Disputes tied to real estate deals come up in a variety of ways and can lead to bitter conflicts. Passing down property or a business to the next generation may lead to strife within the family. Real estate-related disputes can also arise during the purchase or sale of a home or business and easily jeopardize a contract.
Families in the real estate business often face succession issues. When there are multiple children, disputes can arise over management practices or future investments. Often entrepreneurs want to leave the family business to a son or daughter. In the case of one New York real estate family, the only sibling communications are now conducted through attorneys.
The sisters accuse their brother, who is now in charge of running the company, with refusing to pay them as a means to buy them out at a discount. The sisters want access to liquidate a portion of the real estate holdings. They also want better access to company records. The brother argues he is running the company in the manner his father would have wanted and purchased properties during the downturn that he is now selling for a profit.
Another New York family real estate business, which was run by two brothers, also reached the courtroom as friction between the two sides of the family mounted. The families reached a peaceful resolution, but ultimately the one side bought out the other.
Resolution of real estate disputes without litigation
In some property disputes negotiation, mediation or arbitration can avoid litigation and sometimes even save relationships. These alternatives may prevent the parties from digging into their positions and allow them to find common ground.
Negotiation involves direct bargaining between the parties to resolve the dispute. Usually each side will make some concessions to try to reach an agreement. In the case of family members with concerns over company management, documents may be provided for review. A buyout framework could be another solution.
When negotiations break down, a mediator often can facilitate a settlement. The mediator is a neutral third party who goes between each of the parties and helps clarify issues. He or she may also utilize persuasion and conflict resolution strategies to bring the parties to a compromise.
Often in real estate agreements, a clause requires either mandatory binding or non-binding arbitration. A neutral third party decides how the case is resolved. This is similar to a court action. Binding arbitration means that the decision is final. In non-binding arbitration, the parties can continue to litigate the case in court, if they disagree with the decision.
When conflicts arise related to property you own or are trying to sell, contact a local experienced real estate attorney. After discussing the details of your case, a lawyer can advise of possible remedies. While negotiation, mediation or arbitration can work in some cases, others situations may require litigation.