Real Estate Law in Vermont

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 Vermont real estate law. Not all residential and commercial real estate transactions execute perfectly. Sometimes unexpected issues can occur such as property rights, access, liabilities, and more. Furthermore, legal matters involving real estate transactions are often complex and are not just limited to the property owners.

Types of Real Estate Law Disputes

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

Escrow Deposit 

If you decide to purchase any Vermont property, there are certain steps anyone who is involved 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 Vermont property deeds.

For example, a neighbor may feel they have the right to access a portion of your property because a previous owner allowed them to for years. One step you can take to resolve the matter before pursuing litigation is talking amicably with the other party.

Landlord/Tenant

Disputes often arise when Vermont landlords and tenants cannot agree on repairs, rent arrears, and more. Tenant and landlord laws are very complex and failure to adhere to them can cause either party to violate the rights of the other.

Vermont’s Residential Rental Agreement laws govern landlord and tenant relations. Landlords have a duty to perform repairs and keep the property up to code. In addition, the statutes set notice requirements for the landlord to enter the property, increase the rent, or terminate the lease. On the other hand, tenants must keep the premises clean and notify the landlord of any issues. Furthermore, Vermont tenants must pay their rent on time or face potential eviction.

Contract Breaches

No Vermont 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 Vermont without a valid mutually beneficial contract.

Fraud/Omissions

Proving fraud in a real estate transaction can be an uphill battle. It is almost always necessary to work with Vermont real estate lawyers to straighten things out.

Unlike most states, Vermont does not have a comprehensive disclosure law for real estate sales. However, that does not mean that the seller is free from liability. Many sellers choose to provide the buyer with a disclosure form to protect themselves from future accusations of fraud. In addition, Vermont law does require real estate agents to disclose any known defects to the buyer. Keep in mind, however, that neither the seller nor the agent has to perform an inspection for potential defects.

Boundary Lines

Property line disagreements usually occur when adjoining Vermont 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 Vermont 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

Determining the rightful owner of a property in Vermont is not always easy. For instance ownership issues are common when an owner verbally transfers ownership without documentation. Or, when someone bequeaths their real estate to another without going through the proper process. There can also be other parties with ownership rights, such as certain lien holders. 

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 be clear before you can secure a mortgage or financing.

According to Vermont Court Procedure laws, a civil judgment can constitute a lien on any of the defendant’s real property. The lien attaches to the property when the creditor records the judgment with the town clerk for the property’s location. Unless you pay your judgment, the lien will stay on your property for eight years. Note, however, that the clock starts at the date of judgment, not the attachment.

What Should You Do If You Are in a Real Estate Dispute in Vermont?

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, it’s best to speak with an experienced Vermont real estate lawyer. Regardless of the issues you are facing, you can benefit from having legal guidance.

Learn About Real Estate Law

Vermont 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 Vermont

Real estate disputes make up the majority of litigation cases. Still, not all issues require you to go to trial. You should work with Vermont lawyers that have 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 Vermont landlords, renters, property and more resolve their real estate litigation. Additionally, we can even help you connect with an attorney across Vermont 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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