The 5 Most Common Causes of Real Estate Litigation (And How to Avoid Them)

In today’s market, real estate disputes are increasingly common. Whether you are a commercial or residential property owner, a Chicago landlord or property management company, or a representative of a condominium association, becoming embroiled in a lawsuit can be a huge, expensive problem. Below is a list of 5 of the most common causes of real estate litigation and the best means of avoiding each one.

  1. Failure to disclose a defect on the property

If you know that something is wrong with a home or commercial property you are trying to sell or lease, disclosing it is mandatory. Examples of defects include:

  • Holes in the roof
  • Leaks
  • Mold
  • Non-permitted improvements

If, for example, you sell a warehouse to a logistics company and the new owners discover these problems, they can claim that you should have been aware of the defects and failed to disclose them before closing. In these instances, honesty really is the best policy.

  1. Breach of contract

When you sign a contract to sell a property, that document contains terms and conditions that must be complied with, such as title clearance, closing date, financing, assets included with the purchase, and more. Failure to honor any of the terms may give the buyer grounds to sue you for breach of contract. To avoid this possible outcome, have your Chicago real estate attorney review the sales contract carefully and explain any provisions that are unclear to you.

  1. Negligence or breach of duty

Illinois tenants have the legal right to occupy a safe and habitable property. If a landlord fails to carry out necessary repairs or maintenance and someone is injured as a result (for example, you did not fix a broken staircase after it was brought to your attention), litigation can result. To avoid costly accusations of negligence or breach of duty, follow any required code of ethics for your occupation (this applies to realtors and not just attorneys) and, if you are a landlord, respond to reasonable repair and maintenance requests promptly.

  1. Specific performance matters

When you are a party to a commercial or residential real estate contract and you do not perform a necessary action outlined in the agreement, the other party may launch a specific performance action to legally force you to comply. To avoid such an outcome, fulfill all requirements as specified or, if circumstances are making it difficult, be upfront with the other party and work with them to develop an acceptable solution.

  1. Boundary disputes

Problems occur when property boundaries have not been correctly registered or a practical property line is inconsistent with the legal one. When you purchase a piece of real estate, your attorney can research the legal boundary and warn you about any contentious conditions.

When you participate in a real estate transaction, the Auricchio Law Offices will carefully evaluate it and advise you of applicable laws and the potential for dispute. If problems arise and litigation cannot be avoided, we are also experienced trial attorneys who will go the extra mile to defend your case aggressively. To schedule a consultation, call 312-263-0010 or contact us.

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Auricchio Law Offices

Auricchio Law Offices in Chicago provides a complete range of real estate services. We facilitate residential and commercial real estate transactions, advise and represent condominium associations, and represent property owners in real estate litigation. Whatever your real estate issue, we will work diligently to achieve your goals in a timely and efficient manner.

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