Real property can be the biggest investment someone ever makes. Partially as a result of this reality, people tend to feel very strongly about protecting their property rights. Sometimes, disagreements related to real property ownership will end up in civil court.
People cannot always resolve a dispute via negotiation that could have an impact on their finances or ownership rights, so they ask a civil court judge to rule on the matter. Every real estate dispute is inherently unique, as the conditions of the property and the circumstances of the owners are unique. However, certain types of real estate litigation are far more common than others. The following are some of the most common reasons that people go to court over a real estate matter.
There are issues with boundaries or property use
Sometimes, neighbors may disagree about where the boundary line between two parcels actually falls. The actual placement of the boundary can impact the use and value of the land. Someone overstepping a boundary might eventually lead to claims of adverse possession if the owner does not challenge their behavior in court. Other times, people may go to court because a neighbor’s use of their property has affected their enjoyment of their property or the value of their land.
There are undisclosed property defects
Issues that people discover with a new home after taking possession can influence not only their enjoyment of the property but often also its actual value on the open market. Buyers who discover significant defects after taking possession of a property may end up taking the seller to court to seek reimbursement for the cost of repairing those defects or the diminished value of the property because those defects exist
There are problems with a construction project
Construction defect claims are lawsuits brought by property owners against businesses that they hired to construct, remodel or repair a property that they own. Such lawsuits can lead to a court order to correct the issue with the property or compensation for the owner. On the other hand, sometimes construction firms or the businesses that supply them with materials take a property owner to court over nonpayment. Lawsuits seeking liens against real property to compel someone into payment are also relatively common in Massachusetts.
Ultimately, recognizing when a conflict related to real property might justify going to civil court could help homeowners and businesses better protect their interests.