Vancouver Real Estate Litigation Lawyers
Whether residential or commercial in nature, real estate disputes can have substantial impacts on all parties involved. Complications in commercial real estate matters can derail business operations. Residential deals, such as the purchase of a family home, have an added emotional element. Regardless, real estate disputes of any kind can result in significant financial losses to all parties involved.
Meridian Law Group represents clients on either side of residential or commercial real estate disputes. The firm’s responsive real estate litigators strive to understand clients’ needs and develop focused legal strategies to quell their concerns. Meridian Law Group forcefully advocates for clients’ rights and takes swift, decisive legal action to protect their legal and financial interests under real estate agreements.
Causes of Real Estate Disputes
Several issues can arise before or after a real estate transaction has been completed. Some examples include:
- The buyer’s inability to obtain the required financing;
- The purchase price is more than the property’s value upon appraisal;
- There are encumbrances on the title that adversely impact the property’s use or value, such as a court judgment, lien, or easement;
- A home inspection reveals a problem with the property that wasn’t disclosed by the seller;
- The seller decides to back out of the deal because they have found another buyer willing to pay a higher price; or
- The realtor was negligent or made an error.
Breach of Contract Claims
Many real estate agreements require a deposit to be paid by the buyer to the seller. The Contract for Purchase and Sale will ordinarily set out what happens to the deposit if the transaction falls through. The innocent party will, in most cases, wish to claim the deposit.
The deposit alone may not compensate a party for the financial losses caused by a failed transaction or issue with the purchase. Therefore, they may bring a claim against the other party for damages for breach of contract. The damages awarded by the court may include costs relating to moving and storage, legal or realtor fees, and closing costs.
Claims Against Real Estate Agents
Buyers and sellers are not the only potential parties to real estate litigation. Real estate agents and brokers may be liable for negligence or mistakes made in the course of a transaction.
Real estate agents may also face legal action due to misrepresentations contained in a property listing or the deliberate concealment of a problem with the property. When a buyer relies on the misrepresentation to their detriment, they may be entitled to damages. In some circumstances, they may also elect to void the contract entirely.
Specific performance is a legal remedy obtained through the court that requires someone to do a particular action. Most commonly, an order of specific performance forces a party to fulfil its obligations under a contract.
Specific performance is often sought in real estate disputes as damages may not be sufficient to remedy the harm suffered by the innocent party. This is primarily due to the unique nature of land and property. It can take considerable time and cost for the innocent party to find a property with comparable features in a similarly suitable location. In commercial real estate disputes, the additional delay can lead to substantial lost business revenue.
Damages in Lieu of Specific Performance
In some cases, a party that would have been entitled to an order of specific performance at the time of the failed transaction may no longer be able to perform their end of the bargain. For example, they may have lost the ability to obtain adequate financing after suffering the financial losses caused by the other party’s breach of the Contract for Purchase and Sale. The court may instead award damages in lieu of specific performance where this is the case. The court may also choose to do so where it determines that damages are a more appropriate remedy than the requested order for specific performance.
Commercial Lease Disputes
In addition to issues relating to real estate transactions, Meridian Law Group also represents commercial landlords and tenants in various lease disputes, including:
- Claims for unpaid rent and lease deposits;
- Disputes over property repairs;
- Property damage, repairs, and restoration;
- Abandonment by a tenant; and
- Seizure of tenant assets.
Meridian Law Group attempts early resolution of commercial lease disputes whenever possible to help clients preserve business relationships and avoid operational interruptions. When settlement is not possible, the firm’s dynamic litigators are a commanding presence in any legal forum and will aggressively advocate to secure clients’ commercial and financial interests.
Contact Meridian Law Group in Vancouver for Trustworthy Advice in Real Estate Disputes
Meridian Law Group represents sellers and purchasers in a variety of residential and commercial real estate litigation matters. The firm’s talented real estate litigators explore all opportunities for early settlement of a dispute while always positioning their client for success in any dispute resolution process, including negotiation, meditation, arbitration, or litigation. Meridian Law Group’s experienced team provides robust advice and customized legal solutions that deliver results and ease clients’ concerns.
Since 1988, Meridian Law Group has been a touchstone of the British Columbia legal community and has a reputation for delivering exceptional, client-driven legal services. Located in downtown Vancouver in the Nelson Square Building, the firm represents clients throughout West Vancouver, North Vancouver, Coquitlam, Penticton, Kelowna, Richmond, New Westminster, Burnaby, Surrey, Langley, and White Rock. To arrange a confidential consultation for your real estate dispute, please call (604) 687-2277 or reach out online.