Real Estate and Land Use Law
Real estate lawyers are focused on sales, purchases, leasing and other transfers of real estate, as well as titles, development, zoning and land use.
Real estate law governs rights and interests in real estate and real property, both commercial and residential.
Real estate lawyers provide protections for buyers, sellers, land owners, developers, contractors, and real estate agents. Some of the legal issues they address include sales, purchases, leasing and other transfers of real estate and real property; title to real property; settlement of claims against property rights; landlord-tenant issues; property development; zoning and land use; related agriculture issues and environmental compliance; financing, mortgages and foreclosures; securitized real estate investments; and various other relevant topics.
A real estate lawyer is primarily involved in transactional work, most often drafting, negotiating and closing transactions facilitating the business of real estate. Due diligence investigations are also a large part of the work done by a real estate lawyer, and can include review of the physical details of the property and can include an environmental investigation (to ensure there is no contamination), review the leases of any tenants at the property, and review of the title to make sure the seller actually owns the property and there are no easements, mortgages or other liens on the property, including tax liens.
When real estate disputes arise, real estate lawyers will represent their clients in court. Such litigation might concern breach of contract, zoning compliance, construction defect, foreclosure, homeowners associations, or boundary disputes, among other issues.