Homeownership comes with many joys and benefits but can also lead to disputes from time to time. When you recognize the most common sources of conflict, you are better prepared to resolve the situation.
There are a few common legal issues that homeowners might deal with related to their property and homes.
1. Foreclosures and evictions
More than 324,000 homes went into foreclosure in 2022. Issues with mortgage payments are a leading cause of homeowners losing their homes. The foreclosure process and evictions can get complicated, requiring an understanding of legal rights.
2. Mortgage and tax problems
Disputes with mortgage lenders and tax authorities are also common for homeowners. Whether it is confusion over escrow accounts, PMI removal requirements or property tax assessments, navigating these issues can be challenging for homeowners who want to avoid penalties and maintain good standing on their mortgage.
3. Eminent domain
When local governments or agencies exercise eminent domain to take private property for public use, compensation disputes often arise. Homeowners may want independent assessments to ensure fair market value.
4. Boundary and adverse possession disputes
Encroachments over property lines with a neighbor’s fence, driveway or tree are common sources of tension between homeowners. In some cases, a neighbor may even try to claim legal ownership over part of a property through adverse possession.
5. Construction defect claims
Major defects in a home can lead new homeowners to take legal action if the builder refuses to fix or compensate them sufficiently for shoddy construction quality.
By understanding typical areas of disagreement, homeowners can be better prepared to handle common residential real estate problems.