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Handling the breach of a real estate contract

On Behalf of | Apr 20, 2019 | Real Estate

People and businesses generally expect the details of a contract to be honored once it is signed. Whether it is landlords or tenants, contractors or customers, construction companies or owners, the reason contracts are signed is to make sure that a party’s actions support a verbal agreement. However, this is not how it always goes in real life, which can mean that there is a breach of contract.

Resolving the dispute without court

If the two sides are willing to sit down and discuss the breach, there may be an opportunity for resolving the matter outside of court using such negotiation approaches as mediation or arbitration. This has the advantages of being less expensive than court, faster, and can create a general tone of constructive problem solving, which can be important if the two parties plan to continue to have a business relationship.

What are the goals?

There are generally one of two things a plaintiff wants in a dispute. One is the enforcement of the contract’s terms; the other is to seek financial damages because the breach caused a loss of business and income or the breach was a terrible inconvenience. Depending on the amount, the matter may end up in small claims court.

When litigation is the best option

There are several solutions if the matter ends up in court. These include:

  • Canceling the contract
  • Punitive damages or compensation for the breach
  • Specific performance, which enables the plaintiffs to reach their goals

Legal contracts have purpose

Regardless of whether one sells their home, rents a storefront or hired a subcontractor to install new wiring, the contract is often binding in a court of law. The trick is to enforce it while avoiding paying more in legal fees than the damages involved. An experienced real estate lawyer can work with clients to either hold the other side accountable in a court of law or negotiating a fair agreement that still gets the client what they need.