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What are Property Disputes

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What are Property Disputes and what is their Solution?

property disputes

Property ownership can incite a lot of arguments between a buyer and a seller, a landlord, and a tenant, or even between neighbours, and even within a family. A significant number of people also adopt the notion that it is their right to do whatever they want with their property. In such a situation, they sometimes forget that their conduct affects the surrounding properties. Property disputes are only natural in such situations. 

As a result, property disputes are quite common in Pakistan since disagreements over wealth, self-indulgence, and feuds over rightful ownership are common even among blood relations. Following are some legitimate resolutions to some of the most common residential property disputes to help you avoid such power struggles and allow the law to prevail.

COMMON PROPERTY DISPUTES AND THEIR RESOLUTION

Residential property disputes can sometimes be resolved by taking matters to court, but this is not a guarantee of a satisfactory outcome. As the saying goes, “precaution is better than cure”, so be careful before signing your property papers. In all disputes, especially property disputes, the consultation of expert attorneys is the most important factor. This not only provides you the legal consultation but also the solution to your disputes. This resolution will help you understand what could go wrong, and avoid the most common property scams:

1. Title of the Property

Let’s say you finally took the leap of faith and bought a property. You have a lot on your plate right now – moving, decorating, or renovating the home of your dreams. Despite this, you have selected the best available deal on the market despite this being your first property purchase.

Generally, the title serves as proof of ownership and if it remains unchanged even after the property is purchased, the property still belongs to the previously titled owner and not the current buyer. When first-time buyers are not familiar with real estate markets and completely rely on deceitful mediators, this dispute is common.

Resolution: 

It is common for title disputes to arise as a result of deceitful communications, but you can be vigilant and stay alert. Verifying the authenticity of property documents is a simple way to avoid title fraud. The process of verifying is quite simple, and it can be accomplished by hiring lawyers, and changing the title of the property so no one can claim the property.

2. Inheritance and Will

Death is an inevitable part of life, and while grieving over the loss of a loved one is painful in itself, resolving the issues surrounding inheritances and the legal status of wills makes matters even more complicated. When people have passed their prime age, they sometimes transfer their possessions verbally to their children. They are unaware that the words they use have little value in courtrooms and legal documents. It is not mandatory, however, to sort out probate when someone dies or is about to die. A will simply give someone the legal right to handle the money, property, and other possessions of a deceased loved one. Disputes of this type are usually between family members, siblings specifically, and business partners.

Resolution: 

If the deceased person left a written will, probate is quite simple, and it begins with determining whether there was a will. If there is a will, the executor is the person responsible for managing the possessions. In the absence of a will, the next of kin becomes the administrator for the deceased’s property. Immediately following the declaration of the executor or administrator, the person becomes responsible for:

  • Pay taxes and loans, as well as other debts.
  • Sell or rent assets to collect money.
  • Distribution of assets/estate in accordance with the law.

3. Damaged Property and Evil Neighbourhood

When you’re buying a property, caveat emptor (a Latin term meaning “let the buyer beware”) still applies, which means you’re solely responsible for ensuring the quality, suitability, and sustainability of the property. Sellers cannot be held responsible for damages discovered after the purchase has been made. This is a common dispute that arises after the property has been purchased. While moving in or shortly after moving out, buyers usually find damp areas, house infestations, and even knotgrass.  Sometimes, buyers expect to receive some sort of complementary feature with their purchase (usually appliances, fixtures, or furniture), but after signing the contract, the seller does not fulfil his verbal agreement.

Resolution: 

There is a high likelihood of tiffs over property ownership, even though we hope they may go your way. There is, however, no practical way to solve matters such as property damage and deceptive contracts that are legal matters. As for unfriendly neighbors, there’s not much you can do but report them to local management or a committee.

4. Property Ownership

A dispute can occur when there is a dispute over transferring or maintaining a shared resource, such as a fence, a wall, or a piece of land or business. Often it is the ownership of the property that is in question, and so a dispute arises. When possession is joint or common, there is a possibility of property ownership disputes. Partners often have questions about their share of maintenance costs, leading to several disputes about ownership of the property.

Resolution: 

For property ownership disputes to be avoided, it is essential to understand what type of partnership/responsibility the other party has with the property owner. Upon the death or withdrawal of a joint partner from the property, the liability or benefits are by default transferred to the other partner. In such a partnership, the will is considered void. This type of arrangement is most common among married couples. 

Like a general partnership, ownership is equally divided among partners and must reach 100%. A partner’s share may also be sold or transferred at any time. 

All the partners must understand that the contract should be clear and state their respective responsibilities and benefits.

5. Tenancy Issues:

There are often situations that can cause a dispute even though we all hope that our real estate dealings go smoothly. There are three common tenancy issues: renewing the rent, maintenance, and repairs, and expiring the lease. Before a rental agreement is completed, both parties need to be on the same page. It is important, however, that tenants avoid a few common mistakes when signing rental agreements.  

Resolution: 

Remember that the court will not entertain a tenancy dispute without solid evidence or a valid tenancy contract. Here’s what you can do to avoid renter-landlord conflict.

Rent Renewal:

It can be challenging to navigate residential property disputes. You may be unaware that the rent amount is going to be renewed, especially if you’re not informed by the landlord. According to most rental agreements, there is a fair period before the renewal amount is applied – the renter must be informed at least 90 days in advance. For the tenant, it is their responsibility to ensure that the rent renewal is calculated fairly in accordance with the state’s rental policy on residential properties. 

If the tenant expects a reduction in the renewal amount, it should be negotiated within the stipulated time frame.

Maintenance and Repair:

Residential property disputes often involve responsibilities assigned to rental properties. A landlord will usually honour the cost of maintenance and repairs, but both parties must agree to it. Tenants are responsible for minor repairs, while landlords are responsible for structural maintenance.

Rent Expiration

The most common mistake tenants make is depositing the security amount without mentioning the return upon eviction. Landlords are responsible for clarifying the process of restoring damages when the rental agreement expires, but tenants should confirm the same with their rental contract ahead of time. There should be clemency for fair wear and tear, as well as reinstatement obligations to let the eviction/expiration go smoothly. Landlords who fail to pay the full deposit to tenants can be sued.

Seeking legal help in property disputes? We can help!

Can’t seem to resolve your property disputes? Right Law Associates can assist you with all legal matters in Karachi and Islamabad, including property and rental disputes, corporate and commercial matters, and tax issues. We provide legal advice on all kinds of contentious matters in a variety of different sectors, industries, and jurisdictions. We have provided legal services to sovereign governments, multinational corporations, private individuals, and other public and private companies. Feel free to contact us for a FREE legal consultation with our expert corporate attorneys. We Fight For Your Right!

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