If ever a real estate deal goes wrong, the first thing you want to do is consult someone who has been in that situation before.

With decades of combined experience in real estate litigation matters, our real estate litigation lawyers at Guardian Law can handle any issue that might threaten your real estate holdings. Read this article to learn our top tips on how to handle such situations based on our experience.

Why You Need A Real Estate Litigation Lawyer

In Vancouver, as in any major city, real estate transactions and disputes can be complex, involving significant financial stakes and intricate legal principles. A real estate litigation lawyer is essential for navigating these complexities, ensuring your legal rights are protected, and that you achieve the best possible outcomes in disputes. Keep in mind that real estate litigation lawyers are different from real estate agents.

Here are some key reasons why you might need a real estate litigation lawyer in Vancouver:

Expert Legal Guidance: Real estate laws in British Columbia, including Vancouver, are detailed and can be challenging to interpret without specialized knowledge. A lawyer can provide expert advice on the law as it applies to your specific situation.

Dispute Resolution: Whether it’s a dispute over property boundaries, easements, contracts, or strata issues, a real estate lawyer can represent your interests in negotiations, mediations, arbitrations, or court proceedings.

Contract Review and Enforcement: Before entering into any real estate transaction, it’s crucial to have contracts reviewed by a lawyer to ensure they protect your interests. If a dispute arises later, a lawyer can assist with enforcing the terms of the contract.

28 Real Estate Issues That Can Lead To Litigation

The first 5 to 10 of these are the most common, but frankly, there are all sorts of issues that could lead to litigation that you should stay on top of. We decided to list every possible real estate issue you could have here.

Breach of Real Estate Contract

When a party fails to fulfill their obligations under a real estate contract, it often leads to litigation. This breach could range from not closing the sale on time, failing to meet conditions specified in the contract, or backing out of the sale without a valid reason.

Property Boundary Disputes

Disagreements over the precise location of property lines between neighboring properties can result in litigation. Such disputes often arise from unclear or outdated property descriptions, leading to conflicts over land ownership and usage rights.

Easements and Right of Way Disputes

Conflicts over the right to use a portion of property owned by another (easements) or disagreements about access rights (right of way) can escalate into legal battles. These disputes can significantly impact property use and value.

Zoning and Land Use Conflicts

Vancouver’s strict zoning regulations can lead to litigation when property owners seek to use or develop their land in ways that clash with local land use laws, resulting in disputes with government entities or neighboring properties. This is becoming increasingly common as the city densifies.

Property Title Disputes

Litigation can also arise from disputes over property ownership, where there are claims of defective titles, fraud, or errors in public records. Resolving these disputes is crucial for securing property rights.

Non-disclosure in Real Estate Transactions

Buyers may pursue litigation if sellers fail to disclose known defects or legal encumbrances on the property. Such non-disclosure can lead to significant financial losses for all parties involved and disputes over the property’s condition or value.

Real Estate Fraud

In Vancouver, real estate transactions that involve deceitful practices, such as forging documents or misrepresenting property details, can lead to legal action. Victims of real estate fraud seek compensation and justice through the courts. Note that this doesn’t necessarily mean that an owner didn’t receive the property, it can also mean that the property they are now in possession of was misrepresented substantially.

Construction Defects and Contractor Disputes

Litigation may result from construction defects or disputes with contractors over the quality, timing, or cost of construction projects. Homeowners and developers rely on legal proceedings to resolve such conflicts.

Foreclosure and Power of Sale Issues

In BC, the use of both judicial sale and foreclosure processes can lead to litigation when homeowners default on their mortgages. Lenders may seek to recover the owed amount through court-ordered sales, leading to disputes over the process.

Residential Tenancy Disputes

Governed by the Residential Tenancy Act in BC, disputes between landlords and tenants over lease terms, evictions, rent increases, or property conditions can result in litigation. Both parties often seek legal recourse to resolve these conflicts.

Environmental Contamination and Remediation Issues

Property owners can face litigation over environmental harm when contaminants affect land, impacting health and property value. Legal actions address accountability for pollution and enforce cleanup, balancing environmental protection with property rights.

Property Insurance Disputes

Disagreements over the coverage and claims processing can lead to litigation. Property owners and insurers often contest the terms and extent of coverage following damage or loss, necessitating legal resolution.

Expropriation Matters

When the government invokes eminent domain to expropriate your real estate, lawyers often get involved. Disputes arise over compensation fairness and procedural legality, leading to legal challenges by property owners.

Adverse Possession Claims

Rare but recognized in BC, adverse possession claims in Vancouver involve acquiring rights over property through prolonged, unauthorized occupation. Litigation clarifies ownership rights under stringent conditions.

Deposit and Transaction Disputes

Vancouver sees litigation over real estate transactions, particularly disputes about deposits and finalizing sales. Parties often contest the return or forfeiture of deposits, requiring legal intervention.

Strata Property Disputes

Governed by the Strata Property Act, property owners experience disputes within strata developments over governance, bylaws, and property use. Conflicts often necessitate legal action to resolve disagreements among owners and strata corporations.

Partition of Property

Two co-owners of a property who disagree on its use or sale can lead to partition actions. Courts may intervene to divide the property physically or monetarily among owners.

Property Tax Appeals

Property owners in Vancouver may litigate against municipal property assessments they deem unfair. Legal appeals aim to adjust tax liabilities based on accurate property valuations.

Mortgage Fraud

Litigation arises in Vancouver from fraudulent mortgage activities, including falsified applications and identity theft. Victims and lenders pursue legal action to rectify financial damages and enforce accountability.

Real Estate Brokerage and Agent Liability

There are often disputes over the duties and responsibilities of real estate professionals. Litigation addresses issues of negligence, misrepresentation, and breach of duty in property transactions.

Lease Disputes

Commercial and residential lease disagreements in Vancouver, covering rent, maintenance, and lease terms, often lead to litigation. Legal processes aim to enforce or reinterpret contractual obligations between both residential and commercial landlords and tenants.

Quiet Title Actions

In Vancouver, quiet title actions address disputes over property ownership and claims, ensuring clear title to landholders. These legal proceedings resolve issues like overlapping property claims or historical discrepancies in land records. These might arise in disputes over a deceased person’s estate.

Water Rights and Access Disputes

Disputes over the use and access to water sources in Vancouver can lead to litigation, especially when rights to use water for residential, agricultural, or commercial purposes are contested, impacting property utility and value.

Boundary Disputes

Conflicts over the exact demarcation lines between properties in Vancouver often result in legal action. These disputes can stem from unclear land surveys, leading to disagreements over land ownership and usage rights.

Trespass and Nuisance Claims

Property owners may file litigation against trespass or nuisance, addressing unauthorized entry or activities that interfere with their property enjoyment, seeking to halt such actions and possibly secure damages.

Accessibility Compliance Issues

Vancouver properties must adhere to BC and federal regulations on accessibility. Non-compliance can lead to litigation, particularly if individuals with disabilities are denied access or reasonable accommodation.

Liens and Encumbrances

Disputes may arise over liens (e.g., builders’ liens) placed on properties for unpaid work. Litigation can resolve such encumbrances, affecting property transactions and ownership while they’re settled.

Choose Guardian Law As Your Vancouver Real Estate Litigation Lawyers

When selecting a real estate litigation lawyer, consider these three main criteria:

Specialization and Experience: Look for a lawyer or law firm specializing in real estate law with extensive experience handling similar litigation cases to yours. This ensures they are familiar with the nuances and complexities of real estate law specific to your needs.

Reputation and Success Rate: Evaluate the lawyer’s reputation in the legal community and their track record in successfully resolving real estate disputes. Recommendations from past clients and peer reviews can provide valuable insights. Feel free to request them from prospective lawyers.

Communication and Strategy: Choose a lawyer who communicates clearly and effectively, ensuring you understand each step of your case. Their ability to develop a strategy for the case that is tailored to your situation is crucial for achieving favorable outcomes.

For each of these matters and more, Guardian Law stands out as the premier real estate litigation law firm in Vancouver, boasting a seasoned team of lawyers experienced in navigating all the aforementioned litigation scenarios. Their dedication, combined with a proven track record, positions Guardian Law as the go-to firm for successfully resolving real estate disputes.