If you're like most people, your home and other real property is your biggest asset. Unfortunately, that asset can sometimes turn into a legal nightmare even when you've done everything you can to protect yourself. If you own a business, real estate problems can spell the demise of your business. Whatever your real estate problem - or opportunity - having a real estate lawyer on your side can help you avoid potential problems or resolve existing disputes before the situation becomes hopeless.
Real estate law is a broad term typically used to describe the civil laws that determine an individual's right to possess, use and enjoy the use of real property, including any structures or improvements that have been built upon the property. In addition to litigation which can arise out of commercial or residential real estate transactions, Harper Law has a successful history of representing clients in landlord tenant disputes, homeowners association disputes, foreclosure actions, construction defect claims, title issues, easement disputes, property-related insurance claims, and condemnation proceedings. Our attorneys are able to evaluate a case from both sides and help develop a strategy that serves your situation.
Residential Real Estate Purchase and Sale
One of the most common issues we deal with at Harper law are issues that arise in connection with the sale or purchase of residential real estate or the construction of a new home. Although you aren't required to use a residential real estate attorney when buying, selling, or building a home, the law surrounding the process is complicated and it is often wise to at least consult with a lawyer to make sure you're informed about potential issues and roadblocks.
Some common issues that come up during the purchase and sale process relate to the the closing date and what happens if one or both parties are unable to close on time, what financing options are available and what happens if the financing doesn't go through, what defect disclosures are required and what warranties are conveyed with the home, and how to protect yourself from a title defect.
Building a new home presents additional, unique problems, such as compliance with zoning and construction laws, construction loan financing, and legal disputes with contractors. A residential real estate lawyer can help guide you through this miasma.
Commercial Real Estate Purchase and Sale
Commercial real estate transactions are typically more complex than residential real estate transactions and in almost every case a lawyer should be involved. Even more than residential purchases, the purchase of commercial real estate usually involves large sums of money and both parties face more liability and more avenues of liability. This is because, unlike residential transactions where Arizona law provides some consumer protection for buyers, in commercial transactions the court views both parties as equal, sophisticated parties who are able to understand and abide by the contracts they sign. That being the case, the purchase contract will be fully enforceable, absent some illegality or fraud, and the parties are wise to seek advice to ensure their interests are protected before signing such an agreement.
Landlord and Tenant Law
Another major area of Harper Law's real estate practice involves landlord and tenant law, which in Arizona is governed by the terms of the lease and the Arizona Residential Landlord and Tenant Act. Many landlord tenant disputes surround the non payment of rent, and in cases where rent remains unpaid after its due date, a real estate lawyer can help the landlord comply with the strict requirements of Arizona law to evict a non-paying tenant as quickly as possible.
In other situations not involving rent, the outcome can be much more uncertain and both landlords and tenants are wise to seek counsel from an experienced landlord tenant lawyer to understand and protect their rights.
Homeowners Association Law
Harper Law does not represent Homeowners Associations, but we have significant experience representing homeowners involved in disputes with HOA's and their aggressive lawyers. In Arizona, HOA's are common - the rule rather than the exception - in single-family housing developments and condominium and townhouse complexes. Homeowners living in a development governed by an HOA are required to be members of the Association, which is the governing body of the development or complex and is administered by a Board elected according to the rules of the Association.
HOA rules are called covenants, conditions, and restrictions, or CC&Rs. These rules apply to the homeowner and the home, and they often govern things like what color you can paint your house, how you can landscape your yard, where you can park your car, and what pets you can own. It is vital to carefully review the CC&Rs that govern your new home to make sure you understand what you're getting into.
TALK TO A LAWYER
Whatever your real estate related legal issue, an experienced real estate attorney can help property owners or others with interests in real property address their capacity to hold such interests and their rights and obligations under contracts, leases, or other legal documents. If you feel you may be facing a legal situation, you should contact a real estate lawyer quickly before it becomes impossible to exercise all the remedies you may have available.
If you're ready to schedule an appointment with an Arizona real estate attorney, give us a call at 602-256-6400, or submit your inquiry online and we'll get back to you as soon as possible.