There are a multiplicity of subjects included under the term “real estate.” We are prepared to help in almost all such situations.
1. Real Estate Sales Transactions
We can help negotiate and draft agreement for sale and transfer of title to real estate, including Earnest Money Agreements (now more often called “Real Estate Purchase and Sale Agreement” or REPSA), deeds, mortgages (now generally consisting of Deeds of Trust) and recording such instruments.
2. Encroachments & Boarder Disputes
Most border and easement disputes can be resolved by a professional survey by a land surveyor, but are often complicated by issues of adverse possession and prescriptive rights taking place over many years. So you can win if you can find an old codger who can testify that a hedgerow existed that constituted the boundary for 20 years or so.
3. Land Use and Zoning
We can assist you sometimes in these cases, but often, because this is a highly technical and specialized area where, our best guidance is to refer you to experienced specialist counsel we are familiar with.
4. Condemnation & Eminent Domain
This is an area of law where a government body, such as the highway department, the school district or a city, asserts the right to take your property for a public use, like a highway, bridge, school or other government building. The government is entitled to do this under our constitution, but the use must in fact be for a legitimate public purpose and the government must pay fair value for your property. That is the problem in most cases: determining fair value. Usually each side gets an appraiser to investigate, render an opinion and report. If the parties cannot agree on a price the issue can be presented to a jury.
A related type of case is called “inverse condemnation.” That is where the government’s activities adjacent to your land cause you harm or loss. The most common examples are where airport noise causes great interference with enjoyment of home ownership to nearby homeowners or where a road is designed and constructed in such a place as to impede access to a business causing the business loss of income.
We can help on most condemnation and inverse condemnation cases.
This topic is covered in more detail on our Landlord and Tenant page. We also point out that there are two aspects of landlord tenant law we can help on. One is drafting appropriate leases and rental agreements. We have extensive customizable forms for this and know-how in drawing them up. The other is either representing landlords in eviction cases (called “unlawful detainer”) or defending tenants in such cases. We find that pursuing or defending unpaid rent claims is problematic and often not worth pursuing or defending considering the cost-benefit analysis, but there are always exceptions in which case we can help you evaluate how to proceed.