Real Estate & Construction

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This firm represents clients in a wide variety of real estate type disputes. These range from boundary line disputes to enforcements of covenants and restrictions in subdivisions. For most people the purchase of a home and property is the largest single investment of a lifetime. Many of these issues are common and require immediate attention.

In specific terms of boundary disputes, there can be a problem with adverse possession which is when one party, with or without direct knowledge, has real estate that is being used by someone else in an adverse circumstance. Perhaps your neighbor has planted rose bushes on your yard or maintains a garden which crosses the boundary line. Adverse possession has some complicated issues around it and there are different types of adverse possession. In Tennessee the statute of limitations for all adverse possession actions is seven years from the date of accrual. Figuring out when your rights begin to run is sometimes a complicated matter and we always urge clients to bring these matters to your neighbor’s attention first to see if you can resolve the issue, or they should see an attorney immediately to discuss what the issues are and take appropriate action.

In terms of covenants and restrictions on properties, most of these situations arise in subdivisions that have documents recorded at the Register of Deeds Office which impose limitations on one’s ability to use their property. There is no firm statute of limitations when it comes to these type of actions, but there are equitable doctrines that can actually put you in a position where the judge would rule that you have waived your right to enforce the covenants or restrictions, either by the passage of time or by inaction which causes the parties’ positions to change. Many covenants and restrictions allow the collection of attorney fees from the party violating the covenant or restriction. You will need to consult your attorney to determine what your rights are if these problems arise.

This firm also does construction litigation and represents both owners of buildings and contractors. In new constructions there is a three year statute of limitations from the date of completion and an extra one year statute of repose should you discover a problem with your new construction in the third year of your ownership.

Construction cases usually do involve some type of professional negligence, either by the contractor, a surveyor, or an engineer and the theories are combined.

Many people receive a builder’s warranty that goes along with a new house. The warranty items are governed by the warranty document and the document may have a built in statute of limitations. However, if you discover a problem with your structure because the contractor or other person working on your house did not meet the standard of care of contractors in the state of Tennessee, and most particularly in the area in which you live, then you can bring action despite the one year warranty.

 

photo credit: Craftsman House via photopin (license)