Real estate transactions don’t always go smoothly. There are several disputes that may occur when buying or selling both residential and commercial property. In fact, disputes during these transactions have become more common in recent years. The following will discuss the five most common disputes you may find yourself facing when you buy property in Florida. For many of these, you will need a Florida real estate attorney to help you come to a resolution.
#1: Contract Disputes
When you agree to purchase or sell real estate property, you will be required to sign a purchase contract. Contract disputes generally occur after the agreement has been signed by the sellers and prospective buyers, but prior to the completion of the real estate transaction.
In most cases, contract disputes occur due to of one of the following:
- Financial conflicts
- Failure to get a loan approval in a timely manner
- Any conflicts or ambiguities within the contract
- One party fails to commit to their contractual obligations
However, while these are the most common reasons a contract dispute may occur, they are not the only reasons for a breach of contract.
#2: Title Defects
Every piece of property you own comes with a title. Title defects happen when there is a defect in the condition of a title tied to the property that is being bought or sold. Basically, if there is a lien or encumbrance attached to the title, the property owner will be unable to sell the property until the lien has been removed.
Common title defects include:
- Tax Lien or Public Record Errors
- Mechanic’s Lien
- Unpaid Debts
- Wild Deeds
- Missing Heirs
In some cases, it can be difficult to resolve such defects. If you find yourself in this situation, consider hiring a reputable Florida real estate attorney.
#3: Boundary Disputes
Boundary disputes occur frequently when neighbors are unable to agree on a shared boundary line. This type of disagreement directly involves the rights to use land and legal ownership. Boundary disputes can be challenging to work through as you are feuding with your neighbor. Your attorney will be able to help you come to a peaceful resolution.
Boundary disputes often involve matters of:
- Civil Trespass
- Adverse Possession
- Quiet Title
- Declaration Relief
- Boundary by Acquiescence
Due to the emotional nature of this type of dispute, it is recommended that you reach out to an experienced real estate attorney.
#4: Failure to Disclose
Failure to disclose defects is one of the most common disputes that occur between buyers and sellers. This occurs when sellers fail to disclose defects or issues with the property that could not have been observed during the home inspection. By law, Florida requires sellers to disclose any material defects to the buyer that may not have been readily observable at the time of the inspection.
Some sellers will provide prospective buyers with a Seller’s Property Disclosure Form. This document will address any defects with the property being sold. If this is not a part of your process as a buyer, it is your job to ask the seller if there are any material defects that you should be made aware of. Should you buy a property in Florida that did not disclose defects, you may be able to file a claim against the seller. If you purchased a property in which defects were not disclosed, reach out to a Florida real estate attorney. Your attorney will help you determine whether or not you have a viable claim.
#5: Landlord & Tenant Disputes
When you purchase a home, you should verify whether or not the home is being used as a rental. If so, ask if anyone is living in the home. Should the property have a tenant, you’ll need to know if they will be forced to move prior to the sale of the home. If not you could be left dealing with evicting the tenant or squatter. This can be a difficult process so knowing these things in advance will help you decide whether or not you want to move forward with the purchase.
If you are purchasing a property that comes with tenants, be sure to do your due diligence. Verify what the existing lease payments are. Have the tenants been making those payments? Are there any late payments due? You should also confirm whether any deposits must be transferred when you close on the property.
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Helping clients with real estate, commercial real estate transactions, residential property purchases and sales, estate planning, and more! Skillful legal representation can simplify complex real estate transactions and solve problems that frustrate all parties involved. At the Estevez Law Group, P.A. our boutique real estate law firm and title agency assists clients with all types of residential and commercial property matters.
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