If you’re involved in a real estate contract dispute, it can be frustrating knowing that your rights have been violated and that a dispute is delaying the closing of the deal. Even though contracts are supposed to clearly spell out the duties and responsibilities required of parties, it may be necessary to contact a contract dispute lawyer to straighten out a disagreement.
In both residential and commercial real estate transactions, disputes can be common. However, it is important to resolve disputes before they lead to larger issues. To do so, contact the law firm of Carlos M. Amor, P.A. Contract dispute attorney Carlos M. Amor is a leading Florida real estate lawyer who has extensive experience handling contract disputes and representing clients’ needs.
Your goal is to resolve a contract dispute while keeping your rights protected—attorney Carlos M. Amor can help you.
Attorney Amor offers free consultations via telephone, video call, or in-person meeting. Call him and his legal team today at 954-453-7200.
Why Do Contract Disputes Happen?
Contracts Are a Part of Business and Real Estate—And So Are Disputes.
Contract disputes can happen across all types of businesses and business agreements. Buyers, sellers, and service providers involved with both residential and commercial real estate handle no shortage of contracts involving prices, closing dates, and other matters. While contracts are meant to outline certain conditions, each party’s interpretation of contract provisions can lead to disputes.
Even when contracts clearly spell out responsibilities and conditions, contract disputes in business and real estate transactions can and do occur. If one side believes that the other has ignored or breached a contractual requirement, a dispute arises.
Quickly resolve minor disputes about terms and conditions with a contract dispute attorney to prevent problems from growing.
When real estate contract disputes occur, both sides can experience costly delays, so it is in everyone’s best interests for contract dispute lawyers to quickly resolve matters.
What Is a Breach of Contract?
Before discussing breach of contract, it’s imperative to determine what a contract is. Contracts describe a deal or agreement made between two or more parties. For a contract to take effect, there must be an offer made, an acceptance of that offer, and a defined list of duties and performances.
Typically, a contract involves some level of duties and responsibilities on all parties of the contract. When one party does not carry out the obligations of their contract, a contract breach occurs.
A breach of contract is considered as either a non-material breach or a material breach.
- In real estate agreements, non-material breaches describe a more minor breach of contract that does not put an entire purchase or sale into question.
- A material breach is more significant and can result in a non-breaching party’s canceling a purchase or sale and filing a lawsuit for monetary damages.
Elements of a Breach of Contract
A Florida contract dispute lawyer can help to handle both small and large contract disputes and breached contracts. But, if you’re pursuing monetary compensation for a material breach of contract, a contract dispute lawyer must demonstrate that:
- A Valid Contract Was in Place – The existence of a written contract signed and reviewed by all parties is a prerequisite to arguing that a contract breach occurred. Verbal contracts may be permissible if evidence and witnesses can corroborate their existence.
- A Material Breach Occurred – Due to the other party’s failure to uphold an agreement and perform their responsibilities, a substantial material breach occurred.
- You Are Owed Monetary Damages – In order to recover monetary damages, a contract dispute attorney must demonstrate that you experienced monetary losses resulting from the contract breach.
Proving liability in a real estate contract dispute can be complex. The other party may try to deflect blame and demonstrate that your actions violated contractual obligations. That’s why it is paramount to consult with an experienced Florida contract dispute lawyer such as attorney Carlos M. Amor who can help you pursue legal remedies or reach agreement.
Contract Disputes and Residential Real Estate
Real estate contract disputes can arise whenever a buyer and seller or service provider do not agree. While disputes can vary in terms of their consequences and remedies, some processes and particular aspects of residential real estate can be prone to disputes.
When drafting contracts, it’s important to work with a Florida contract lawyer. But even with comprehensive contracts in place, disputes involving certain aspects of real estate can occur.
- Undisclosed Issues – A seller must disclose certain issues to a home’s purchaser. If a seller does not disclose certain problems with a home, a home’s value or desirability could be much lower than a buyer believed, causing a dispute.
- Negotiated Prices – After an initial contract has been signed but a sale is not yet complete, disputes over purchase price, closing costs, and property condition can lead one party to feel there may have been misrepresentation.
- Zoning Ordinances – If property buyers intend to modify a property by making an addition or by other means, a seller may not be aware of such plans. Modifications can conflict with zoning ordinances, resulting in a dispute.
- Home Repairs – If a home inspection reveals issues with a home before finalizing a sale, a homebuyer may want the seller to make the necessary repairs before closing. But if a contract does not obligate the seller to make such repairs, a disagreement may arise.
While some real estate contract disputes can be settled through negotiation and explanation, it’s important to enlist the help of a Florida contract dispute lawyer while an issue is still small. Unresolved disagreements can lead to worse problems, costing everyone additional time, money, and stress.
Commercial Real Estate and Contract Disputes
Compared to residential real estate contracts, commercial real estate contracts can be more complicated, leaving potentially more opportunities for dispute. While real estate transaction contracts should be detailed and comprehensive, disputes can arise over various topics and concerns.
- Property Taxes – Commercial real estate property taxes and assessments are significantly higher compared to residential real estate. Disputes about payment and assessments can and do arise.
- Lease Agreements – When dealing with rented property, disputes related to lease conditions, payments, maintenance, lease renewals, and other matters can come up. Property owners and commercial businesses renting a property can have disagreements about a property’s acceptable use or the scope of business activities.
- Co-Owner Disputes – Commercial real estate often has more than one owner. Co-owners may disagree on how to maintain a property, how land can be used, and who can lease the property.
- Service Contracts – Property owners often work with construction workers and other contractors and service providers. Defects in construction, zoning issues, or failure to perform services as listed can lead to disputes.
Real estate contract disputes involving both residential and commercial properties can arise for a multitude of reasons. If a contract requires that a certain duty be performed, failure to do so results in a breach. In such cases, it’s best to speak with a contract dispute lawyer as soon as possible to keep a minor breach from leading to major complications.
Working with a Contract Dispute Lawyer to Resolve a Dispute
A contract dispute attorney can help you evaluate options for resolving a real estate contract dispute. While some contracts contain provisions for resolving disputes, in many cases you’ll still have options available.
Permitting a Contract Breach – You can ignore a contract violation if it seemingly does not negatively affect you. However, ignoring the problem is typically not sound business strategy and could lead to further issues.
Negotiating a Change – Negotiating a contract change can directly resolve the issue at hand if a dispute arises. If one side cannot perform the duties outlined in a contract, renegotiating can prevent litigation down the road.
Mediation and Arbitration – If two sides cannot come to an agreement, mediation and arbitration may be necessary. Mediation involves hiring an impartial private mediator, often a retired judge or attorney, to work with both sides on resolution. In arbitration, a neutral, third-party reviews arguments from each side and then makes a decision. The arbitration process is similar to taking a case to court but is faster and less expensive.
Litigation – Pursuing litigation is a last resort and should be used only if other resolution methods fail. Taking a contract dispute case to court can be a lengthy, expensive process, and courts may order both sides to attempt mediation before going to trial. Most contract dispute cases are resolved before going to trial.
FAQs About Contract Disputes
Common Questions for a Contract Dispute Attorney
Contract dispute attorneys are often asked about the dispute resolution process. Some common questions, and their answers, are included below.