Real Estate litigation and dispute resolution - Instructing a real estate litigation and dispute resolution lawyer and what they can offer

Owners of property, whether commercial or residential, may become embroiled in a dispute connected to the property. There are many situations that cause disputes involving property. Often the cause is an inheritance that is perceived to be unfair, or beneficiaries that share a real estate inheritance are unable to agree on whether the property is to be sold, if so, what proportion of the value of the property to be passed to each family member.

Residential property disputes between neighbours often revolve around boundary or disagreements over responsibilities relating to maintenance,

Landlord and tenant disputes frequently arise in both commercial and residential properties. Withheld payment of rent due to arguments over maintenance is a prime cause of disputes.

Resolving serious disputes may be achieved by alternative dispute resolution (ADR). This is a highly successful way of resolving a dispute without recourse to court.

In this guide, we explain how this can be achieved through ADR, as well as explaining the alternatives. 

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Solving property disputes through alternative dispute resolution

Alternative dispute resolution (ADR) is a method of obtaining a binding decision without recourse to a court. ADR enables the parties involved to have more control over the procedure and it is often more cost-effective than litigation. Depending on the type of ADR you select, ADR allows the parties to put their arguments themselves in the presence of an impartial third party.

Keeping the lines of communication open between yourself and the other party is fundamental to resolving a dispute. ADR provides the opportunity of meeting on neutral ground with a mediator or arbiter to oversee the discussions and avoid the escalation of acrimoniousness during the course of the procedure. 

There are two forms of dispute resolution. Mediation, wherein all parties are usually in the same room with an impartial trained mediator overseeing the discussion and illuminating the points of each party to assist in clarifying the situation. The mediator will help you to reach a decision together - however, they will not make the decision for you, and it will not be legally binding.

Arbitration is the other form of ADR. This is a more formal type of dispute resolution. A qualified arbitrator will lead the proceedings and again you will have a chance to plead your own case. However, the ultimate decision will rest with the arbitrator who can make a legally binding decision.

You can read more about Giambrone & Partners' arbitration service here.

When is litigation necessary?

Litigation becomes necessary when you have tried all alternatives and found them to be unsuccessful. When seeking legal representation during property litigation, you will usually be asked if you have attempted ADR first.

When you have attempted to resolve a property dispute by other means, obtaining the right lawyer is then necessary. They can help to guide you through the legality of your argument and provide an opinion as to whether you are likely to be found in the right in your particular case. A lawyer will lay out the benefits and pitfalls of going to court. If litigation becomes necessary, they will help you obtain the best possible outcome.

You can find out how Giambrone’s litigation team can help you here.

What can a real estate lawyer do to assist?

A lawyer will provide legal advice to guide you as to whether you have a legal basis for your dispute. They can represent both corporate and individual clients, providing a tailored service whatever your needs are. Your lawyer will also be able to advise you on legal costs so that you are aware of the financial implications of your dispute. 

How does the court deal with property disputes?

If you go to court, you will need to go through various steps. The first is pre-trial, where you will prepare documents and file a claim form. The next step is the trial, where your lawyer will be able to state your case, as will the other party. Witnesses can be called and evidence to back up your assertions produced, and your litigator will argue on your behalf.

The judge will make a decision based on the evidence presented by both parties. Enforcement of the decision is a separate matter, you may need further legal advice to ensure that the judgement is enforced to your satisfaction.

Giambrone’s real estate litigation team

Are you in the middle of a property dispute and you aren’t sure where to turn? Giambrone’s real estate/commercial property dispute team and litigation and dispute resolution team can help you by providing you with guidance on the best ways to reach a solution.

In the first instance, Giambrone always aims to resolve your dispute quickly through ADR methods avoiding court if possible. This can save you time and money in the long run, while knowing that all the advice and support you receive is rooted in legal knowledge and experience.

Frequently asked questions

How do families resolve property disputes?

The best way to resolve family-related property disputes is often through mediation. This is due to the importance of maintaining familial relationships.

You can read more about family property disputes here.

How do you resolve encroachment problems?

In order to resolve an encroachment problem, you can establish where your boundary is with a conveyancer who can confirm property boundary This in itself may resolve the problem if the other party was unaware of the correct site of the boundary. Failing that you can negotiate and go through the mediation process if necessary. You may need to go to court in order to establish the boundary legally to prevent the encroachment from being an ongoing problem.

Do you have to try mediation before going to court?

When you approach a property dispute solicitor, they will probably recommend that you try mediation beforehand. When you go to court, you will be required to provide proof that you have attempted mediation.

What kind of lawyer handles property disputes?

An experienced real estate litigation and dispute resolution lawyer is the best option as they are the most skilled at handling these situations.

Is it better to settle out of court or go to trial?

Settlement out of court is almost always the best option, as this is often cheaper and less time consuming and stressful.

What are the three ways to settle a dispute out of court?

The three ways to settle a dispute out of court are negotiation, mediation and arbitration.

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