Real Estate Attorneys
Real Estate with Levy & Partners
Levy & Partners represent purchasers, sellers, brokers, developers, landowners, tenants, and condominium associations. If you are involved in a dispute involving real estate, either in or out of court, our attorneys can review the facts of your situation and explain the legal options that may be available to you. Our real estate litigation team has recovered millions of dollars on behalf of their clients and work on either an hourly or on a contingency-fee basis. Our attorneys have obtained significant recoveries in cases involving design and planning negligence, breaches of commercial leases, purchase and sale agreements, landlord-tenant disputes, and construction claims. If you have a real estate matter that you would like to discuss, contact us today to find out how we can help.
What are common types of real estate cases?
Besides the types of cases mentioned above, our attorneys handle cases involving:
Breach of a Real Estate Purchase or Sale Agreement: If a real estate seller who has signed a contract for the sale of real property breaches the contract and refuses to transfer title, our attorneys can pursue a number of legal remedies for the aggrieved buyer. These include monetary damages and specific performance. Specific performance is an order issued by a judge requiring a party to perform under the terms of a breached contract.
Our attorneys also represent sellers of real estate in disputes with buyers who have not honored their obligations under a contract for the sale of real property. When a buyer breaches a real estate contract, our attorneys can help the seller obtain damages stemming from the breach, including compensation for any expenses associated with the property while the resale is pending.
Failure to Disclose Latent Defects in Real Estate Transactions: Our real estate litigation team also represents clients in cases where a seller of real estate has failed disclose a latent (hidden) defect to the buyer. Under real estate law, sellers have a duty to disclose any known defects to the buyer of the property. If you purchased a residential or commercial structure and the seller failed to inform you of any defects in the property, our attorneys may be able to file a lawsuit against the seller seeking compensation for the financial harm you suffered. In addition, our attorneys may be able to file a lawsuit against the real estate broker who sold you the property.
Wrongful Conduct by a Real Estate Agent or Broker: Real estate agents have a fiduciary duty to act in the best interest of their clients. If this duty is violated, our attorneys may be able to file a breach of fiduciary duty lawsuit against the broker.
We also represent clients in cases involving real estate agent fraud. To have a valid claim for fraud, your attorney must prove that the broker committed an intentional act to harm or defraud his or her client.
Types of Business Transactions
Real Estate Transactions
Whether you’re looking to purchase a new home or find the right office space for your company, a skilled legal advocate can protect your finances and your future throughout the transaction process.
The purchase of real estate involves a significant amount of risk. Whether purchasing residential or commercial real estate, a person is spending a great deal of money. We can help bring you peace of mind.
The Firm handles eviction matters throughout the State of Florida. We know how frustrating it can be when you have a tenant who is living in your property but is not paying their rent. Don’t delay in evicting problem tenants.
Lease Drafting and Negotiation
At Levy & Partners, we assist both landlords and tenants with a variety of residential and commercial leasing issues. Our lawyers can effectively address your concerns.
Levy & Partners provide legal representation for individuals and companies that have been served with a foreclosure lawsuit. Our attorneys may be able to defend your property, assets, and home.
Real Estate Transactions and Closings
Whether you’re looking to purchase a new home or find the right office space for your company, a skilled legal advocate can protect your finances and your future throughout the transaction process. This can include:
Contracts – This document is also called the “Offer to Purchase” and must accurately represent the intended real estate transaction. This includes the purchase price, a summary of the property, and other conditions related to the transaction.
Title Searches – During the title search, your lawyer will search for and retrieve documents related to the property’s history. Title searches help both parties understand issues related to the real property and any regulations attached to it.
Title Insurance – Title insurance can protect you from unforeseen problems with the property title, including issues undiscoverable during the search. This might be a forged deed, clerical errors, missing heirs, and other matters.
Closing Transactions – Closing a transaction can involve inspections, preparation of closing documents, and executing all formalities and paperwork to finalize the property transaction. With the help of a lawyer, this process can move smoothly.
What is a real estate transaction?
A real estate transaction is described as the legal process of transferring ownership of property from one party to another. Real estate transactions may involve commercial or residential property and may range in value depending on the worth of the property.
How can an attorney help with a real estate purchase or sale?
Purchasing or selling a home or commercial property is a complex transaction. It is also most likely one of the largest financial transactions you may deal with in your lifetime, making it all the more important to ensure that your interests are properly protected. A real estate attorney can help by guiding you through every step of the transaction, conducting a deed and title review, reviewing and explaining all documents before you sign and otherwise protecting your legal rights. This can facilitate a faster and more beneficial transaction while avoiding costly, unnecessary delays or expenses.
Why is a title review important in a real estate transaction?
A title is a document that shows evidence of right or ownership of real property. If you are purchasing a home or commercial property, it is important to make sure the title is reviewed. The proper transfer of ownership will depend on whether the title is clear and can help you avoid future problems if you wish to sell the property at a later date.
The purchase of real estate involves a significant amount of risk. Whether purchasing residential or commercial real estate, a person is spending a great deal of money. To insulate against this risk, people often purchase title insurance to protect against title defects. Title defects can be very costly to fix, render the property unusable for its intended purpose and/or negatively impact the marketability of the property.
Potential Defects Title Insurance is Intended to Cover
“Title” is a collection of rights in real property. These rights include the right to use and possess the property. When title is transferred, it is documented by a “deed.” In Florida, deeds are recorded by the Clerk of Circuit Court.
A title defect, sometimes called a “cloud on title,” is any type of irregularity or issue with the title of property that negatively impacts the marketability of the title. Marketability is negatively impacted if the irregularity or issue would affect whether a person would be willing to purchase the property.
Some potential title defects in Florida property may be:
- Undisclosed mortgage
- Undisclosed lien
- Inadequate or incorrect description of the property
- Prior transfer not recorded
- Mistake in recording easement
- A person may claim adverse possession
- Forged deeds
- Lack of legal authority to transfer title
- Lack of access
Because of mistakes in the way that titles may be recorded, a person might not realize that a property has a defect or cloud until after it has been purchased. Title insurance is intended to cover the cost of these defects.
Title insurance is intended to cover the damages the property owner suffers if the title is unmarketable due to a defect or cloud in title. Typically, the liability limit is the same as the purchase price of the property.
What is a denial of Title Insurance Claim?
When you make a claim, the insurance company may deny the claim. They may claim that your policy does not cover the title defect that is the source of the claim, that it falls under an exclusion or that it is other. They may also offer a settlement that does not sufficiently cover the cost of your damages due to the defect.
Your insurance attorney can help to recover the damages you seek and recover for the marketability in title your property lost due to a title defect.
What is Title Insurance?
Title insurance protects property buyers and mortgage lenders against defects or problems with a title when someone is buying a house. There are two types of title insurance policies that are typically purchased.
The first type is the owner’s policy, which protects the new owner, and the second is a lender’s policy, which protects the lender. The purpose of title insurance is to protect the buyer and lender against potential loss and liability if something in the documentation or process of title transfer for the property is wrong.
Securing title insurance is a standard step in a real estate transaction, with different types of title insurance protecting both you and your lender from litigation if the seller does not have free and clear ownership of the property. Most lenders require that you purchase title insurance. You only pay for title insurance once and it will remain in effect until you sell the property or refinance.
Why Do I Need Title Insurance?
Title insurance protects a buyer from potential property disputes. Generally, title searches that are done thoroughly determine the current and past status of the real estate you are trying to purchase.
But there is always the possibility the document was forged or a missing heir comes forward claiming the real estate is theirs. In these cases, title insurance is used to help deter any major financial losses.
If there are any issues with the title, then it can mean a lengthy legal battle for the new property owner. While title searches should be able to pull up any issues with the title, there are cases of fraud or where there is a pending lawsuit tied to the property.
In these cases, it is possible that the new homeowner can lose the property, along with any and all money they put towards purchasing it. Ultimately, title insurance is not really to protect the new homeowner but the lender, who will own the majority of the home until the mortgage is paid off in full.
Commercial business litigation simply refers to any type of legal conflict relating to business issues. When matters become highly contentious between two or more businesses or corporations and one company takes legal action against the other, it is referred to as commercial litigation. Commercial litigation is a broad term that refers to all business conflicts, whereas business law itself is distinct in that it also covers the drafting of contracts and agreements (matters that may one day lead to a dispute). In simple terms, commercial litigation typically involves one or more businesses locked in a dispute over money or some other type of property.
Common examples of commercial litigation include the following:
- Breach of Contract –A breach of contract can involve purchases and sales of securities, real estate transactions, agreements to provide goods or services, or mergers and acquisitions.
- Employment Disputes – Disputes over health and pension benefits, overtime, age, race, gender or religious discrimination, all of these would fall under the category of employment disputes.
- Tortious Interference with Contract –This occurs when a third party successfully interferes with or otherwise prevents the performance of an agreement between two parties.
- Breach of Fiduciary Duty – iduciary duty is an obligation to act in the best interests of another party or entity. For example, a corporation’s board member will have a certain fiduciary duty to the shareholders, while a trustee has a legal obligation to the beneficiaries of an estate. It’s not uncommon for people in a position of trust such as corporate officers, directors, agents, trustees or partners to violate that trust and their fiduciary duty to the company they were working for or with.
- Fraud and Deceptive Trade Practices – Any type of fraudulent activities and misrepresentations in business transactions.
- Disputes Over Non-Compete Clauses – These disputes involve non-competition, non-solicitation, and non-disclosure agreements by former business associates, owners and employees. When there is a breach in one of these clauses, it may result in a lawsuit that includes a request for emergency relief by means of a pre-trial injunction or a restraining order.
- Antitrust Violations – Antitrust violations cover price discrimination, price fixing conspiracies, monopolizing a market, and conspiracies to allocate customers, or divide territories or otherwise control and prevent fair competition in the marketplace.
- Violating Intellectual Property Laws – Violations against intellectual property laws including: patents, copyrights, trademarks, trade dress, service marks and also trade secrets.
- Debt Collection – Collecting various types of debts such as guaranty agreements, promissory notes, and mortgages and deeds of trust.
Other types of commercial litigation include: partnership disputes, Civil RICO, ERISA, business dissolution, class actions, franchise issues, and shareholder issues among others.
Why Hire a Commercial Litigation Lawyer?
Commercial litigation is very specialized and often complex. Commercial litigation can also cover a wide variety of civil and criminal law matters on both state and federal levels. An experienced attorney can advise you of your legal rights and obligations to help save you money and legal hassles down the road. A qualified attorney can also help by giving you timely advice that can save you from costly litigation.
What is Involved When Litigating a Commercial Litigation / Business Issue?
While each commercial litigation issue varies, in general, commercial litigation follows all the steps involved in a civil lawsuit-getting an attorney, filing motions, engaging in settlement negotiations, trial, and possibly appeal.
What is a Breach of Contract?
A breach of contract is a failure to fulfill the duties under the contract terms. A contract can be breached in the following ways: one party does not perform as promised; one party does something that makes it impossible for the other party to perform the duties under the contract; or one party makes it clear that they do not intend to perform the contract duties.
Contract Drafting, Review & Negotiation
One of the practice areas at Levy & Partners is business transactions and corporate law. The Firm can provide the knowledge and experience of a large firm, while giving our clients the hands-on service and attention to detail that only a smaller firm can truly offer. Our lawyers regularly go beyond the customary services, tailoring their work to the specific needs of each client.
Our services include forming a business and addressing the initial corporate formalities to the more complex transactional matters, sometimes involving international parties located in several different jurisdictions overseas. We have drafted an expanding number and variety of commercial contracts, including employment and severance agreements, leases, sale of business transactional documents, private placements, shareholder agreements, employment agreements, stock pledge agreements, security agreements, corporate resolutions, operating agreements and restrictive covenant agreements. Our clientele in this practice area is diverse and spans from sophisticated high net worth investors to small businesses.
Contract and Agreement Preparation
We advise clients regarding all types of business and commercial agreements. In addition to providing assistance in the strategic negotiation of commercial contracts, our attorneys review and carefully draft most types of business agreements, including, but not limited to, the following:
- Purchase/Sale Agreements
- Employment and Severance Agreements
- Nondisclosure, non-circumvention, non-compete, and non-solicitation agreements
- Shareholder and LLC Operating Agreements
- Vendor/Customer Agreements
- License Agreements
- Distribution Agreements
- Royalty Agreements
- Commercial and Residential Lease Agreements
- Non-Competition Agreements
- Confidentiality Agreements
- Joint Venture Agreements
- Consignment Agreements
- Employee handbooks
- Buy/Sell Agreements
- Pledge and Security Agreements
- Promissory notes, mortgages and UCC filings
- Invoice terms and conditions
- Business Transactions and Issues
We also provide a wide variety of services to our business clients including, for example, representation in the areas of:
- Buyer or selling assets or businesses
- Acquisition of bankrupt and distressed assets or businesses
- Securities law compliance
- Partnerships, joint ventures, and partner or shareholder relations
- Directors’ and officers’ liability
- Corporate formalities including operating agreements, meeting resolutions and corporate bylaws
- Corporate Governance
- Corporate workouts
We invite you to contact us regarding our business transaction and agreement drafting by filing out the contact form on this page.
Are contracts required to be in writing to be enforceable?
In some cases, a verbal agreement may constitute a binding contract, but in other situations, an agreement must be reduced to writing to become a binding contract. “Statutes of frauds” identify those types of contracts which must be in writing. For example, in Wisconsin contracts for the sale of real estate, leases for real property with a term of more than one year, real estate commission agreements, certain contracts that by their terms are not to be performed within one year, and contracts to pay another person’s debts, must generally be in writing. However, there are exceptions to the statute of frauds rules which may apply. The statute of frauds rules vary from state to state. Equitable remedies may in some cases be available to enforce an agreement that fails to comply with the applicable statute of frauds. Even in situations where a verbal agreement could be enforceable, the best practice is, in most cases, to reduce the agreement to writing to confirm the parties’ understanding and acceptance of the terms.
What are the minimum requirements to form a contract?
Every contract requires three basic elements: an offer, acceptance of the offer, and consideration. “Consideration” can include the payment of money, providing goods or services, or the mutual exchange of promises.
Are some contracts unenforceable or void?
Contracts in some cases may be found to be unenforceable or voidable due to misrepresentation, illegality, unconscionability, duress, undue influence, or incapacity of one of the parties.
When does a breach of contract occur?
A breach of contract generally occurs when a party fails to perform its obligations under the contract and such failure to perform is not excused by the non-breaching party. Examples of a breach of contract include a failure to pay for goods or services, providing defective merchandise, or failing to deliver goods or services under the time frame specified in the contract. A breach may also occur if a party violates a covenant or other term in the contract.