San Diego Real Estate Attorney

When would I need professional real estate counsel?

Buying and selling property is rarely simple, so it’s always a good idea to get professional legal advice when possible. If something becomes complicated during the transaction, it’s important to have legal support before it gets even more complex and costly. Attorneys can help with numerous common property concerns, such as boundary disputes, issues with the deed or title, or problems with tenants. Investing in legal counsel when dealing with property matters could end up saving you a lot of money and stress.

What are real estate matters I can get help with?

Residential and Commercial Sales

Attorney Paul Hanks at the Santee Legal Center holds a California real estate broker’s license, which means you can be well prepared when buying or selling property. It is also often wise to get legal consultation when purchasing or selling real estate. There are many situations that an real estate attorney would be better prepared for, such as unlawful building additions, issues that may arise during the closing process, or problematic inspection results.

Drafting Contracts and Legal Documents

When buying property, a contract will need to be created so that everything is explicitly laid out and considered legally binding. In order to ensure it is valid, an attorney must draft the contract and guarantee that it is written according to state law. An attorney will also be able to identify factors that may affect how your property is used in the future. It may be easy to overlook important aspects without legal counsel, which could be detrimental to the value of your property. When buying or selling commercial or business property, professional counsel becomes even more essential.

Rights of First Refusal

When a piece of property is put up for sale, sometimes there is another party that has been given the rights of first refusal. This gives that party the right to have the first choice to purchase the property before it is listed. It can be advantageous for business tenants, as they will not miss an opportunity to acquire the business before it is sold to someone else. Rights of first refusal can sometimes be complex and confusing and there are different applications for a variety of scenarios.

Deed and Title Disputes

There are many situations that can cause issues with deeds and property titles. It is very common to have disagreements about boundary lines or poorly drafted deeds. Having deeds written properly to begin with can often prevent these issues, but if you have already found yourself in the middle of a dispute, you should consult an attorney. You can also read more about your options concerning deed disputes here [LINK TO DEED/POA].

Adverse Possession

It is sometimes possible to attain the rights to land owned by someone else, by trespassing and remaining on the property for a specific period of time. This is called adverse possession, and its purpose is to prevent land from going into disuse through neglect. If a person moves onto property that has been abandoned or untended and makes improvements to it, over time they may earn a claim to its title. The trespasser must be open about their presence, pay taxes, and it must be obvious that they have been possessing the land. Sometimes this could just involve a small corner of a lot that was assumed to belong to a neighbor, or it could include significant acreage. It’s an unusual situation, and you should consult with a lawyer in order to be fully aware of your rights and responsibilities as a landowner or as an occupier.

Easements

An easement is the right given to a party for specific use of someone else’s land. This is often the case with utilities such as power or telephone lines; the utility companies must possess an easement in order to access or place them on a citizen’s land. In some cases easements expire after a time, but they usually remain with the land through sale. It’s important to be aware of any easements belonging to your property, especially if you’re considering building on an open lot--it may have space to build, but that doesn’t implicitly mean you will be allowed to build on top of it.

Nuisance Actions

There may be a time when you find your enjoyment of your property or land is impeded by a neighbor or third party. This is considered a private nuisance, and if your property is being affected, either through trespassing or improper use of your land, you may be able to seek legal action. Situations like this can often be complex, and not every inconvenience is considered a nuisance under the law. It is always a good idea to get additional legal information about your rights as a landowner, especially where infringements on your property are concerned.

Disputes Among Tenants in Common and Joint Tenants

Disagreements can arise between joint tenants who have equal ownership of property, and tenants in common, who may own different percentages of a piece of property. This can often transpire among family members, and disputes may become too involved to resolve on your own. Getting legal counsel will help you prepare for difficult scenarios among tenants, and help protect any rights you may have to real property.

Boundary Line Disputes

It is very common for there to be issues surrounding property lines and boundaries. Surveys that may have been done in the past can sometimes interfere with current sales or deeds, even if you have had your property surveyed recently. It’s important to look through all documents concerning your land, so you can be prepared for any concerns that may arise between neighbors.

What can I do when I have a real estate concern?

Dealing with a delay due to legal issues surrounding property can end up costing you a lot of money and time. Contact our office so you can get counsel on any real estate concerns before they turn into a bigger issue. Attorney Paul Hanks has over 20 years of experiences resolving transactional matters and litigation, and also holds a California real estate broker’s license. Whatever real estate complications you may face, you can be confident you will be well prepared and informed after visiting the Santee Legal Center.

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