changes.
Resolve Disputes Amicably through Alternative Dispute Resolution
Dispute resolution refers to concrete options to have an amicable outcome without court proceedings. In Ontario, meditation between parties is mandatory in certain real estate cases. Negotiation and arbitration may also be used as an attempt for resolution.
Hire a Real Estate Lawyer
To help navigate the litigation process, consider hiring a reputable real estate lawyer. Choose a firm with extensive experience in handling real estate litigation cases. The right lawyer can ensure all legalities are adhered to while protecting your own rights and investment.
Contact Zinati Kay for a Real Estate Litigation Lawyer in Toronto
For a real estate litigation lawyer in Toronto, contact the expert team at Zinati Kay – Real Estate Lawyers. Over the past 25 years, we have concentrated our knowledge and expertise on helping clients with the buying and selling process, including real estate litigation. Call us today at (416) 321-8766 to book a consultation.