Real Estate Litigations
From purchasing, selling and leasing to complex disputes, we have your real estate legal needs covered. Whether you’re a first-time homeowner or an experienced real estate professional, we will not only protect your assets, but we’ll also help it thrive. We’re on the pulse of modern real estate litigation and transactions and have monitored its evolution to inform our own legal approaches—all to give you exceptional advice that will last for years to come.
Real Estate Litigation
The practice of commercial real estate litigation concerns income-producing real estate properties and projects of a wide variety, including office buildings, retail centers, apartment buildings and condominium developments, hotels, and industrial and specialty properties. Litigation can arise in any aspect of these projects from acquisition and financing to development and construction to management and leasing. The disputes can be as varied as the parties and the projects themselves. Real estate litigation is a tool used by–and against–real estate agents and brokers, buyers and sellers, and landlords and tenants in order to pursue legal rights and redress perceived or experienced wrongs. The three most common issues that lead to the need for Real Estate Litigation: breach of contract, failure to disclose property defects, and negligence/breach of duty.
Types of disputes
A breach of contract is one of the most common reasons why people go to court in the real estate world. In a real estate transaction, the terms of the contract may include specific details related to title clearance, closing date, assets included in the transaction, and more. In a lawsuit that claims breach of contract, the wronged party–or the plaintiff–must prove that they have fulfilled their contractual obligations while the other party–called the defendant–has not. If successful, the plaintiff is entitled to compensation for any losses that they may have suffered as a result of the breach of contract. In order to avoid breaking any provisions of a contract inadvertently, it is usually advisable to have an experienced real estate attorney review the agreement and provide an explanation of any of its clauses if necessary
In real estate sales in New York, the seller is obligated by law to disclose any non-evident and known defects that may affect the value of the property. If a buyer discovers a previously undisclosed defect after the closing, he or she may initiate legal action against the seller claiming a failure to disclose. In order for such a lawsuit to be successful, however, the plaintiff must prove that the defect was known to the defendant – or reasonably should have been known – and it was purposefully concealed.
Negligence or breach of duty is one of the most common reasons why a real estate agent may get sued. Agents and realtors are legally obliged to act in the best interest of their clients and not in the interest of a salesperson or a third-party. Additionally, they must keep sensitive information about their client – such as any financial details – strictly confidential. At the same time, they have a duty to disclose any information that may be beneficial to the client. An agent must perform all the services to the best of his or her knowledge and abilities. Showing negligence in any of these matters can result in disadvantageous outcomes or losses for a real estate agent’s clients and may warrant a lawsuit.
For developers, litigation can arise with land sellers over purchase and sale agreements; with municipalities over zoning and entitlements; and with contractors over construction bidding, cost overruns, and construction defects and delays. For lenders, litigation can arise with borrowers over loan commitments, loan defaults and associated debt, and collateral recovery; with junior and mezzanine lenders over subordination obligations; and with mechanic lienors over priority rights to the real property and loan proceeds. For property owners, disputes can arise with retail and commercial tenants over unpaid rent, repair and restoration obligations, and rights of first refusal.
How we can help
Disputes regularly arise out of the often-complicated and interrelated contracts of the various parties with interests in the property, and tort claims of various kinds may be asserted, from broad common law claims, such as fraud and tortious interference, to more real estate-specific claims, such as trespass, encroachment, and nuisance. Equitable considerations are often present because of the unique nature of real property rights. Special insurance rights, such as title and builder’s risk policies, may be implicated.
Top-tier lawyers in Real Estate Litigation should have a comprehensive understanding of the contractual relations, business goals, and equitable and tort concepts attendant to the entire project. Shiryak, Bowman, Anderson, Gill & Kadochnikov LLP have just that: with decades worth of experience under our belt, we make sure to enter each and every litigation process with diligence, precision, and efficiency.