Northern California Real Estate Lawyers
Owning commercial real estate can be a smart investment. But it doesn’t come without certain risks. When commercial property owners, tenants, developers, investors, and other stakeholders find themselves facing a dispute, it can be costly and time-consuming.
If your company is involved in a commercial real estate dispute, the experienced team at Peterson, Martin & Reynolds LLP can help. Real estate law governs who may own and use the commercial property and its buildings, fixtures, equipment, land, and other related features. We’ve been helping businesses in California resolve these types of disputes for over 25 years.
Common Causes of Commercial Real Estate Disputes
Buying, selling, or leasing a commercial property are important and challenging endeavors. Because so much is often at stake, it’s not surprising that commercial real estate disputes can often be vigorously contested.
1. Commercial Lease Disputes
The laws in California applying to commercial leases are complex and many commercial leases are themselves long and complex. With over two decades of working on behalf of commercial landlords and tenants, our attorneys can assist clients in resolving a wide range of issues involving such matters as rent and operating cost obligations, repair, maintenance and damage to premises issues, use and competing use issues, sublease rights and obligations, and termination, surrender and holdover issues,
2. Breach of Purchase and Sale Agreement
Commercial real estate disputes also arise in the context of purchase and sale transactions. Issues regarding breach of contract, misleading financial disclosures, specific performance, warranties, toxic contamination, and the like, may hold up the transaction or lead to litigation. When such disputes occur, our attorneys are skilled at negotiating mutual compromises or, in the absence of resolution, guiding our clients through litigation to vindicate their rights under the purchase and sale agreement.
3. Commercial Real Estate Financing Disputes
Conflicts occasionally occur in connection with secured property loans on commercial property. Real estate financing disputes can be costly and time-consuming to resolve. The attorneys at Peterson, Martin & Reynolds LLP can help our clients through the maze of issues that can arise in real estate financing disputes towards achieving a successful resolution.
4. Easement. Encroachment and Boundary Disputes
Easement, encroachment, and boundary disputes arise when adjacent property owners disagree on matters affecting property lines and title. The parties to such disputes not only include the adjacent property owners but also title insurance companies. Our attorneys have extensive experience handling such issues and have resolved such cases for our clients through informal negotiation between the parties, mediation, and through arbitration and trial.
5. Joint Venture and Partnership Disputes
Joint ventures and partnerships are often formed to invest in, own, manage and develop commercial income property. When the partners fail to see eye to eye on ownership matters, serious conflicts can arise. Often, alternative dispute resolution strategies such as mediation can work best to resolve such conflicts, but sometimes formal litigation becomes the only path to resolution. Early counseling by experienced counsel will result in the best approach.
6. Real Property Insurance Policy Disputes
Insurance is a vital aspect of commercial property ownership. When a covered loss occurs concerning property owned by our clients, our attorneys assure that the claim is properly tendered to the insurance carrier and we follow up to assure that the insurance carrier fully performs its duties under the insurance policy including full payment under the policy of all claims. Although not common, in some cases litigation may be necessary to enforce the terms of the insurance policy against the insurance carrier.
7. CAM Charges
Another common commercial lease dispute is around Common Area Maintenance (“CAM”) charges. The problem arises when Landlord’s insurance and property taxes (NNN lease) increase significantly.
They may decide to repave the parking lot, reroof the building, or hire a security guard. The bill is usually passed on to the tenant. You should review the charges that are allowable as CAM and list them in the lease agreement.
8. Issues Regarding Maintenance and Repair
Who is responsible when the air conditioner stops working or the pipe bursts? Typically, the landlord is responsible for all structural portions and exterior damages of the leased premises. Tenants will be stuck with everything else.
9. Boundary Disputes
Boundary disputes in commercial areas are becoming fairly commonplace. These arise when neighbors (property owners and tenants) are uncertain about the boundary lines. This occurs for a wide array of reasons. The boundary lines may not have been properly surveyed to begin with. They may have been rendered uncertain following an earthquake or similar event.
10. Negligence or Breach of Duty
Real estate agents may also lend cause to commercial real estate disputes. Real estate agents have a fiduciary duty to always act in the best interests of their clients. In addition, they are also obligated to act within the responsibilities listed within their contracts. Agents are not allowed to place their own or a third party’s interests ahead of the client.
Helping You Resolve Commercial Real Estate Disputes
Commercial property disputes can be complex, often involving a combination of federal, state, and local laws and regulations. Our team of experienced real estate litigation attorneys will guide you through the process of evaluating your case, explaining your rights and potential remedies, and outlining your options to resolve the dispute as quickly and favorably as possible.
At Peterson, Martin & Reynolds LLP, our experienced commercial real estate litigation attorneys are here to help you resolve your commercial property dispute. Call our office at (415) 399-2900 or contact us online to schedule an initial consultation. We have offices in San Francisco, Oakland, and Lafayette, California.