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Real Estate Dispute Resolution

Real Estate Dispute Resolution

What are Real Estate Disputes?

Almost any commercial or residential real estate transaction may involve issues leading to a dispute.

Common real estate disputes include title defects and failure to disclose construction defects, prior property damage, boundary contests, and tenant-related issues.

Title defects are a problem with the title condition for specific real estate. Certain legal restraints can prevent the owner from transferring the title to a third party. For example, public record errors or unpaid debts can cause a real estate dispute, especially if not disclosed before the transaction.

Furthermore, failure to disclose title and material defects, whether construction or prior damage related, inevitably lead to a real estate dispute. Sellers are responsible for providing marketable title, and property free from material defects not visible during the inspection. In Florida, sellers must provide the buyers with a Seller’s Property Disclosure form, addressing seller’s known issues with the real estate. Failing to do so may give the buyer the right to pursue a claim against the seller.

Boundary disputes between neighbors are a frequent reason for a dispute. That is especially true when the new owner buys the property. The disagreement over the precise location of the dividing line between the neighboring real estate may occur, causing a real estate dispute. 

Knowing if tenants reside in the property when purchasing real estate is crucial. Buying a property occupied by tenants may lead to eviction litigation concerning whether the tenant’s possession can be terminated legally.

Resolving Real Estate Disputes in Mediation

Resolving real estate disputes in court litigation can be a burdensome task. Many real estate disputes are emotional and stressful, especially those involving neighbors and tenants. The adversarial nature of litigation can further deepen the conflict, making things only worse. Apart from that, litigation is a years-long process that causes significant expenses. Attorney fees and court filing costs add up, leading to a costly and ineffective procedure. 

Mediation is an alternative dispute resolution process that offers a neutral and confidential approach to real estate conflicts.

The mediator enables the parties to reconcile and settle in the informal and flexible process. The Mediation process typically consists of a Mediator’s introduction, attorneys’ opening statements in a joint session, and attorneys and parties in separate, private sessions with the Mediator. After a brief introduction, the mediator presents his or her qualifications and explains the procedure to the parties. In private sessions, parties talk with the mediator in separate rooms. The mediator goes back and forth between the private rooms, assisting parties to understand the strengths and weaknesses of their case; discussing their settlement options; and aiding in resolution of the controversy.  During Mediation, the Mediator may meet separately with attorneys to help fashion a settlement.  The mediator facilitates the negotiations between the parties with the goal of settling the dispute and avoiding additional litigation.

As a neutral third person, the mediator is often a retired judge or another professional with expertise in real estate. Chosen voluntarily by the parties, the mediator cannot issue a binding decision resolving the dispute, unlike an appointed judge.

The parties to a real estate dispute do not have to worry about privacy. The Mediation is a confidential process, preventing the mediator form disclosing anything discussed during the process. Furthermore, the parties cannot use the information acquired in Mediation during existing or potential future litigation.

The goal of Mediation is to enable the parties to negotiate the disputed matter through peaceful and non-adversarial communication, namely litigation.

Mediation typically ends in a day. Consequently, the costs are comparably lower than using conventional dispute resolution methods. 

A successful Mediation leads to a settlement. The parties sign a binding agreement enforceable in court. 

Reach Out To Us Today

Successfully dealing with the most complicated real estate disputes is a no-brainer for Joseph P. Farina. As a retired Chief Judge from the 11th Judicial Circuit, a Florida Supreme Court Certified Mediator and designated Legal Luminary Best Mediator, Mr. Farina will bring your negotiations to the next level. 

For Joe, Mediation is more than negotiating financial compensation. His approach will bring a genuine settlement between the disputed parties. 

Call us today to schedule your Mediation.

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