There is no question that of all the times a person may need to hire a lawyer for something, completing a real estate sale is one area that can go the smoothest. Drawing up purchase agreements and preparing for closing can be exciting times for both buyers and sellers, and most are only too happy to pay to make sure that there are no unfavorable terms or other reasons not to complete the sale. However, there are also many instances when a real estate dispute can lead to litigation, and when that happens it is always best to have a knowledgeable person on your side to go through the legal process.
In one instance in South Florida, the parties to a residential real estate dispute have not reached litigation yet, but that may be where the situation is headed. According to a recent report, a 23-year-old man has decided to attempt to take over ownership of a home in Boca Raton valued at approximately $2.5 million, using a somewhat obscure real estate principle. The property dispute has started to draw some national attention, mostly due to the man’s assertions that he is taking over ownership by way of “adverse possession.”
According to the report, the home was empty when this man moved in. The principle of adverse possession can be invoked in Florida when a person moves into a property, occupies the property in an “open and notorious” manner and can stay on the property under those conditions for seven years. This man moved into the property after it was foreclosed on, but only after notifying the county Property Appraiser’s Office of his intention to do so.
Although most buyers and sellers usually hope for a smooth closing process in a real estate transaction, you never know when a problem might pop up. For this case in Boca Raton, the legal process is just beginning. For others who find themselves in a real estate dispute, taking the time to learn about all of the legal options can be the best first step to take.
Source: SunSentinel.com, “Squatting in style: 23-year-old occupies empty $2.5 million Boca home,” Anne Geggis, Jan. 28, 2013