Real Estate Litigation: Five Common Questions and Answers 

According to data from the National Association of Realtors (NAR), there are approximately five million residential real estate transactions in the United States nationwide each year. There are many hundreds of thousands more commercial real estate sales. As complicated as they can be, most real estate transactions are finalized without serious problems. 

Unfortunately, that is not always the case. At The Law Offices of Odelia Goldberg, we have extensive experience representing both buyers and sellers in real estate disputes. Within this article, our Fort Lauderdale real estate lawyer answers five of the most frequently asked questions (FAQs) about real estate litigation in Florida. 

  • What are the Most Common Reasons for Real Estate Litigation in Florida?

The term real estate litigation covers a broad range of disputes that can emerge from property transactions and/or property ownership. All parties involved in real estate matters—from buyers and sellers to landlords and tenants—should be prepared for the potential issues that could arise. Here are some of the most common reasons for real estate litigation in South Florida: 

  • Breach of Contract: Many real estate disputes are, at the most fundamental level, contract disputes. Most real estate contract disputes are based on the allegation that a party has failed to live up to its obligations. If you are involved in a real estate dispute over a breach of contract, an experienced attorney can help. 
  • Non-Disclosure of Property Defects: In Florida, property sellers—especially residential property sellers—are obligated to disclose known defects about the property. The failure to do so is a violation of state law. Non-disclosure can lead to litigation if the buyer discovers undisclosed issues after the sale.
  • Title Disputes: Title disputes occur when the ownership of a property is unclear. This can involve issues with previous owners, heirs, or errors in public records, all leading to conflicts over property ownership.
  • Landlord-Tenant Disputes: Disagreements between landlords and tenants over lease agreements, rent, property conditions, or eviction processes can lead to legal action. Landlord-tenant disputes can arise over both residential property and commercial property. 
  • Boundary and Easement Issues: Neighboring property owners may encounter disputes related to property boundaries, easements, and rights of way. If you are locked in any type of property line dispute, an experienced Florida real estate litigation attorney can help. 
  • Fraud Allegations: Fraud or misrepresentation related to the property’s value, condition, or other significant aspects can give rise to legal disputes.
  • What is the Statute of Limitations for a Real Estate Dispute in Florida?

It depends. The statute of limitations for a real estate dispute in Florida can vary based on the underlying nature of the claim. Here is a general overview of the different statutory deadlines that may apply for a real estate dispute in Florida: 

  • Written Contracts: Many real estate disputes are centered around contracts. In Florida, there is a five-year statute of limitations for breach of contract claims. 
  • Fraud Claims: Some real estate disputes are based on allegations of fraud. The statute of limitations for a fraud claim is just four years. 
  • Other Claims Involving Real Property: Most other claims involving real property—such as a trespass claim or property damage claim—are subject to a four-year statute of limitations. 
  • Is Residential Real Estate Litigation Different from Commercial Real Estate Litigation?

Yes. While there are many similarities between residential real estate litigation and commercial real estate litigation, there are also some important differences. Here are some of the most notable things that make residential and commercial real estate litigation different in Florida: 

  • Complexity of Transactions: Commercial real estate transactions and disputes can be more complex, involving multiple entities, intricate contract provisions, and larger financial considerations.
  • Regulatory Compliance: Commercial properties are subject to different, and often more extensive, regulatory standards, including zoning and land use regulations.
  • Nature of Lease Agreements: Commercial leases contain provisions not typically found in residential leases, such as maintenance of common areas, pass-throughs, and specific use clauses.
  • Dispute Resolution: In Florida, Commercial real estate disputes are often resolved using arbitration or another ADR method, as stipulated by a contract. 
  • Do All Real Estate Disputes End in Litigation?

No. Not all real estate disputes end in litigation. Indeed, some sharp real estate disputes can avoid court. Indeed, many real estate-related disagreements or conflicts are resolved through alternative dispute resolution (ADR) methods such as mediation or arbitration. 

With mediation, a neutral third party helps the disputing parties communicate and work towards a mutually agreeable solution. It is a less formal, quicker, and typically less expensive process compared to litigation. 

Arbitration is another option where a neutral arbitrator or panel makes a binding decision based on the evidence and arguments presented by the disputing parties. Similar to mediation, arbitration can be more cost-effective and quicker than proceeding to court.

Even without utilizing formal ADR methods, parties involved in a real estate dispute often find it beneficial to negotiate and settle the matter amongst themselves. It is always best to evaluate non-litigation options for resolving a real estate dispute. 

  • When Should I Hire a Florida Real Estate Lawyer for a Dispute?

Are you locked in a real estate dispute in Florida? A proactive approach is key. Whether you are a buyer, seller, landlord, tenant, or contractor, an experienced real estate litigation attorney can help you determine the best course of action. The sooner that you consult with a Florida real estate lawyer, the better positioned you will be to find a viable, cost-effective solution. There is no one-size-fits-all approach to navigating a real estate dispute. Your case may best be handled through 

negotiation, mediation, arbitration, or litigation. 

Contact Our Fort Lauderdale Real Estate Litigation Attorney Today

At The Law Offices of Odelia Goldberg, our Fort Lauderdale real estate litigation attorney is a skilled and experienced advocate for clients. If you have questions about a real estate dispute, we are here to protect your rights and help you find the most effective possible solution. Contact us today to set up a completely confidential initial appointment. From our Fort Lauderdale office, we provide real estate litigation services in Broward County and throughout all of South Florida. 

Portrait of Odelia Goldberg, Esq.

With over 50 years of combined experience, our probate, estate planning, real estate, elder law and asset protection attorneys provide peace of mind for our clients throughout South Florida.

Florida Bar Logo Broward County Bar Logo NYSBA Logo United States Patent and Trademark Office Logo Broward Attorney Real Estate Council Logo

Schedule a Consultation

1270 SW 26th Ave
Fort Lauderdale, Florida   33312

Phone: 954-832-0885


Facebook LinkedIn Twitter

The Law Offices of Odelia Goldberg Logo White

The information on this website is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this site should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation.
This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship.
© 2024 The Law Offices of Odelia Goldberg. All Rights Reserved. Privacy Policy. Web Development by IWD Marketing