Real Estate Litigation
Orange County Real Estate Litigation
The Law Offices of Tony T. Liu represents individuals and businesses in real estate disputes including legal actions for breach of real property contract, specific performance, quiet title, fraud, and partition.
Breach of Real Property Contract Attorney
When a buyer or seller of property refuses to close on a transaction the first issue is whether the contract was valid. Contracts involving real property should be in writing. Although, in some cases an unwritten contract may be enforceable; these exceptions are limited but may include instances where part of the contract was already performed.
However, even if a valid contract existed conditions can frustrate the enforcement of a contract. For example, purchases may be conditioned on one party receiving financing or approval for a land use. If a condition is understood by both buyer and seller to determine whether a transaction can continue and the condition fails to happen the contract will not be enforced.
Nevertheless, even if a condition failed or for some other reason a contract was not valid a party can still be entitled to what is known as quasi-contractual damages. For example, if one party provided the other with a benefit the other party could be forced to return the benefit conferred.
Assuming that a valid contract existed the remedy for a breach of real estate contract legal damages or specific performance.
Money Damages for Breach of Contract
Money damages in a successful breach of contract lawsuit are awarded to put the aggrieved party in the position they would have been had the contract been completed. The amount of damages are equal to the difference between the contract price and the market price at the time of the breach. Incidental expenses can also be recovered, such as the cost to prepare the sale documents or research the title. Other consequential damages can also be recovered, as long as the damages were foreseeable, reasonable, and certain.
Because land is unique specific performance may be granted to a wide variety of real estate disputes. Money damages may not be able to adequately compensate a buyer for a seller’s breach of contract. For this reason courts will allow the non-breaching party in real estate transactions to be awarded title to the property.
Fraud, Non-Disclosure, and Misrepresentation
False statements or failures to warn of material defects or material facts in real estate transactions can rescind (make void) a contract or entitle the aggrieved party to damages. Material facts are those that alter the value or desirability of property that are not known to the buyer and would not be discovered by the diligent search of the buyer. Half truths can also lead to a recession of contract if the speaker makes a statement that he knows if not qualified with further information.
When multiple individuals claim competing interests in land an action to quiet title can determine the rightful owner. An action to quiet title is an equitable action that becomes binding on all persons who were a party to the litigation.
When two or more individuals jointly own property an action for partition in sale or partition in kind can resolve management disputes. An action for partition does not create new title but rather divides the existing interests. A court will look to several factors to determine how much to give to each co-owner including the fractional share in the property, as well as expenditures made for the maintenance of the property.
Contact an Experienced Orange County Real Estate Litigation Attorney
To learn more about how to resolve real property contact disputes contact the real estate litigation experts at the Law Offices of Tony T. Liu. Call today at (714) 415-2007.