Illinois Real Estate Litigation
Real Estate Law Practice Areas
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Illinois Real Estate Litigation Attorneys
From residential buyers to commercial developers, real estate projects oftentimes involve many parties. When trying to obtain or maintain a property, additional parties may become involved if issues involving contracts, boundary disputes, or liens arise and cannot be resolved. These are just a few instances in which seeking real estate litigation with the help of a real estate attorney becomes necessary.
What Is Real Estate Litigation?
Real estate litigation becomes necessary when multiple parties are unable to come to a solution regarding a real estate property dispute. Some of the parties that may seek real estate litigation include real estate developers, investors, builders, owners, lenders, lien claimants and even alleged property owners. Common types of real estate litigation matters involve boundary disputes involving quiet title actions, trespassing, inconsistent use or overuse of an easement, or adverse possession claims. Real estate litigation can range from a breach of a real estate contract between a commercial vendor and developer, or it can evolve into complex quiet title action and adverse possession issues. At Hirzel Law, our real estate litigation attorneys counsel and advocate for commercial landlords, property owners, real estate developers, and numerous other real estate clients. Our attorneys are experienced in real estate litigation, mitigating common disputes involving the items outlined below.
Commercial Landlord Tenant and Lease Litigation
Commercial real estate disputes often arise in the context of commercial landlord and tenant relationships in industrial, medical, office, or retail buildings. Hirzel Law, PLC represents commercial tenants and commercial landlords in commercial real estate litigation matters. Common types of commercial real estate litigation matters are as follows:
- Construction / repair issues as well as the responsibility to keep a property free from liens
- Impossibility claims related to COVID-19 or other alleged force majeure events
- Insurance claims
- Interference with possession / quiet enjoyment
- Non-payment of rent
- Property Destruction
- Termination of leases
- Responsibility for common area maintenance between the landlord and tenant
Construction Contract Litigation
It is not uncommon for disputes involving construction contracts to arise from a breach of contract by one or multiple of the parties bound to a contract. Some of the parties commonly involved in construction contracts that may need to seek real estate litigation include:
- Commercial buyers
- Commercial developers
- Contractors and construction managers
- Design professionals, including architects and engineers
- Subcontractors and suppliers
Mechanics Lien Litigation
Mechanics liens are another form of real estate litigation that involve multiple parties. In a private project, a mechanics lien can be placed on a real estate property by contractors or subcontractors when the owner fails to pay for construction elements such as labor or materials. In a public project, a subcontractor who has not been paid has a right to a lien on the public “fund” for that project.
Illinois’ Mechanics Lien Act “is a comprehensive statutory enactment that outlines the rights, responsibilities, and remedies of parties to construction contracts, including owners, contractors, subcontractors, and third parties.” The purpose of the Mechanics Lien Act “is to require the individual with an interest in real property to pay for improvements or benefits that were induced by his or her own conduct.”
Section 1 of the Mechanics Lien Act states that anyone who furnishes labor, services, material, fixtures, apparatus or machinery, forms, or concrete to the project has a right to lien. There are very significant deadlines that must be met when a decision is made to lien and an experienced construction attorney is the best to walk you through those deadlines.
Boundary Dispute Litigation
Common claims for boundary disputes involve instances of a claim called “boundary by acquiescence,” adverse possession, trespass, and nuisance. An acquiesced property owner may seek the counsel of a real estate attorney to proceed with real estate litigation if they cannot come to an agreement with a property claimant, or vice versa.
Adverse Possession Litigation
Adverse possession can be claimed by a party that is seeking title to the land they have possessed for an extended period. However, there are certain requirements that the person in possession and the land in question must meet before title of the land may be obtained. Those required elements are that the use for a 20-year period of time be: “(1) continuous, (2) hostile or adverse, (3) actual, (4) open, notorious[,] and exclusive, and (5) under claim of title inconsistent with that of the true owner.”
It is not uncommon for boundary disputes to involve cases of trespass or nuisance. Private nuisances in Illinois are defined as “an invasion of another’s interest in the use and enjoyment of his or her land” and, in order to be actionable, it “must be substantial, either intentional or negligent, and unreasonable.” The invasion must be something that is perceptible to the senses and makes life uncomfortable.
A nuisance that requires real estate litigation could encompass a variety of circumstances, and Illinois law differentiates between a permanent nuisance and a temporary nuisance, and damages are measured differently between the two types:
“A permanent nuisance is one characterized as continuing indefinitely and the structure constituting the nuisance is a lawful one, or one which the person or entity has a legal right to maintain. * * * A temporary nuisance is one which is occasional, intermittent, or recurrent and is remediable, removable or abatable. In addition, a nuisance which is caused by the negligent construction of a legal enterprise or the negligent manner of its operation is generally considered temporary.”
Trespassing is another form of nuisance that may require real estate litigation. If a neighbor intentionally enters onto land in which they do not own and entry is not authorized, or the neighbor goes beyond the authorization, that is considered trespassing. In instances where beings and/or objects continue to intentionally enter or use another’s property without authorization, it is strongly advised to seek the counsel of a real estate attorney to pursue real estate litigation.
Quiet Title Litigation
One of the essential elements of Illinois real estate is establishing the status of title to the property, which confirms ownership of the property. It is not uncommon for an adverse claimant to seek establishment of a real estate property title or a property line. When multiple parties are unable to establish the status of title, real estate litigation becomes necessary. A real estate litigation attorney can help establish the title or property line by filing a quiet title action.
A Hirzel Law real estate attorney can file a quiet title action and record a lis pendens with the recorder of deeds. The lis pendens is designed to inform people that legal action is ongoing, and any transactions concerning the property will be subject to the court’s ruling. Quiet title actions can be used to confirm the proper title to property against hostile claimants, and a successful legal action ensures that claims from any other potential interest holders are barred. Whether negotiating a resolution to a title dispute or handling claims for superior title or adverse possession, Hirzel Law’s real estate litigation attorneys ensure provisions and contingencies are in our clients’ best interests to protect their real property rights.
Sometimes, a dispute arises between multiple parties who all own a parcel of property. If the dispute cannot be resolved through an out-of-court resolution, a partition action may be necessary. If a partition action is filed, in most instances, the property will need to be sold with the proceeds split between the various owners. Partition actions are most commonly seen when title to property is passed as a result of a death to multiple heirs, but can also be the end result when property is held by any group of individuals in a joint capacity.
Contact Our Seasoned Real Estate Litigation Attorneys
At Hirzel Law, PLC, our real estate litigation attorneys are experienced in Illinois’ real estate laws and regulations. Our dedication to staying on the leading edge of real estate law trends enables us to mitigate complex real estate challenges for our clients. Hirzel Law’s real estate attorneys have received multiple peer awards for our accomplishments in real estate law. We pride ourselves on delivering the highest quality of legal representation and are ready to help you with almost any real estate legal need. Contact Hirzel Law online or call (312) 646-2770.