Whether a residential or commercial real estate transaction, there is a whole host of issues and disputes that may crop up. While no one wants to be involved in litigation involving their property, it just may be the only avenue of resolution.
Common Real Estate Disputes in Florida
Common real estate disputes include boundary disputes, encroachment, right of way, easements, foreclosure and adverse possession. Often, boundary disputes arise from improvements like erecting a fence, failure to obtain building permits, interference with property use or an improvement that violates a restrictive covenant. The two types of lawsuits related to boundary conflicts are continuing trespass and declaratory judgment. In a continuing trespass action, the court judge is asked to find your neighbor trespassing on your land and to remove the ejection. This type of lawsuit can also garner money damages when you can show that the trespass has lessened the value of your home. A declaratory judgment allows the court judge to make a determination of the dispute based on the law and deeds.
Defenses for boundary disputes include improper interpretation of the deed to the property, property use established a prescriptive easement allowing the neighbor to come across the property, passed statute of limitations and adverse possession. Adverse possession is the doctrine that allows a party who has used a portion of the property without the other owner’s objection for a statutorily dictated number of years. In Florida, this time period is seven years.
Commercial real estate litigation can arise from contract disputes in leases, sales agreements, construction defects and construction contracts. Our experienced team of real estate attorneys has successfully advocated for commercial clients in a wide range of commercial real estate litigation, including contract defaults, defense against ADA claims, fraud, quiet title actions, liability claims and default of lease provisions.
Alternative Methods for Real Estate Litigation
Just about any type of real estate dispute may be resolved through negotiations, mediation or arbitration. With mediation, a neutral third party is assigned to help the parties examine all aspects of the dispute and come to a mutual agreement. The arbitration approach is more formal and takes place before an arbitrator who listens to both sides and renders a decision. Unlike mediation, the decision is legally binding. When the real estate dispute entails complex issues of property rights and legality or entails some type of criminal conduct, the legal process of litigation is more appropriate.
As skilled real estate litigators, our attorneys ensure that the proper legal steps are taken to protect the rights and interests of individuals and companies. I have successfully represented investors, developers, appraisers, construction companies, buyers and sellers in both simple and complex residential and commercial real estate litigation. Let our experience and in-depth knowledge of Florida real estate law work for you.