Real Estate & Land Use

We provide assistance in the negotiation and preparation of contracts for the purchase, sale, or lease of real property. We provide legal assistance in matters involving easements, rights of way, boundary lines, hazardous materials, water rights, mechanics’ liens, commercial and residential landlord/tenant matters, construction defects, foreclosures, receiverships, water law, and environmental law. The firm also provides expertise in assisting in the development of commercial and residential properties, including representation before governmental agencies, and preparation of common interest subdivision management documents (CC&R’s, Articles, By laws of homeowners associations).

DEALS

Our firm’s real estate attorneys have experience in all forms of real estate deals and each is a California licensed Real Estate Broker. Whether the deal involves a purchase, sale, lease, option, loan or some combination, our attorneys can assist with the negotiations, preparation, interpretation and enforcement of such deals.

TITLE DISPUTES

A title dispute can arise when multiple parties claim competing interests in the same piece of real estate. The claim may relate to the proper owner or whether a valid mortgage exists on the property. Such disputes may also arise when a title company has failed to discover a claim against the real estate. In such instances, it is often necessary and critical to obtain a court judgment to establish who the legal owner is to the real estate, known as quieting title. Our firm has handled numerous actions on behalf of title companies, corporations and individuals.

EASEMENTS

Simply put, an easement is a right to use another person’s property for some limited purpose. The most common form of easement is the right to travel across another person’s property to access property. Although many easements are granted by deed, there are multiple instances in Northern California where no recorded easement claim exists. However, a party may well have rights even without such a recorded instrument. Furthermore, even with a recorded deed, disputes over the scope and location of the easement often arise. Easement claims can be critical to the value of a person’s real estate, as there is little value to one’s land if they cannot access the property. Our firm has handled hundreds of easement claims, including one of the most recently published easement cases. See Cottonwood Duplexes v. Barlow.

BOUNDARY DISPUTES AND ENCROACHMENTS

It is not uncommon for neighboring property owners to have a clear understanding of their respective property lines. In such instances, parties may unintentionally encroach onto a neighbor’s property. Or, in some instances a neighbor may simply disregard a property line and construct improvements upon a neighbor’s land. In such instances, it is not uncommon for the neighbors to develop a significant animosity towards one another. Our firm has handled numerous boundary disputes through trial. However, these matters can often be resolved through careful work on behalf of experienced counsel.

LAND USE

Many people who own property and want to subdivide it or conduct  business on the property are overwhelmed by the requirements imposed by the government bureaucracy. We can advise you on how to proceed and help you navigate through the different government agencies so that at the end of the day you can do what you want with your property. For over 29 years we have assisted hundreds of clients to obtain entitlements before local technical advisory committees, planning commissions and board of supervisors, including general plan amendments, zoning amendments, use permits, variances, processing of land divisions pursuant to the Subdivision Map Act and the California Environmental Quality Act. Our representation extends to clients with issues concerning the State of California Williamson Act, aka the Land Conservation Act including the handling of immediate cancellation projects on behalf of landowners to remove the land from the Williamson Act.