Every person has the right to protect what is legally theirs, whether it be their houses, land, or other pieces of real property. But sometimes, the lines are unclear, making it difficult to determine who between the parties is the rightful owner.
Because of this, disputes arise and create tension between the individuals involved. If you find yourself in a property dispute, you can resolve the matter and protect your rights and ownership through legal means. Our property dispute lawyers in Denver can help you determine your options and find the right legal remedies that you can pursue.
What is a Property Dispute?
Disputes between two or more individuals regarding real estate are considered property disputes. The subject of the issue can involve any possible elements of real property, including apartments, homes, condominium units, single-family houses, vacant lots, and even pods and driveways. While it sounds simple, there are a lot of different root causes of property disputes, such as ownership, boundary issues, zoning, and more.
Further, everyone can be involved in a property dispute, whether they are individuals, businesses, or government agencies. Some of the most common parties in a property dispute include:
- Builders or developers
- Family members
- Government agencies
- Homeowners’ associations (HOAs)
- Landlords and tenants
- Property visitors
Even the smallest property disputes have the potential to become large problems if not addressed and resolved immediately. In addition, some property disputes can even affect the marketability of a real estate title. It’s important to engage a property dispute lawyer immediately when a real estate issue arises.
Common Types of Property Disputes
Property disputes can come in different forms, issues, and levels of severity. Anything that involves real property and a conflict between parties can be considered a property dispute to some extent. It’s important to know the common types of property disputes so that you are aware of what type of situation you are in and how you can protect your rights and interests in your property. The following are Denver’s most common property dispute cases:
The most common issues involving real estate have something to do with boundaries. In these types of property disputes, the parties, usually neighbors, disagree about the location of a property line. For example, a homeowner builds a fence around their yard but installs it over the property line of their neighbor’s yard. Another example is when neighbors disagree on the ownership of a tree between their houses.
Boundary disputes are relatively easy to resolve. Usually, a survey just needs to be conducted on the property to determine where the property line is and who among the two parties is the rightful owner. But there can be instances when boundary disputes become more complicated, especially if the dispute involves ownership.
Privately owned real estate is classified by zoning systems, according to the manner in which the land is used. Every state, city, and county has its own zoning regulations that classify properties as either of the following:
- Residential – meant for people’s residence
- Commercial – meant for business use
- Industrial – buildings that require special considerations, such as factories and manufacturing buildings
- Agricultural – for farm and agricultural uses
- Recreational – for recreational use. Permanent structures are not allowed to be built on these types of properties.
Within these broad categories are also some more specific classifications. For example, residential zoning can further classify houses as single-family dwellings or multiple-family dwellings.
Zoning issues can occur because of a number of reasons, commonly involving property line disputes. For example, a commercial business has a parking lot near a residential area and vehicles are being parked within the homeowner’s property line. There can also be obstruction disputes, as when a commercial building is too tall and obstructs a residential owners’ view.
The parties usually resolve zoning issues among themselves. But in severe situations, the local government may intervene and the parties may file a zoning lawsuit. Most civil cases involving zoning issues are usually class action lawsuits because they affect an entire group of people.
Property disputes that arise because of disagreements between a landlord and their tenants can be resolved through legal action. Often, these types of disputes involve a breach of contract, validity of the contract, etc. Some common landlord-tenant disputes include:
- Failure to stay current on rent payments
- Determining who is responsible for damages or repairs on the leased property
- Security deposit issues, i.e. if there are valid grounds for the landlord to retain the security deposit
- Eviction of the tenant from the leased property
- Criminal activity on the leased property
The laws governing landlord and tenant disputes are created to protect both parties in case of disagreements. A property dispute attorney can help you determine your options and offer you a clear strategy for your course of action.
Most neighborhoods in America have a homeowners association (HOA) that governs the entire residential area. Although they are meant to promote the welfare of their residents, some people can have unfavorable interactions with their HOAs. Common problems that people face with their HOA boards include:
- Failure of the HOA board to notify and update residents
- Delays and failures in repairs and maintenance
- Inaction of the HOA regarding neighbor nuisance
- Bias when it comes to rules and restrictions
Disputes with the HOA board are likely resolved by submitting a petition to the board. However, if this initial course of action does not prove to be effective, homeowners can engage the services of a property dispute lawyer who can help them find the best solution to disputes with HOA boards.
Utility easements are designated areas for utilities such as electricity, telephone lines, television lines, underground cable lines, sewers, water sources, etc. Most utility easement disputes arise because homeowners are unaware of where the designated utility easements are located on their properties.
The main crux of ownership disputes is determining who has complete ownership and rights over a piece of real estate property. These types of property disputes can be complex and complicated, considering that they involve matters like the property title, transfers of ownership, cloud on title issues, the validity of sales contracts, etc. Because ownership disputes can get complicated, it’s always best to handle them with the help of a knowledgeable and experienced property dispute attorney in Denver.
While these are the most common property disputes, it’s worth noting that the list is non-exhaustive. There are other forms of property disputes and your unique situations may not fall under any of the above. It’s important that you speak to a lawyer to determine if you have a legal course of action against someone claiming or using your property. Talk to a property dispute lawyer near you to determine the remedies available to you.
Legal Process & Options for Property Disputes
Depending on the type of dispute you are facing and the statutes set forth by your State, you may have different remedies to resolve the property dispute. Some of the most commonly awarded remedies include:
- Injunctions – a judicial cease and desist order that stops a person from doing something with their property, such as burning trash or building nuisances.
- Judicial sales – the court orders the sale of the property subject of the dispute. This is common in foreclosure issues and partition actions.
- Award of damages – monetary damages are awarded to the party who has suffered losses due to the acts of the other. The value awarded is the value of the loss or damage.
- Quiet title actions – a lawsuit that determines the legal ownership of a piece of property.
Hire a Local Denver Property Dispute Lawyer
There are several types of property disputes and different remedies for each of them. While your current dispute may fall under a specific classification, there might be unique situations that change important matters in your case. What you do next can either make or break your case, so it’s highly advisable to engage a property dispute lawyer in Denver to help you protect your rights, resolve your disputes, and recover your rightful property.
Our lawyers at Burnham Law are backed by years of experience and expertise in handling property disputes and helping property owners fight for their rights and interests. If you are involved in a property dispute, reach out to us today.