San Antonio Real Estate and Lease AttorneysTo put it simply, the world of real estate law is vast (then again, it is the law that determines how the Earth is distributed!). We generally work with clients in three key areas of real estate law.
DEEDS AND DEEDS OF TRUST
For clients who seek to sell their land with owner financing documents, we can assist with the preparation and filing of documents like the promissory note, warranty deed with vendor's lien, and deed of trust. Experience in the foreclosure process has led us to tailor these documents to help better ensure the seller's foreclosure rights.
If you are purchasing a parcel of land, it is important to carefully review the documents related to your purchase. In one case, we were tasked with reviewing nearly seventy pages of material for a client and ultimately found that the client was waiving or not receiving critical rights and interests that the seller had promised for both subsurface and water rights! In another, case, a client had already committed to numerous terms and conditions in an accepted offer that we were unable to negotiate later because the client didn't come to us first. Suffice it to say that its important to thoroughly review the material before executing purchase documents and, as we always say, please come to us first before signing anything!
We have prepared both residential and commercial leases for landlords. Due to changes in the Texas Property Code, most of our lease preparation revolves around commercial leases for businesses and adding supplemental provisions to residential leases (which are often done on commonly accepted Texas Association of Realtors forms). Experience in both drafting and litigation have informed how we draft leases and supplemental provisions including the terms regarding tenant default in particular.
Our firm also routinely assists tenants with the review of commercial leases prior to their entry and, of course, drafting commercial leases helps assist with understanding their terms. Overall, lease negotiation is both an art and a science: it is important to recognize that many large commercial landlords have what amount to ‘non-negotiable' provisions in their leases. Although it is theoretically possible to negotiate everything, it is important to understand the realistic limitations of what can be achieved in a negotiation without sacrificing beneficial terms on pricing, buildout or T&I money, and the overall lease term. Our approach is thus to explain the options to the client and explain the potential risks associated with a more or less aggressive negotiating position (and then adhere to the position that the client wants to pursue).
If you are a landlord with a tenant in default, we can assist you with navigating the applicable notice and eviction procedure. Time is always of the essence in these cases, and we recommend that you consult with us as soon as possible if you have a tenant in default of your lease or you anticipate that your client will default under your lease.
If you are the tenant in default, we can assist you with ensuring that your rights are protected and that your landlord follows the appropriate procedures in adhering to your lease and the law. In commercial cases, we may be able to help with either re-negotiating your lease or, in a worst case scenario, defending a lawsuit against you for breach of your lease, eviction, or holdover. In some cases, we may recommend that you or your business consider bankruptcy. Again, time is of the essence in defending your claim, and we recommend that you consult with us as soon as possible if you are in default under your lease so that we can hopefully avoid the worst outcomes.
REAL ESTATE LITIGATION
Real estate litigation itself can take many forms, but most often, these cases revolve around foreclosure, eviction, or a breach of contract (like leases). We have assisted clients with foreclosing on delinquent mortgages and promissory notes and initiated eviction proceedings for individuals who chose not to vacate the premises after foreclosure. We have also assisted with condemnation/eminent domain issues and wrongful foreclosure cases.
In general, real estate litigation cases tend to be time sensitive and many of the claims are governed by strict rules regarding how they are pursued. As frequently mentioned on our Real Estate page, it is critical to consult with us as soon as possible in the process if you anticipate a default by your borrower or tenant or you've received a notice from a government agency or office regarding the taking of your property.