Legal disputes involving real estate are common. Mediation or arbitration can be useful for resolving the issues. Still, it is sometimes necessary to litigate to seek damages or protect a buyer or seller, real estate agents or brokers, landlords or tenants, construction companies or contractors. The one thing that these disputes have in common is that they involve real property and the protection of legal rights and the damages for a perceived wrong.
Three common causes
Idaho typically has the power to determine property issues within its jurisdiction, but there are federal laws that may take precedence. Three common areas of dispute are:
- Breach of contract: This can involve a subcontractor not fulfilling an agreement, a misrepresentation of the property involved in the transactions, or other violations of the contract. Generally speaking, the plaintiff must argue that they honored their end of the deal while the defendant did not. This causes damages, which the plaintiff seeks as financial compensation for the defendant not honoring their agreement. Instead of receiving damages, the plaintiff may seek a ruling by a judge to enforce the contract and direct the defendant to fulfill their obligation.
- Failure to disclose property defects: The buyer of a house or building may discover that there is a severe defect that the seller knew about (or reasonably should have known about) but purposely did not disclose.
- Negligence or breach of duty: This is often used against real estate agents or brokers if the plaintiff believes the defendant was not adequately fulfilling their responsibilities to a former client/plaintiff. This can involve revealing sensitive financial information, or other data that leads to a less advantageous outcome of a transaction such as selling for under the market value.
Little happens in real estate without a contract
Considering the amount of money involved in real estate deals, it should come as no surprise that contracts are drafted. What is surprising to some, however, is how often these contracts are not honored. A knowledgeable attorney with real estate law experience is often a tremendous asset, particularly when litigation is likely.