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Article Teaser: Owning a home is a big part of the American Dream. For many people, this will be their ultimate investment. Therefore, it is no wonder that homeowners do not blink twice when it comes to protecting their most valuable possession. These days, real estate litigation is to the property owner, what the mamma bear is to her cub.

Keep reading below...

Why Parties Engage in Real Estate Litigation

Copyright (c) 2007-2017

Owning a home is a big part of the American Dream. For many people, this will be their ultimate investment. Therefore, it is no wonder that homeowners do not blink twice when it comes to protecting their most valuable possession. These days, real estate litigation is to the property owner, what the mamma bear is to her cub.

Real estate litigation has become front and center in the news, thanks to a man named Donald Trump. When city officials from Palm Beach, Florida proclaimed that the American flag he was flying on his property violated zoning laws (among other things), he decided to sue them rather than take down his flag. Trump's lawsuit accuses the city of "selectively enforcing its ordinances" since flags in other parts of the city are also in violation. Trump stated in October, "The day you need a permit to put up the American flag, that will be a sad day for this country." The outcome of the lawsuit remains to be seen, but let's hope "The Donald" is right.

Trump is not alone in his frustration over seemingly petty issues involving real estate. A number of people found out the hard way that their neighborhood Homeowners Associations (HOAs) have some pretty ridiculous stipulations in their Covenants, Codes and Restrictions (CC&Rs). For instance, an elderly lady in Long Beach, California, who walked with a cane, racked up hundreds of dollars in fees for simply walking her cocker spaniel on a leash through her condominium's lobby. Apparently, the HOA rules stated that all dogs must be carried.

A California couple found themselves in real estate litigation because their HOA foreclosed on their home because they had failed to pay their HOA dues. One of them had fallen seriously ill and they had neglected to pay the $120 annual fee for the first time in 6 years. Instead of alerting the couple, the HOA gave them 30 days to vacate the premises. Luckily, a real estate litigation attorney stepped in to help them and managed to save their home.

Homeowners Associations are also notorious for not following their own rules. One Florida woman's HOA tried to have her removed from the community's swimming pool because she was wearing a thong bikini. They went so far as to call the police. However, there was nothing in the CC&Rs stating that thong bikinis could not be worn at the swimming pool. The police left without any incident. This is a classic case of abuse of authority. She is now suing her HOA for emotional distress as well as negligence of some of their own contractual obligations.

As further proof of the bullying tactics used by some HOAs, one newly formed HOA in Arizona tried to subject current lot owners in the subdivision to mandatory membership. However, through real estate litigation, the current homeowners in the neighborhood were able to prevent this from happening. It seems there were no recorded deed restrictions outlining this so-called required membership.

Conflicts with homeowners associations are not the only issues handled through real estate litigation, though. There are numerous, more serious situations in which this type of litigation comes into play. One such example has to do with boundary disputes between lot owners. Encroachment issues are usually discovered when a property changes hands or when fences are put up between houses. While no one likes the thought of beginning a legal battle with the neighbors next door, property lines do matter. Real estate litigation is a logical option in cases where there is an uncooperative party involved.

Also, title issues can be a very serious matter. Nothing can hinder a property exchange quicker than discovering an unrecorded deed or an outstanding lien on the property in question. Real estate litigation is often involved in clearing up what is sometimes called a "clouded" title.

Above are some of the most common reasons parties engage in real estate litigation. However, people can turn to this type of litigation for help in resolving almost any problem involving real estate. Buying a home or other property is a huge investment. Protecting this asset as much as possible only makes good financial sense. Sometimes a little legal help is all it takes to prevent the American Dream from turning into a personal nightmare.


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Written by: Austen Koberstein. The Law Offices of Joseph J. Nardulli serve business and corporate clients in Orange County and Southern California. They specialize in real estate litigation and business litigation. Learn about litigation or arbitration at www.JosephNardulli.com

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Internal ID: #4174
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Total Views: 2933

Article Rating: 3.71 of 5
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