Most people are familiar with lawyers who handle criminal cases or family law cases with divorce and custody issues. But there are many lawyers who handle cases beyond those two areas of law.
In fact, the area of real estate law covers a wide array of real estate-related issues, some big and some minor.
Are you facing a real estate issue or just wondering what a real estate lawyer actually does? Read on to learn more about the different real estate-related issues they address.
One of the biggest areas in real estate law is the handling of property disputes. Understanding property laws is key to addressing conflicts that arise between property owners.
Examples of property disputes might include:
- Title issues (more on this later)
- Insurance disputes
- Breaches of contract
- Property fraud
- Border conflicts
Some property disputes can be minor and it’s just necessary to have a real estate lawyer who knows the laws and how to fix the problem. This might include conflict over where a fence is placed or landscaping issues and who’s responsible. Other disputes are more significant that might include building on another’s land or even a fraudulent real estate sale.
Real Estate Disputes
Resolving real estate issues and disputes is another role of the real estate lawyer.
Real estate disputes can arise when a piece of property is being bought or sold. The dispute can arise when family members are selling property where they may have a joint interest in the property. Titles can also carry a handful of potential issues. This is why you and your lender will get title insurance. Perhaps the title ends up connected to an unknown family member, or there is a previous lien on a title.
These are all issues a real estate lawyer would know how to unravel.
Another common issue for a real estate lawyer to address is boundary disputes between pieces of property.
Boundary disputes can arise between neighbors arguing over property lines.
When developers buy a piece of land, neighbors may want to dispute boundary lines of the development.
A real estate lawyer can get involved and start to research the property. Search the titles of the properties to get a clear picture of the boundaries for the involved parties.
Business Real Estate and Zoning Issues
The areas of business law and real estate law will often overlap when property is involved. Buying property for businesses is a large commitment on the part of the business and one where they need their legal interests protected.
A business would need to abide by state and local ordinances for their business property that a real estate lawyer can help with.
Sometimes a business will run into zoning issues, too. This is not uncommon if their business is building on land or even expanding their business. A business might have to go in front of a local zoning commission and would want to have a real estate lawyer there to speak on their behalf.
There are a number of legal documents related to real estate that a lawyer could help draft.
These documents might include:
- Lease agreements
- Purchase agreements
- Sales agreements
- Title paperwork
- Closing paperwork
Any contract related to real estate should be written and evaluated by a real estate lawyer before you ever sign it. You want the real estate lawyer to evaluate the wording and make sure your interests are protected.
Lease, Rental Agreements, and Evictions
There are a number of reasons why you would need a real estate lawyer if you plan to be a real estate investor, landlord, or property manager for a property you own.
If you plan to allow others to live in a property you own, you want a solid lease agreement that spells out your expectations for your renters. Rental agreements have to be written so they abide by local and state laws.
You don’t want to be accused of being a landlord who doesn’t follow real estate law for tenants.
If it’s necessary to evict a tenant, you want a real estate lawyer involved. You’ll need to be certain you’re following the steps to legally evict an unwanted tenant.
Buying and Selling a Home
Buying or selling a home often means you need the services of a real estate lawyer. Many states require an attorney to be present at a home sale closing.
Even if your state doesn’t require this, it’s smart to have a real estate lawyer evaluate the purchase agreement and sales contracts before signing anything.
If you sell without the services of a realtor, you will need a real estate lawyer to handle all the paperwork associated with a property sale.
If you’re facing foreclosure, you may want to seek the help of a real estate lawyer. Now you might be thinking the last thing you need to do is spend money on an attorney.
The truth is that you can’t afford to not get the help of a real estate attorney. The attorney may be able to help negotiate you out of foreclosure.
At a bare minimum, your interests would be protected and you could make sure the lender who’s foreclosing is following the laws that are intended to protect you.
Property Tax Law
Real estate lawyers can also help with tax law issues. You might get a shock from a tax bill on your property, for example.
A real estate lawyer can help to handle an appeal involving your property taxes.
Understand How a Real Estate Lawyer Can Help With Your Real Estate Law Issues
The area of real estate law covers a wide range of issues related to real estate. If you own property or plan to buy real estate, you want the services of a real estate attorney.
If you’re facing a real estate dispute, we can help. Contact us today so we can get started helping you with your real estate issue.