Real Estate Litigation Lawyer

Real estate litigation cases often involve complex legal issues and can be filled with surprises. While many people are familiar with common disputes such as boundary issues and breach of contract, there are several lesser-known aspects of real estate litigation that deserve attention. Delve into five uncommon facts about real estate litigation cases below, highlighting the unique aspects and potential pitfalls that can arise in these disputes according to a real estate litigation lawyer with our friends at Eric Siegel Law.

The doctrine of merger can extinguish easements and other property rights.

The doctrine of merger is a legal principle that states that when the same person acquires both the dominant and servient tenements (the properties benefiting from and burdened by an easement), the easement ceases to exist. In real estate litigation cases, this doctrine can lead to unexpected outcomes when the ownership of two neighboring properties becomes consolidated. Easements, covenants, and other property rights may be extinguished, potentially impacting the value and marketability of the properties. This can get extremely confusing and is best handled by a lawyer.

The statute of frauds may invalidate oral real estate agreements.

The statute of frauds is a legal principle that requires certain types of contracts, including those involving the sale or transfer of real estate, to be in writing and signed by the parties to be enforceable. This rule is intended to prevent fraud and misunderstandings in real estate transactions. However, it can also lead to surprising results in real estate litigation cases when parties rely on oral agreements that are later deemed unenforceable. Oral agreements can be very tricky, so it is best to always get everything in writing to avoid this type of confusion. While there are some exceptions to the statute of frauds, such as part performance and estoppel, it is generally best to put all real estate agreements in writing to avoid potential disputes.

The Marketable Title Act can extinguish old property interests.

The Marketable Title Act is a state law that aims to simplify land titles and eliminate stale claims by extinguishing old property interests that have not been asserted for a specified period of time, typically 20 to 40 years. Under this law, interests such as old easements, covenants, and mineral rights may be extinguished if they are not properly preserved in the public record. In real estate litigation cases, the Marketable Title Act can lead to unexpected losses of property rights and can affect property values and development potential. If you worry this applies to your property, contact a lawyer for help.

Adjoining landowners may be held liable for nuisance and trespass.

In real estate litigation cases, adjoining landowners may be held liable for nuisance or trespass if their actions cause unreasonable interference with another property owner’s use and enjoyment of their land. Common examples include excessive noise, odors, or encroachments from structures or tree limbs. While these issues may seem trivial, they can lead to costly and contentious litigation if not promptly addressed and resolved. Especially today where disputes are often posted online as videos. If you start to have an issue with your neighbor, do not let it continue. Seek legal professional help to resolve the problem.

An action to quiet title can resolve uncertain ownership claims.

An action to quiet title is a legal proceeding used to establish the plaintiff’s ownership of a property and to resolve any competing claims or interests. These actions can be particularly useful in real estate litigation cases involving uncertain or disputed ownership, such as those arising from adverse possession, forgery, or inheritance disputes. While rare, these may also come into play with squatters. Although quiet title actions can be complex and time-consuming, they can provide a valuable remedy for property owners seeking to confirm their rights and eliminate potential challenges to their title. 

Real estate litigation cases can involve a wide range of unique and uncommon issues that can impact property rights, values, and marketability. By understanding these lesser-known aspects of real estate litigation, property owners, buyers, and sellers can better navigate the complexities of these disputes and protect their interests. Whether dealing with the doctrine of merger, the statute of frauds, the Marketable Title Act, nuisance and trespass issues, or quiet title actions, being aware of these uncommon facts can help parties avoid unexpected pitfalls and achieve favorable outcomes in their real estate litigation cases. If you are facing litigation, contact a lawyer near you for help.