Key Real Estate Law Topics in Philadelphia and Pennsylvania, presented by Harper J. Dimmerman, Attorney at Law. Mr. Dimmerman is a seasoned Philadelphia real estate lawyer and litigator in Philadelphia. Philadelphia real estate law and throughout the rest of Pennsylvania even can be quite complicated, not to mention fast-paced. Giving yourself the added security of a qualified lawyer to protect your interests can make a significant difference in the outcome of the transaction or litigation matter. Taking that extra time for due diligence or securing a more protective agreement of sale can save a buyer or seller inordinate amounts of time and legal fees in the future. Generally, the American Rule will apply and attorneys' fees will not be recoverable, ever where you have arguably been aggrieved and relatively blameless in the process.
Agreements of Sale for Real Estate
Are you in the process of buying or selling residential or commercial real estate? You have the right to have a qualified attorney review the deal and to draft the necessary documents. Putting too much money down or not having the necessary contingencies, could lead to problems after the contract is signed. What if you cannot even the real estate as a legal triplex, for instance?
Botched Home Inspections
Did you recently purchase a home, only to discover that there are defects in your home, which the inspector failed to note in the Report? These defects might have altered your decision to buy the house or at the minimum, led to a negotiation for a reduced price or repairs by the seller? What do you do now? You may have the right to pursue the home inspection company for damages and may be limited by a one year time limitation from the date of the home inspection.
Do you have a new business? Were you just presented with an incredibly detailed and one-sided lease? Is the commercial landlord trying to exploit you because it has the zoning you need and essentially giving you a take-it-or-leave-it proposition? Are you the personal guarantor? Is there a confession of judgment clause? Do you feel like you lack bargaining strength because the location is good or the zoning fits with your particular business? Contract law can be one of those most damning areas of the law when things go wrong. Do not sign anything until a competent attorney reviews your lease. You could be setting your business up for failure before it even commences. Mr. Dimmerman has litigated these real estate cases and knows.
Confession of Judgment Litigation
Did your commercial landlord or lender confess judgment against you, where you have a perfectly valid reason for not remitting payment? Are your personal assets in jeopardy now? Mr. Dimmerman has successfully litigated confession of judgment matters, which can be extremely time-sensitive and challenging. If you have been served with such a suit, do not delay and contact Dimmerman PC now.
Deposit Disputes/Litigation for Home Purchases
Do you regret putting down an inflated security deposit for a house? Here you thought you were making your offer appear more enticing to the seller. Little did you realize that the Seller would resist your having these large sums refunded when you discovered you could not obtain the mortgage you needed? As arbitrary as the seller's logic may seem, you still have a problem. Maybe the house did not appraise for the purchase price and you failed to include the necessary contingencies/contractual language to protect you? Maybe you gave the seller more time to fix something and a dispute ensued related to the Reply to Inspection and associated Addendum. I understand these issues and can assist with your dilemma.
Pennsylvania Legal Malpractice
What follows is a snippet of the law courts in Pennsylvania will apply to a claim for legal malpractice: In a trespass [legal malpractice] action, the plaintiff [the aggrieved client] must establish three (3) elements in order to recover: (1) the employment of the attorney or other basis for duty; (2) the failure of the attorney to exercise ordinary skill and knowledge; and (3) that the attorney’s failure to exercise the requisite level of skill and knowledge was the proximate cause of damage to the plaintiff. Bailey v. Tucker, 533 Pa. 237, 246, 621 A.2d 108, 112 (1993). An attorney will be deemed “negligent” if he or she fails to possess and exercise that degree of knowledge, skill and care which would normally be exercised by members of the profession under the same or similar circumstances. Collas v. Garnick, 425 Pa. Super. 8, 13, 624 A.2d 117, 120, appeal denied, 535 Pa. 672, 636 A.2d 631 (1993). If you believe you have been aggrieved by the conduct of another attorney, contact Mr. Dimmerman for a free evaluation. Know that the clock begins to run from the time of the error/when you reasonably should have discovered the malpractice. Was a statute of limitation blown or another critical error made that caused your case to be thrown out of court?
Personal Injury Defense
Are you a landlord without insurance being sued for an alleged injury at your property? Are you a manager being sued for the injury of a tenant or guest? Are you a home inspector being sued for an injury, where the victim alleges your inspection was a cause in the case? If you do not have insurance, Mr. Dimmerman may be able to assist.
Just because you have a legitimate gripe with your landlord, that does not mean withholding rent is necessarily the best option. The internet has created significant confusion in this regard. If you are confused about how to approach the situation and need guidance on the law and facts, reach out to Mr. Dimmerman. Winding up in court can only add insult to injury. You could even get stuck paying the landlord's legal fees.
Philadelphia Housing Authority (PHA) Appeals
Do you believe that the Philadelphia Housing Authority (PHA) has unfairly evicted you? Is PHA claiming that you breached the lease when the infraction was de minimis and you have otherwise been a stellar tenant in good standing? If you are of this mindset, then you very well may have the right to a trial by jury. Mr. Dimmerman wants to assist you for a reduced fee or even pro bono, on a case-by-case basis.
Commercial Real Estate Commission Litigation
Are you being sued for commercial agent commissions? Perhaps you bought a building and got stuck with the prior owner's commission contract as to the existing rental properties? The commissions can be quite significant and even continue indefinitely. Mr. Dimmerman can assist with this type of litigation.
Did you add the wrong person to a deed? Is there a breakup necessitating a fair division of the real estate? Are you the only one paying the bills while the other person is living in the jointly owned real estate, rent-free? Does the person refuse to buy you out or be bought out for a reasonable price? Partition litigation may be your only option to force a sale.
Did you hire a contractor who walked off the job and then asserted a mechanics' lien for money to which you believe the contractor is not entitled? Maybe the GC failed to remit the monies owed to the subcontractor? Is there a 203(k) loan involved? Mr. Dimmerman may be able to help you.
New Construction/"Flip" Defects
Real estate has become something of a "gold rush" in Philadelphia. Everyone seems to be trying to cash in on this craze. Did you buy a new home with defects or did you close on a "flip" with serious quality issues? Mr. Dimmerman may be able to assist.
Seller Disclosure Fraud Litigation in Pennsylvania
Did the seller conceal defects from you? Would you have negotiated a lower price or not even purchased the home in the first place, had you known the truth about the condition?
Did you have some involvement in a real estate contract that was assigned? Did this assignment to a third party create complexities leading to litigation or the need for litigation?
Tax Sale Redemption Matters in Philadelphia
Was your family home sold due to a small tax balance with the City of Philadelphia? Is a real estate investor attempting to curtail your legal rights and displace you/your family from the property? You may have the right to redeem the real estate and Mr. Dimmerman enjoys assisting homeowners to keep their home.
Contact Mr. Dimmerman for an evaluation. He is a Philadelphia real estate lawyer. (215) 545-0600