Real Estate Litigation

The lawyers at McLaughlin Sanchez are equipped to litigate virtually every kind of real estate dispute.  In each and every representation we take on, we strive to find the most efficient, cost-effective solution to some of the most complex and emotionally charged legal problems.  The types of challenges we help our clients handle include:

Title Disputes

A quiet title action is required when two or more people claim title to the same parcel of real property.  Frequently, in an action to quiet title, the true owner will seek to eject a squatter or other trespasser from his property.  In order to prevail in a quiet title action, an owner must prove his title to the court and cannot rely on defects in his adversary’s title.

The lawyers at McLaughlin Sanchez have gone to trial and have prevailed in proving title against adverse claims, and have successfully defended those victories on appeal.  In one recent case that went to trial in San Mateo County, we proved our client’s title on a theory of adverse possession, an exceptionally difficult case to prove under California law.  The lawyers at McLaughlin Sanchez are experienced in this area of the law and are prepared to litigate even the most complex title disputes.

Real Estate Contract Disputes

As a matter of law, a contract for the sale of real property must be in writing.  Occasionally, disputes arise between buyers and sellers after the parties enter into contract.  These disputes can take many forms, but they most frequently arise from one party’s belief that the other party failed to disclose a material defect in the property, or by one party’s allegation that the other failed to satisfy a condition prior to the close of escrow.

The lawyers at McLaughlin Sanchez represent both buyers and sellers in real estate contract disputes.  In one recent case in San Francisco, we took a dispute to arbitration and succeeded in rescinding our client’s contract and obtaining a return of his earnest money deposit after proving that the seller failed to disclose a material defect in the property.  The lawyers at McLaughlin Sanchez understand the law of disclosure, and are prepared to defend our clients if a real estate contract deal goes sideways.

Partition Actions

A partition action is used when co-owners cannot agree on what to do with jointly-owned property.  Joint owners frequently seek to partition inherited property or when they purchase property together and later cannot agree with what to do with it.

The lawyers at McLaughlin Sanchez understand the stress and expense of litigation, which is why we always seek the quickest, most cost-effective solution to partition disputes.  In several recent cases, we have negotiated settlements that helped our clients achieve their objectives, receive the value from their property, and avoid the expense of a drawn-out partition litigation.  We are prepared to go to trial if need be, but we will always seek the most cost-effective solution short of trial if doing so is in our client’s best interest.

Encroachment Disputes

An encroachment occurs when one owner’s use of his property crosses a boundary and interferes his neighbor’s property.  This frequently arises when a tree overhangs a portion of a neighbor’s yard, or when someone builds a fence or retaining wall over a property line.  An encroachment can even occur when a portion of one person’s building is constructed on a portion of his neighbor’s property.

The lawyers at McLaughlin Sanchez have experience litigating encroachment disputes.  In one recent case in Alameda County, we successfully defended our client’s beautiful Monterey Pine trees against an effort by two of his neighbors who sought to have the trees cut down and removed.  The settlement we negotiated represented a victory for both our client and his trees.

Easement Disputes

An easement is a property right that entitles one party to use another party’s property for his benefit.  These use arrangements frequently lead to disputes between the easement holder and the burdened property owner.

California law recognizes four types of easements: express, implied, prescriptive, and necessity.  The lawyers at McLaughlin Sanchez can handle disputes arising from any of the four types of easements.

License Disputes

Similar to an easement, a license gives one person the right to use another person’s property.  But, unlike an easement, a license is revocable at any time and for any reason, or for no reason at all.  Disputes often arise when the licensor revokes a license and the licensee refuses to leave the property.

The lawyers at McLaughlin Sanchez have extensive experience evicting licensees from real property.  In one recent case, we represented a homeowner whose houseguest refused to leave after a month-long visit.  California law prevents a property owner from taking the law into his own hands, changing the locks, and ejecting an unwelcome guest from his home.  If you are ever faced with this situation, we have the knowledge and experience to deal with the problem and to return you to peaceful possession of your property as quickly as the law allows.