Real Estate Law in Houston, TX

What Is Real Estate Law?

Are you getting ready to purchase or sell some property? Are you involved in a property or real estate dispute? Or, maybe you are having trouble getting your landlord to make repairs to the home? Whether or not you are a property owner or tenant, you have rights under Houston, Texas real estate law. Developers, property managers, and investors can also face property issues. Common reasons for this include property rights, access, liabilities, and more. These matters are complicated, so the best first step is to seek the counsel of a qualified Houston real estate attorney.

Types of Real Estate Law Disputes

Disputes involving real estate are very common and some of them are quite complex. They often require the intervention of the courts. The courts are seen as the most biased party to weigh in fairly. Learn more about the different types of real estate disputes below.

Escrow Deposit 

If you decide to purchase any Houston property, there are certain steps all involved parties must take. One is having an escrow account. A common reason escrow disputes occur is when the closing process fails and the buyer and seller cannot agree on what happens with the funds.

Easement Real Estate Dispute

Easement disputes are one of the most common forms of real estate disputes between neighbors, especially when property ownership changes. An easement allows other people or parties access to use certain portions of your property. Easements are not always granted by a property owner. Information regarding easements is often included in Houston, TX  property deeds. Regardless of the reason for the dispute, the resolution often involves hiring an experienced real estate law attorney. Still, one step you can take to resolve the matter before pursuing litigation is talking amicably with the other party.

Fraud/Omissions

Some unscrupulous sellers try to take advantage of buyers by withholding information. Ultimately, they may do this to impact the outcome of the transactions and future ownership. Proving fraud in a real estate transaction can be an uphill battle. It is almost always necessary to work with an experienced Houston real estate lawyer to straighten things out.

Most Houston real estate sales require the seller to provide a Seller’s Disclosure Notice to the buyer. This form covers issues such as structural defects, easements, and flood risk. If a seller violates Texas disclosure laws, the buyer may have several options. For a civil lawsuit, your Houston attorney may base the claim on Fraud in Real Estate and Stock Transactions, common law fraud, or Texas Deceptive Trade Practices. In addition, a seller could even face criminal fraud charges in some cases.

Contract Breaches

No Houston, Texas real estate transaction is enforceable without a contract. Not all contracts are valid. The requirements for what to include in a valid real estate agreement vary from state to state. However, documents that are missing certain elements or contain unclear or confusing language and in which one party breaches often result in real estate disputes between sellers and buyers. Real estate contracts are enforceable documents. You should never enter into a real estate transaction in Houston without a valid mutually beneficial contract.

Landlord/Tenant

Disputes often arise when Texas landlords and tenants cannot agree on repairs, rent arrears, and more. Houston, TX tenant and landlord laws are very complex and failure to adhere to them can cause either party to violate the rights of the other. Not only is a valid rental agreement crucial, so is having good legal counsel.

Texas Landlord and Tenant laws dictate the rules and responsibilities of both parties in a Houston rental agreement. Houston tenants have a responsibility to pay their rent on time and not cause damage to the property. However, Houston landlords must follow notice requirements for entry, rent increases, and termination. Furthermore, landlords cannot engage in illegal discrimination. Both the Texas Fair Housing Act and Houston Municipal Code contain anti-discrimination rules that apply to Houston rentals.

Boundary Lines

Property line disagreements usually occur when adjoining Houston, TX property owners do not respect property boundaries. Sometimes this is due to a valid misunderstanding between neighbors. Not all property lines are easy to define and property records are not always accurate or easy to understand. Usually, disagreements arise because of fencing, trees, and other boundary line concerns. Though some Texas property owners feel they can take matters into their own hands, doing so could cause more problems. Court intervention is typically the best way to identify and enforce property lines.

Ownership

Ownership issues are common when an owner verbally transfers ownership without documentation. These disputes often happen when someone bequeaths their real estate to another without going through the proper process. Or, there can be other parties with ownership rights, such as certain lien holders. 

Determining the rightful owner of a property in Houston is not always easy. Many factors and issues can arise when disagreements over real estate exist.

Liens

Liens can impact your ability to own property or land free and clear. It is possible to sell a property that has liens on it. However, some liens can diminish a property’s sale price. Also, in many cases, liens must clear before securing a mortgage or financing.

In most cases, a judgment by a Texas Court constitutes a lien on the defendant’s real property. Under the Texas Property Code, the lien attaches to your Houston property once the creditor files the judgment with the Harris County Clerk. However, there may be some exceptions, such as Texas’ homestead exemption for the debtor’s primary residence. Once a lien attaches to your property, it is valid for 10 years.

What Should You Do If You Become Involved in a Real Estate Dispute In Houston, Texas?

If you have a real estate issue in which you feel your rights are being violated, or there is a specific issue that has you and another party in disagreement, you may want to speak with a qualified Houston real estate lawyer. Regardless of the issues involved, you can benefit from having legal guidance.

Learn About Real Estate Law

Houston real estate law is quite complex. It is important for you to learn as much as you can about how real estate law applies to your circumstances. Your lawyer will help you to understand what’s at stake and develop a plan of action that helps protect your real estate rights.

Work With an Experienced Real Estate Attorney In Houston, Texas

Real estate disputes make up the majority of litigation cases. Not all issues require you to go to trial. You should work with an experienced Houston lawyer who has the knowledge and experience to get you the resolution you seek. Depending on your disagreement, the courts may include financial compensation and injunctions to prevent retaliation or recurring issues.

Get the legal help you need now. We help Texas landlords, renters, property and more resolve their real estate litigation. Additionally, we can even help you connect with an attorney across Texas state lines. 

Submit a request online or call us today at (866) 345-6784 to get in touch with an experienced lawyer in your area!

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