Arent Fox offers significant experience in litigation that involves real estate. This includes every manner of contract disputes (such as leases, escalation clauses, pass throughs, rent adjustments, rights of first refusal, and purchase options), realtor disputes, title disputes, condemnation, acquisitions, adjustment of property lines, zoning, easements, adverse possession, liens, eviction, foreclosures, Rental Housing Conversion applications, homeowner association issues, appraisal issues, and application of federal public works labor standards to development projects. We represent a range of entities with real estate interests, including developers, landowners, landlords, tenants, brokers, sellers, purchasers, and contracting parties.
Condemnation, Adverse Possession and Public Policy
We have represented landowners in condemnation cases, both in negotiations and in litigation. Additionally, Arent Fox has represented clients in connection with suits to correct property boundaries affected by adverse possession. We have litigated disputes over whether a client's purchase agreement for real property was contrary to public law.
Arent Fox has extensive experience with construction defect, condominium, title, and land sales contract issues. We also handle construction cases involving easement, broker/seller, and lien on property disputes. Our firm has litigated a number of cases involving construction trades unions. Our construction-related representations include:
- Resolving and litigating issues relating to mechanics' liens filed against properties in connection with construction projects.
- Resolving and litigating issues relating to obtaining payment for materials delivered and services performed or avoiding payment for services performed incorrectly or defective materials.
- Recovering deposits from contractors who failed to perform work.
Developers and Owners
We have represented developers and owners in many different types of cases, including the following:
- A property owner trying to develop an underutilized property where the tenant alleged that contract covenants prohibit development.
- Developers with regard to zoning and housing laws in efforts to develop a property or, conversely, to block development of the property.
- A property owner regarding a dispute over the Rental Housing Conversion statute.
- The high bidder to government bid to purchase land where another developer claimed a pre-existing agreement entitling it to purchase the property.
- A developer with regard to applicability of federal public works labor standards to its development projects.
- A developer in dealings with construction trade unions.
Arent Fox has represented clients in connection with a wide variety of matters involving easements, including representation of:
- Plaintiffs who sued a homeowner's association over use and care of a road easement.
- A landowner in dispute with an adjoining landowner, seeking declaratory relief as to the rights of use and quiet enjoyment of an easement.
Environmental issues are often a concern in the real estate arena. Arent Fox handles real estate-related environmental issues, including environmental cost recovery for costs incurred during development and for cleanup costs of polluted land. We have also been involved in a plaintiff's matter involving a realtor and inspector's failure to disclose soil subsidence and related property damage.
Leases and Real Estate Contracts
Arent Fox litigators have provided legal advice in myriad cases involving leases and real estate contracts, including the representation of:
- A party in successive decennial rent adjustments per lease provision.
- Lessors and lessees in default and/or breach of commercial lease.
- Buyers and sellers in default and/or breach of contract to purchase land.
- Real estate brokers in disputes regarding payment of brokerage fees.
- Parties in matters involving audits of charges for common areas and real estate taxes.
Lenders and Title Insurers
Arent Fox has represented commercial and residential lenders in hundreds of matters. Our experience includes common law and regulatory issues unique to lenders, including Truth in Lending, RESPA, fair credit, equal opportunity credit, appraisal matters, and lien priority. We also represent title insurers in connection with regulatory issues and lien priority issues.