What Types Of Real Estate Property Litigation Does Your Firm Handle?
Any and all. I’ve done residential and commercial. I do eminent domain cases, HOA and condo which is also kind of a separate animal but it is also related to real estate. So, anything, from the sale and purchase of real estate to litigation like I said, of deposits. If a transaction falls apart, I’ve handled litigation after where one side says that the other did not disclose; the seller did not disclose certain defects of the property when they are required to, whether everything is as per the contract or not. I’ve handled commercial litigation where a party will say that certain items that would affect my ability of building commercial or industrial facility or building was not disclosed and then there are other sides that say you owe us this money because the reason you backed out of this contract was you didn’t do your due diligence and you were supposed to do your due diligence and that’s not our problem now.
If there is a contingency on something based upon certain facts being found out and when they are found out, a party backs out and that’s fine but sometimes a party will back out and say you didn’t tell us X, Y and Z. I may have been the party that’s backing out and it may have been their obligation to find out X, Y and Z as per the contract. So, a lot of those are handled in alternative dispute resolution scenarios. So there is mediation or arbitration depending on what the contract says. A lot of commercial ones have arbitration clauses in them and a lot of residentials have mediation clauses in them as well. So you have to participate in those. Some are binding, some aren’t, which means that if they are binding this decision is over and you can’t bring it to court. If it’s non-binding, then you have so many days where you can go ahead and file even if you were the losing party in the arbitration.
In mediation, there really is not a losing party because you just came to an impasse. You tried to work it out and you couldn’t. If it goes to litigation, I’ve prosecuted those cases civilly on behalf of plaintiffs and handled those all the way through to trial and that is the bulk of my litigation work as in real estate whether it’s commercial, residential or community association related.
What Is An Ejectment Action?
An ejectment action is where an owner of a property is trying to divest another party from possession or possessory rights of the building. A lot of times people will use the term interchangeably with eviction but they are not interchangeable. An eviction is when there is a landlord/tenant relationship. Whether that’s in writing or whether it’s oral, it just kind of depends on whether or not a judge, typically, it’s a judge. In some instances, it could be a jury, decides on whether or not there is a landlord/tenant relationship but most of the time, both parties agree that there either was or was not a landlord-tenant relationship. But if there is not a landlord-tenant relationship and there is a party to that who is not an owner and not considered to be a tenant but has possession of the residence or the building and the owner would like to either take back possession or to divest possession of the person that has possession even though they are not a tenant technically, then you have to file an ejectment action.
Those are rare but they do occur and I have had to litigate those before. Sometimes what happens is that you have a lease with an option to buy and what happens is that the tenancy portion has expired and they are not even treated as a holdover tenant which happens sometimes after the terms of the initial written lease expire but you are still considered to be a tenant and you are in the portion where you are supposed to perform certain obligations while you are possessing the property, to purchase the property and you don’t do it so technically, that person would not be a tenant or a holdover tenant but they haven’t complied with certain requirements to purchase the property and so they can be ejected as opposed to evicted. So that’s basically the difference.
An eviction is where you have a landlord and a tenant relationship and so you take possession back or you take possession away from the tenant and in an ejectment, there is no landlord or tenant relationship but a party other than the owner has possession of the property and the owner wants to divest them of that possession and take possession back.
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