Breach of contract is one of the most common legal disputes involving real estate. Reasons for this are that real estate contracts are typically long, complicated, and outline various rules and conditions. Issues often arise because actions cause a financial loss or other damages involving purchase price, date of move-in or other items included or not included in the transaction. Ideally, the two sides can resolve the matter by negotiating a solution or following the dispute resolution process written into the contract.
Those considering dispute litigation can weigh their options by closely examining the contract and outlining ways to resolve the matter. The consequences of the breach can be costly, so it is essential to build a solid case to rectify the issue.
Common real estate contract disputes
When someone violates or disputes, an attorney can help with enforcement actions and negotiate or litigate a lawsuit. Typical issues include:
- Landlord-tenant disputes
- Construction disputes
- Boundary disputes
- Zoning or land use issues
- Homeowners association disputes
4 elements to build a case
Here are four critical building blocks for proving a breach:
- A binding agreement: Is it binding? Even if it is in writing, the contract may not be binding. The courts often dismiss unfair or unrealistic conditions.
- Meeting the conditions: This involves proof that one party did or did not meet the requirements outlined in the valid contract. Meeting the terms of the agreement strengthens your case.
- Proving their non-performance: The plaintiff provides evidence of a material breach.
- Proving damages: The plaintiff needs to prove that there were financial damages or loss of income. The plaintiff can cite loss of rental revenue, ability to earn income or even damage to reputation due to the breach.
Protecting your interests is crucial
If the plaintiff can prove that the other party did not live up to their side of the agreement, they can likely have a strong case if the case goes to court. Enforcing contracts and filing lawsuits can be expensive and take time. Still, it holds the other party responsible for its actions. It also shows others that you are willing to protect your business and real estate interests, which may dissuade others from trying to avoid accountability in the future.