Category: Commercial Real Estate

What Does a Commercial Real Estate Lawyer Do and Do I Need One?

All real estate transactions are complicated, but commercial real estate tends to be much more so. Be it a lease or a purchase, the legal considerations are more complex, and there is generally more money on the line than in a residential real estate transaction. For these reasons, having the aid of a real estate attorney is even more critical in commercial real estate.

But what exactly does a commercial real estate lawyer do, and do you need one?

Contract Review

There are many potential factors to consider in a commercial real estate deal, from zoning restrictions to infrastructure requirements to maintenance responsibilities. If you plan to lease the property, you can’t make assumptions about what is or is not covered by the lease. Unlike residential leases where numerous consumer protections apply, in commercial real estate, you will be presumed to be knowledgeable about everything included (or not included) in the contracts.

A commercial real estate lawyer will be familiar with how these contracts work and can explain to you the benefits and drawbacks of each provision. You can know exactly what you’re getting into, which helps avoid problems further along in the process.

Negotiation & Closing

Commercial leases tend to be more negotiable than a typical residential lease, partly because there are so many more potential variables. For example, who is responsible for maintaining common areas, and is the landlord prohibited from leasing nearby property to competitors? Each of these variables can affect the value of the transaction for both parties.

An experienced attorney can zero in on these factors and ensure you get the best deal possible. The owner may be willing to make concessions or lower the rent in return for your assurances. Also, a lawyer who knows the market can help you spot a deal that  may be too good to be true.

Having an attorney is even more important if you’re purchasing the property. If you’ve ever purchased a house or apartment, you know how many steps there are before closing the deal. Commercial real estate is no different. Hiring a lawyer to help close the sale will save you time and effort.


Financing can be  pretty complicated in commercial real estate transactions, especially in the real estate development world. Owners, investors, brokers, and lenders may enter the picture, and boilerplate contracts simply won’t do. Commercial real estate attorneys can negotiate these complex arrangements and ensure you are protected in various contingencies.

Dispute Resolution & Workouts

Not everything always goes according to plan. Disputes arise between tenant and landlord, investors back out of deals, or sometimes business just slows down. A lawyer can help resolve these issues by negotiating with the other party (who often have attorneys of their own)  to minimize disruption to your business. For example, a landlord may be willing to accept lowered rent in exchange for a longer lease term. If the conflict can’t be settled, your attorney can  represent you in court.

Do You Need a Commercial Real Estate Lawyer?

Given the complexity and expense of commercial real estate transactions, it’s almost always worth consulting with an attorney specializing in these matters. They can review your paperwork and give you advice on how to proceed. Even this small amount of legal assistance can save you from major headaches later.

Our real estate team has years of experience in various areas, from representing clients in zoning applications to complex litigation. Schedule an appointment with our office to discuss your situation and explore your options.

1031 Exchanges: What You Need to Know

Real estate investment is often an excellent choice for protecting and growing your wealth over the long term. When they are well planned, such investments can grow steadily in value and produce income in a predictable manner. 

A tax-deferred exchange, often called a 1031 exchange, can be an incredibly useful tool for anyone looking to manage the tax burden on their real estate investments, though the details can get complicated. Here we’ll explain the basics.

What Is a 1031 Exchange?

Named after Revenue Code section 1031, a 1031 exchange allows for “nonrecognition of gain or loss from exchanges solely in kind.” What does that mean? If you exchange one real estate investment property for another, any capital gains tax is deferred and the basis for the old property (i.e., the original purchase price, adjusted for costs of improvements, depreciation, etc.) is rolled over to the new property. 

Here is a stripped-down example that ignores complicating factors like depreciation and transaction costs:

You currently own property A, for which the basis is $200,000. You sell Property A for $250,000 and immediately reinvest the proceeds into purchasing Property B for $300,000. Typically, you would have to pay capital gains tax on the $50,000 gain you made on the sale of Property A, and the initial basis for Property B would be $300,000. 

However, if you file for a 1031 exchange deferral, you pay no capital gains tax (at least for now), and the basis for Property B would be $250,000 (the $200K basis from Property B + the $50K additional investment required for the purchase of Property B). If you were to later sell Property B for $400,000 and keep the proceeds, you would have to pay capital gains tax on the $150,000 gain ($400K – $250K) you made from the sale.

1031 Exchange Requirements

The IRS keeps a tight rein on 1031 exchanges, and several requirements must be met in order to qualify.


  1. Like-Kind Exchange
    This means the properties exchanged must be similar in nature. This is broadly defined so that any two investment properties within the United States are likely to be considered of like-kind.


  1. Must Be the Same Title Holder and Taxpayer
    The benefits of a 1031 exchange can’t be transferred to someone else. The title holder and taxpayer of the new property must be the same as that of the original property.


  1. No Property Held for Sale
    1031 exchanges apply to real estate held for business or investment purposes. If you are flipping houses, on the other hand, the deferral would probably not apply. 


  1. The New Property Must Be Identified Within 45 Days of Selling the Old Property
    The exchange does not need to be simultaneous (more on that below), but once you sell the original property you must identify the new property you plan to purchase within 45 days. This identification must be memorialized in a signed document.


  1. The Purchase Must be Completed Within 180 Days of the Sale
    The clock starts ticking once you close the sale of the original property. If you have not finalized the purchase of the new property within 180 days, you will have to pay capital gains tax on the proceeds.


  1. The Proceeds Must Be Held by a Qualified Intermediary
    The owner of the properties must never come into contact with the proceeds from the sale. Instead, the funds must be held by a “qualified intermediary.” This person or organization must be someone unrelated to the owner and has not had a financial relationship with the owner for the past two years. 

Types of 1031 Exchanges

There are four basic types of 1031 exchanges.

  1. Simultaneous Exchange

This means the transfer of the old property and the acquisition of the new property happen simultaneously.This can happen through a little swapping of properties, or a structured transaction involving the seller of the new property, facilitated by a qualified intermediary. While this is the simplest type of exchange, in theory, arranging  these transactions can be quite complicated.

  1. Delayed Exchange

In a delayed exchange, you can sell the original property (with the funds going to a qualified intermediary) and purchase the new property later, following the 45/180-day rules outlined above. Because this allows for more flexibility, it is the most common type of 1031 exchange.

  1. Reverse Exchange

In this type of exchange, you can acquire the new property before selling the original property. This has some benefits, such as taking advantage of a good purchase price and allowing you 180 days to see if the market value of your old property increases, however, these transactions typically have to be done in cash.

  1. Construction or Improvement Exchange

This allows you to sell the original property, transfer the new property to a qualified intermediary, use the proceeds from the sale to make improvements to the new property within 180 days, and then have the property finally transferred to you. This can be a very beneficial arrangement but also a complicated one.

Discuss Your 1031 Exchange with an Attorney

Depending on your situation, 1031 exchanges provide significant tax benefits that you don’t want to miss out on. However, they can also be quite complex and, if done improperly, result in a tax bill you may not be ready to pay. For this reason, it is recommended to plan the transaction in advance with the help of a legal professional.

Our real estate attorneys are familiar with all the requirements of a 1031 exchange and have the experience necessary to carry them out successfully. We can help you quickly formulate a plan that meets your financial goals and minimizes your overall tax burden.

Contact our office to schedule an appointment.

Partition Actions in California

Property ownership in California can be quite a lucrative investment. However, when a property has more than one owner, it is not unusual for conflict between parties or for their interests to diverge. A partition action may be the only remedy when that is the case.

What Is a Partition Action?

A partition action is a legal process in which a joint owner of real property forces the division of the property to sell it. It is based on the legal principle that someone who owns property has an absolute right to sell it. For this reason, once a partition action is begun, the other parties can’t stop the petitioner from dividing the property (unless they waived their rights in writing); they can only fight over the details of how it will be done.

They are common when multiple parties inherit a single piece of property or when multiple parties invest in real estate but cannot agree over its management.

Types of Partition Actions

There are 3 basic types of partition actions in California.

1. Partition by Sale

This is by far the most common type of partition in which the court will force the sale of the property and distribute the proceeds accordingly among co-owners who are tenants in common. 

Imagine three siblings inherit a house from their parents; most people are not interested in having a 1/3 interest in a house where they don’t live, and even fewer people are interested in buying such an interest. The most reasonable solution is typically to just sell the house.

2. Partition by Appraisal

Partition by appraisal is an alternative to partition by sale. In our inherited-house example above, imagine one of the siblings wishes to keep the house. One or both of the other siblings can seek a partition by appraisal in which the one who wants to keep the house buys out the interests of the others. This can only be done with the consent of all parties.

3. Partition in Kind

Partition in kind means the party is physically divided among the co-owners. In theory, this is the default form of partition under the law, but it often doesn’t apply. After all, you can’t physically divide a single-family house between three people. It is more appropriate when large pieces of land, such as farmland, can reasonably be divided into parcels. This tends to be a lengthy and complicated process.

Avoiding a Partition Action

Partitions can be long and expensive, so the best remedy is to prevent them from happening in the first place. 

When multiple parties choose to purchase real property together, they often assume they will always agree on important issues. That is rarely the case in practice and they should do their best to anticipate future disputes. For example, is each party free to sell their interest to whomever they wish, or must the other co-owners approve the sale? Or, more basically, what is the exact nature of each person’s interest in the property?

Regarding inherited property, the co-owners are often thrown into the situation with no advance notice. Creating a clear estate plan that guides how property should be divided can be very helpful.

Talk to an Attorney About Partitioning 

Whether you are considering filing a partition action or have been served with notice of a partition by another co-owner, you should meet with an attorney before proceeding. A clear understanding of property law is necessary to ensure the partition is done properly and your interests are fully protected.

Our legal team has plenty of experience in this area and can help you resolve your dispute out of court or represent you in the partition action itself. Contact our office to discuss your situation and create a plan for moving forward.

Reasons to Hire a Real Estate Attorney When Buying or Selling Commercial Property

commercial real estate attorney

Buying and selling commercial property is a complex process—yet many people are reluctant to hire a real estate attorney because they are worried about additional costs. In truth, the benefits of having a commercial real estate attorney far outweigh the costs. 

A skilled commercial real estate attorney can help you avoid costly mistakes, ensuring a smoother, less stressful transaction. But that’s just the start. Here are a few more reasons to hire a commercial real estate attorney when buying or selling commercial property.  

Protect Your Interests

Real estate attorneys have specialized knowledge and experience in dealing with the legalities surrounding commercial real estate transactions. Because of this, they can protect your interests, ensure that the contract terms are reasonable and that you receive a fair deal. Additionally, a real estate attorney can assist you with any issues that may arise following the purchase of your property, including environmental or structural problems. 

Identify Suspicious Terms

A real estate attorney’s expertise in commercial real estate transactions includes analyzing contracts and identifying suspicious terms or potential pitfalls that could harm their clients. They can also recognize zoning or environmental concerns that may impact the property, thus protecting their clients’ interests throughout the transaction process. 

Smoother Closing Transaction 

State laws vary, but even if your state does not require you to hire an attorney when closing on a property, we recommend it for a few reasons. First, an attorney can help prepare and review all documents and contracts to ensure they are accurate and compliant with laws and regulations. Second, an attorney can mediate between you and lenders, title companies, and real estate agents.  

Increase the Marketability of Your Property

Sellers also have much to gain by working with a real estate attorney. For example, suppose your property has a lien or structural issues. In that case, an attorney can negotiate with lienholders to reach a settlement or help the seller fix structural issues by connecting them with reputable contractors or engineers. 

Attorneys can also offer advice on how to disclose these issues to potential buyers in a way that does not discourage them from making an offer. 

Save Time

An experienced real estate attorney can also help buyers and sellers save time by handling legal issues related to the transaction, such as reviewing contracts, negotiating terms, and ensuring all necessary documents are properly completed and filed. 

This can help prevent delays and ensure a smoother, more efficient transaction process.  Additionally, if any legal issues or disputes arise during the transaction, the attorney can help resolve them quickly and efficiently, which can save time and ensure you avoid legal battles. 

Talk to a Real Estate Attorney

If you need legal assistance with buying or selling commercial property, including reviewing contracts, identifying potential pitfalls, and facilitating a smoother closing transaction, look no further than Hoffman & Forde. Our team of experienced real estate attorneys is perfectly suited to help you navigate the complexities of the commercial real estate market in San Diego, Los Angeles, or Orange County. Contact us today to see how we can protect your interests and ensure a successful transaction.

Do You Need a Lawyer for a Commercial Lease?

Do You Need a Lawyer for a Commercial Lease?

Residential leases are full of legally required safeguards to help keep them fair because everyone needs a home, and virtually no one hires an attorney to review their rental agreement. Commercial leases are an entirely different beast. The rules protecting home renters do not apply in the commercial context, as both parties are presumed to be “sophisticated” (i.e., they understand the law and the world of commercial real estate).

The good news is that this frees up both parties to negotiate almost all of the agreement’s terms, allowing for much greater flexibility. However, it does mean that commercial lease negotiations are generally more complex. For this reason, it is often a good idea to hire a commercial real estate attorney to help you. Here are a few reasons why.

Initial Negotiation

As mentioned above, most of the terms of a commercial lease are negotiable. This can be a good thing, as it allows you to reach an agreement that meets your specific needs, but to take advantage of this, you need to be aware of your options. Commonly negotiated terms include:

  • Property Taxes & Insurance – Depending on the type of lease, it’s not unheard of for renters to be responsible for not just the rent but also property taxes and insurance premiums. Of course, this is more advantageous for the landlord, but as with everything in negotiation, it can be used to obtain more favorable terms in other areas.
  • Maintenance Costs – This can cover everything from security to utilities, which can add up quickly. The renter can be responsible for some or all of these costs, and the lease should identify this.
  • Term Length – Commercial leases are typically of a much longer duration than residential leases, and it’s not uncommon to see leases that last five years or more. Longer leases usually mean lower rent, though they also mean higher potential costs if you want out early.
  • Competitor Clause – If you are a retailer or restaurant owner, you may want to restrict the landlord from leasing to competitors near your business.
  • Termination Clause – If you need to end the lease early, what happens should be clear. Are you responsible for paying the remainder of the lease? Can you sublet the space?

These and other important terms are all on the table during a commercial lease negotiation. Having an attorney who is familiar with all of your options can help you find the right balance.

Renegotiating Your Commercial Lease

If there’s one constant in business, it’s that things are constantly changing. The economy goes up or down, consumer trends shift, etc., which can affect your business. If you find yourself in a position where you need to lower costs, it may be possible to renegotiate your commercial lease. Of course, the landlord’s willingness to renegotiate will depend on the real estate market. Still, in general, landlords prefer the stability of a paying renter compared to the uncertainty of finding a new one.

Having an experienced real estate attorney can greatly help this situation. Not only do they understand the ins and outs of commercial leases, they can also relieve a lot of stress when needed.

Talk to a Commercial Real Estate Specialist

Our experienced team understands the Southern California real estate market and knows how to get the best deal for your business. Whether you are just starting or are looking to renegotiate, Hoffman & Forde can help put your business on the best footing possible. Schedule a consultation today to talk to one of our real estate specialists.

Real Estate: What Is a Breach of Contract and What Are the Remedies?

Real Estate: What Is a Breach of Contract and What Are the Remedies?

For most people, selling and buying real estate will be their most complicated experience with contracts. There are many moving parts: home loans, escrow, title transfers, easements, and more. 

Thankfully, the process is so common that for most people, it will go relatively smoothly (even if it is frustrating at the moment), and the buyer and seller can part ways amicably and with no need for future interaction. 

That is not always the case, however. Sometimes the deal breaks down or if it does go through, one party believes the other was dishonest about key aspects. In these cases, there may have been a breach of contract, and if so, the injured party likely has legal remedies.

Breach of Contract in Real Estate

A breach of contract occurs when one or more parties fail to fulfill their obligations under the agreement. 

Here are some of the most common types of breach of contract in real estate transactions.

The Buyer Backs Out

It’s not uncommon for a buyer to back out of the deal. 

Often it’s because they could not obtain financing for the purchase, or the deal was contingent on the sale of their old home, and they were unable to sell it in time. 

Other times the buyer simply changes their mind and walks away. Depending on the terms of the agreement and timeline of events, any of these may constitute a breach.

The Seller Backs Out

Less common is when the seller backs out of the deal. Typically, this happens when the seller has decided against selling the home or received a better offer from another buyer.

Failure to Disclose Facts or Defects

The seller has a contractual and legal duty to disclose any material facts that affect the property’s value. This can be anything from mold to electrical problems. The information must be something the seller knows or should have known about but that would not have been evident to the buyer.

Remedies for Breach of Contract in Real Estate Deals

Where a contract has been breached, the injured party may have a legal remedy. Here are the three most common remedies for breach of contract in a real estate deal.

Retaining Earnest Money

Earnest money is a deposit (typically 5-10% of the purchase price) put down by the buyer to show they are serious and to get the seller to take the property off the market. 

If the buyer simply changes their mind about the purchase, the seller will generally be able to keep this earnest money. However, if the buyer backs out because they cannot secure a loan, it will depend on the contract terms and whether they provided notice in time.

Monetary Damages

The most common remedy for any breach of contract is monetary damages. The purpose of monetary damages is not to punish the party who breached the contract but to put the injured party in the same position they would be in had the contract gone through properly. 

For example, if a buyer agrees to purchase a home for $200,000 but backs out of the deal and the seller is only able to sell later for $170,000, the seller may be entitled to the $30,000 difference in price plus other expenses incurred.

Specific Performance

Specific performance is a less common remedy where one party is ordered by the court to perform the terms of the contract. This might occur when a seller backs out of the deal and tries to sell to someone else at a higher price. 

The court may order the seller to complete the sale to the first buyer because the property is unique and monetary damages are insufficient to compensate the buyer.

Discuss Your Options With a Lawyer

If you’re involved in a real estate transaction and believe the other party has breached the contract, your first step should be to speak to an attorney. 

Our team has years of experience in these matters; we can evaluate your situation and develop a comprehensive plan for resolving the matter efficiently in your favor. 

Contact our office to schedule your consultation.

The Most Common Causes of Real Estate Litigation

commercial real estate litigation

Real estate transactions are time-consuming and often stressful, so we want them to go as smoothly as possible. Sometimes things go wrong, however, and litigation may be necessary due to the value and importance of the transaction. Here are buyers’ and sellers’ most common causes of real estate litigation.

Breach of Contract

Real estate transactions are primarily about contracts, so it shouldn’t be surprising that one of the most common reasons for litigation is a breach of contract. Setting obligations for everything from title clearance to closing dates, so both parties understand their respective responsibilities can minimize confusion. One of the more common types of a breach is when one of the parties backs out of the sale before it is complete. If the buyer backs out, this will usually mean losing their earnest money. On the other hand, if the seller backs out, for example, to sell to someone else at a higher price, the buyer can sue for breach of contract and sometimes even compel the seller to complete the transaction.

Breach of Duty

Real estate agents have a fiduciary duty to their clients, meaning they must act in their client’s best interest. It may breach their fiduciary duty if they have a conflict of interest and don’t disclose this. For example, suppose a real estate agent represents the buyer and doesn’t disclose that they are friends with the seller or have a personal financial stake in the property. In this case, the buyer suspects that the agent’s interest is divided and costing them money.

Failure to Disclose Defects on the Property

If a seller knows or should know about a defect on the property that affects its value, they must disclose that defect to the buyer. There are many such defects, from roof leaks to mold to electrical problems. However, the problem must not have been evident to the buyer. For instance, if there is a five-foot-wide hole in the roof, the buyer probably should have noticed that on their own. Buyers who litigate over failure to disclose defects usually seek to recover the difference in property value.

Boundary Disputes

Real estate’s legal boundaries should be registered with a government office, typically the county commissioner. However, sometimes those boundaries are registered incorrectly. Other times, the “practical” boundary line doesn’t match the registered boundary lines. For example, an owner may build a fence or even a building on their neighbor’s property, believing it to be their property. These mistakes come to light during the sale of one of the properties. Therefore, verifying the parcel’s boundaries is important to the buyer’s due diligence.

California Real Estate Specialists

The best strategy for real estate litigation is to avoid it entirely. However, consulting with one of our real estate attorneys during the buying or selling process can help bring potential problems to light so they can be dealt with in advance. If you are already in a situation where litigation is necessary, our team can help you resolve the matter fairly. Contact us today to schedule a meeting.


Resolving Commercial Property Lease Disputes

commercial property lease

When you are renting a commercial property, of course, you want everything to go as smoothly as possible. Operating a business takes all of your attention, and any disruption can be costly. However, as with any contractual relationship, disputes arise between tenants and their landlords. But don’t lose hope! With a little bit of help, resolving commercial property lease disputes without litigation or vacating the property can be possible.

Common Types of Commercial Lease Disputes

Commercial property leases can be complicated, and a wide variety of issues can arise, but here are the kinds of disputes you are most likely to encounter.

Failure to Pay Rent

It should come as no surprise that the relationship between landlord and tenant is ultimately about money. Therefore, the most likely point of contention between them is the tenant’s refusal to pay rent. It may be that the tenant doesn’t have the funds, or they are withholding rent over a larger dispute. Whatever the case, not paying rent will quickly escalate the situation.

Maintenance Issues

Maintenance issues generally fit into one of two categories. Either the renter and landlord can’t agree on who is responsible for certain types of maintenance (if a water pipe breaks, for example), or the parties fail to their responsibilities. Even seemingly small maintenance issues can balloon out of control if left unresolved.

Improvements/Modifications to the Property

It is often the case that a business owner will want to change a property to accommodate their business. These changes can range from painting the walls to installing heavy machinery. Disputes may arise over the tenant’s right to make these changes and who is responsible for paying for them.

Early Termination/Subleasing

If a tenant wants to vacate the property before the lease term is finished, it can lead to serious conflict with the landlord. For example, it may be that each side disputes how much money is owed to the landlord in that situation, or the tenant may wish to sublease someone else, and the landlord disputes their right to do so.

Resolving Commercial Property Lease Disputes

Most of the time, when it comes to resolving commercial property lease disputes, both landlord and tenant are keen to avoid litigation. However, the path to resolution can vary greatly depending on the situation. For instance, the landlord may want to take advantage of increased rental prices in the area, or it maybe the global pandemic has caused economic problems for both parties, and they are just trying to keep their heads above water. Whatever the situation, here are some general tips to minimize the fallout.

First, don’t say anything you’ll regret. It’s a lot easier to escalate than to de-escalate a situation. Once emotions come into play, people are less inclined to compromise. Also, you may have an ongoing relationship with the other party for years to come, which can be awkward if you’ve personally offended them.

Having taken a breath, your next step should be to consult an attorney. You need to understand your legal position before negotiating a fair resolution, and you need to be sure you aren’t missing any critical deadlines. Also, an experienced real estate attorney will typically better understand what options are available in a given situation. If you are a business owner strapped for cash, it may sound counter-intuitive to hire a lawyer, but you are much more likely to have a better outcome with professional help.

Southern California Real Estate Experts

If you are a commercial landlord or tenant having a dispute over your property lease, don’t let the problem snowball. Rely on our experienced real estate attorneys to help resolve your commercial property lease dispute. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.


Tips for Negotiating a Commercial Real Estate Lease

Two people shaking hands across a desk | Tips For Negotiating a Commercial Lease

Leasing commercial space is quite different from renting an apartment or house. Commercial renters’ needs vary greatly from one business to the next, so commercial leases tend to be much more customizable. Parties to commercial rental agreements are also assumed to be on equal footing, so the legal protections that apply to residential leases do not always apply in the commercial context. When negotiating a commercial lease, these tips can help you navigate the process.

Get Professional Help

Commercial real estate leases have many moving parts, and you’ll be better off consulting with a real estate attorney throughout the negotiation. First, a lawyer can help you understand the lease and the implications of all of its clauses, so at the very least, you know what you’re getting into. Just as importantly, a lawyer can propose alternatives that you might not know and help you put together a counter-offer that is more advantageous to your business.

Identify Your Business’s Real Estate Needs

It may sound obvious, but knowing in advance what your business requires in a physical location is immensely helpful for finding the right space and negotiating specific components of the lease. Ask yourself, what zoning requirements apply to your business? Do you need parking spaces for customers? Do you have any specialized utility requirements? Negotiating Specific Items in the Lease

Keep some of these key concepts in mind as you evaluate the lease.

  • Duration – Landlords typically (but not always) favor longer leases and are willing to give you a discount for adding time to the lease. This may work in your favor, for instance, to help you lock down a prime retail location. However, if your business grows quickly, you may be stuck in an inadequate space.
  • Additional Costs – Does the monthly rent cover everything, or will you be responsible for other costs? These can include common-area maintenance, property taxes, insurance, and more.
  • Building Improvements – You may want to make changes to the premises to accommodate your business. You should identify what is permitted and who will pay for the work.
  • Competitor Clause – If you are leasing space in a shopping center, can the landlord rent one of the other spaces to a competitor?
  • Subleasing – If you want to leave the space before the end of the lease, can you sublease the space to another tenant?
  • Termination Clause – Under what conditions may you or the landlord terminate the agreement? Can they kick you out for missing just one payment? If you leave early, are you required to pay the remaining time on the lease? 

Real Estate Expertise

With the future of your business on the line, the best course of action is to hire an attorney to help you negotiate your commercial lease. Our real estate team has years of experience in this field and is ready to advise you from start to finish. Contact us today to schedule a meeting.

What to Look for in a San Diego Real Estate Litigation Lawyer

With different contracts involved in real estate transactions, it’s highly possible for homeowners and property owners & sellers to encounter litigation. Let’s take a look at common causes of real estate litigation and if you’re in San Diego, what to look for when hiring a lawyer to help with your case.

Common Causes of Real Estate Litigation

Real estate disputes and challenges can be caused by the following.  

Breach of Contract

In real estate transactions, typically two parties will have reached an agreement or contract which can include agreements with respect to purchase, sale, partnership, a lease or other agreements. When one or more parties fail to uphold their end of the contract, whether the agreement was oral or written, a lawsuit can arise. In a case claiming breach of contract, the plaintiff needs to prove that they have upheld their contractual duties, while the defendant has failed to perform the contract’s terms. The wronged party may receive compensation for the damages and losses they endured because of the breach.

Negligence or Breach of Duty

Real estate agents must provide buyers with what they need to make an informed decision regarding the purchase. By law, real estate agents are required to work to benefit the client and their best interests—this includes disclosing information relevant to the purchase and keeping client information confidential. Failure to fulfill due care and not taking appropriate action can lead to a lawsuit. 

Failure to Disclose Property Defects

Thorough inspection of a property is required to help buyers make an informed decision. In California, residential property sellers are required by law to disclose the property’s condition and defects. These include structural defects or even if a death occurred at the property within the last three years. Without thorough documentation and failure to disclose property defects to a potential buyer can lead to litigation.

Boundary Disputes

Another common cause of real estate challenges includes boundary disputes. This type of dispute may arise between neighbors and involve misunderstandings regarding property lines. One way to prevent or resolve boundary disputes is to order a survey which accurately reflects the boundary lines. In some cases the owners can resolve the dispute with a quiet title action, which asks the courts to determine the property’s boundary lines.

Choosing Your Real Estate Attorney

There are other real estate disputes that can arise and it’s best to be prepared in all cases. A real estate attorney can help you prevent these disputes. If you’re already facing litigation, it’s important to choose an attorney that has the expertise, creative approach, and cost-effective solutions you need. 

Experience & Expertise

Whether the property is commercial or residential, look for a real estate attorney or law firm that has the expertise to handle your case. As a boutique law firm, Hoffman & Forde has access not only to real estate attorneys but also a group of professionals across multiple industries. 

Creative Approach

While creativity may be the last thing you look for in an attorney, it’s important to recognize that each case will be unique and will then require a unique approach. Our accessible team at Hoffman & Forde does just that.

Cost-Effective Solutions

You’re already investing a considerable amount of time, money, energy, and other resources to secure your property. Choose a law firm that provides clients with the most cost-effective solutions possible. 


Your San Diego Real Estate Litigation Attorneys

Resolve your case effectively with our commercial and residential real estate attorneys at Hoffman & Forde. Schedule a consultation today to see how we can help.