Commercial Real Estate Disputes Attorney in Southern California

According to the Small Business Administration, 30 to 50 percent of small businesses are involved in some form of litigation annually. Many of the commercial real estate dispute cases that my law firm takes on involve a breach of contract, co-owner disagreement, fraud, property defects, mechanic’s liens, or a construction dispute.

If you have a real estate dispute and you need legal representation, then contact Martinez Law Office, Inc. Let my law firm review your case, discuss your legal options, and represent you as you move forward with your case. Call me today to schedule a case review from a real estate lawyer in Santa Ana, California.

Common Causes of Disputes

Although commercial real estate disputes can cover a wide range of topics, some of the more common causes include:

Breach of Contract

The terms of a real estate contract may include details such as assets, closing date, or title clearance. If one party breaches any of the terms of the contract, the other party has a right to file a lawsuit and receive compensation for any financial or personal losses that were incurred. 

Co-Owner Disagreements

Co-owner real estate disputes can arise for multiple reasons. One owner may fail to pay their share of the rent, mortgage, or operating expenses. Both owners may disagree over property management issues. Other problems may include what to do with the property in the future, such as holding, selling, or upgrading the property.

Fraud

Real estate fraud schemes are more common than you may think. However, they often go unreported because the victim is too embarrassed to report the incident or they don’t know who to turn to. Schemes may include escrow wire fraud, loan flipping, foreclosure relief, or rental scams.

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Mechanic’s Liens and Stop Notices

A mechanic’s lien is a guarantee that a builder or contractor is paid for services. They are necessary to secure all aspects of a building project, including payment to all building personnel. If the company doesn’t receive payment, they have a right to stop the building project.

Property Defects

Before selling property, the seller is obligated to disclose any known or non-evident defects. These are defects that either affect the property value or create an unsafe environment for occupants. If the buyer discovers defects after closing, they may be able to make a legal claim against the seller.

Construction Issues

Construction disputes often arise because contractors and their clients are not on the same page with various aspects of the project. Common construction issues include errors, omissions, claims errors, site conditions, or one or both parties failing to meet contractual terms.

Important Agreement Clauses That
May Be Considered in a Dispute

Commercial lease disputes may happen because one or both parties do not fully understand the meaning or application of important provisions of the agreement. Likewise, an agreement may have been drafted without key clauses or using ambiguous language which creates problems down the road. Some of the clauses that are often analyzed in commercial real estate disputes include: 

  • Parties involved in the lease (such as Landlord/Tenant)
  • The premises or property (what areas are part of the agreement)
  • How the rented space will be used and areas of exclusivity
  • Use restrictions
  • Alteration guidelines and restrictions
  • Maintenance duties of the tenant

Resolving Disputes

There are three ways to resolve a real estate dispute:

1. Mediation

Mediation is a form of conflict resolution in which both parties in a dispute work with a mediator to come to an agreement. The mediator is a qualified, objective third-party who has no vested interest in the dispute. The mediator should have experience with construction, rental properties, or real estate litigation cases.

During mediation, the mediator does not have the power to decide the outcome of the dispute. Their role is to facilitate all correspondence between parties. Mediation is the fastest and least expensive way to resolve a conflict. Both sides have the opportunity to come up with a resolution that is equitable and fair.

2. Arbitration

During arbitration, both parties agree that one or more individuals have the authority to make decisions about a dispute after gathering evidence and hearing both sides of the argument. Arbitration is more formal than mediation but less formal than a traditional trial. As such, it can be resolved quickly.

Arbitration can either be binding or nonbinding, depending on the circumstances of the case. If arbitration is binding, the arbiter’s decision is final and legally binding. If arbitration is non-binding, the arbiter acts more as an advisory. The decision is only final if both parties agree to it.

3. Litigation

A third option for resolving real estate disputes is litigation. During litigation, one or both parties may be required to appear before a judge or jury who will decide the outcome of the lawsuit. The court’s decision is final and must be followed by both parties. Litigation may become necessary if one or both parties cannot settle a dispute.

Litigation ensures that the dispute is resolved one way or another. There is a risk that comes with litigation in that one party may not be satisfied with the decision. Litigation can also go public, hurting the reputation of either the plaintiff or the defendant.

Get Help from a Real Estate Lawyer in Santa Ana, CA

If you need legal representation in a real estate dispute, then contact Martinez Law Office. As both a transactional attorney and a litigation attorney, I provide a wide range of legal services in all types of real estate cases. Contact me today and schedule a case assessment from a real estate lawyer in Santa Ana, California. I represent clients throughout Orange, Los Angeles, and San Diego Counties.