Birmingham and Mobile are two of the three largest cities in Alabama and as a result, have a very active real estate market. If you are buying, selling, or managing a residential or commercial property, counting on effective real estate attorney services is the key to a stress-free and successful transaction. There are so many details involved in a real estate transaction that having an experienced real estate attorney on your side who knows the applicable federal and state laws can make the process go smoothly. You won’t have to fret about all the paperwork and negotiations that need to be done. Our experienced Birmingham real estate attorneys provide excellence in personal service, from contract to closing and beyond, to ensure your experience is rewarding.
The attorneys at Cloud Willis & Ellis are prepared to assist you with representation in a variety of aspects in the complex real estate market, including leasing, acquisition, financing, development, management and sales of real property, and multi-tenant properties. Our expertise extends to representation in landlord/tenant issues, including evictions, ejectments and post-eviction matters, as well as homeowners’/property owners’ associations. We are also able to assist with foreclosures and redemptions.
From investigating and resolving complex title issues, to drafting a good deed for you, we strive to handle every aspect and answer your questions and concerns with commitment to professionalism and service.
The expertise of our attorneys is recognized among their peers, resulting in numerous requests to speak at seminars and business meetings for those in the real estate industry. Additionally, our attorneys are highly sought after for articles and writings for various publications.
Don’t know how a real estate attorney can help? The following are four types of real estate services that professionals from established law firms like Cloud Willis & Ellis may provide residents and businesses in Birmingham.
Residential Real Estate Service
Residential real estate transactions, whether you’re a buyer, seller, or simply planning to refinance your house, usually have to involve an attorney who can advise you on critical matters. With so many potential pitfalls and confusing legalese you might encounter, the guidance of a real estate attorney would ensure that your interests are protected and you get the most out of the deal. While many people find that buying property is straightforward, it can be complex quickly. For instance, if you are buying a home with a non-family member, it is wise to involve an experienced lawyer. Similarly, if you don’t trust the seller’s agent, if you are buying a foreclosed property, or you are buying property with a Homeowner’s Association, having the experience of a real estate lawyer who can protect your interests could save you time and money. In Alabama, real estate lawyers are the only ones who can write deeds or legally-binding documents between the buyer and seller.
Commercial Real Estate Service
Commercial real estate transactions are more complicated compared to residential transactions, what with more laws, standards, and other factors that must be considered. During commercial real estate deals, your attorney can draft and review the necessary documents, negotiate for you, document the transaction, and ward off issues that can kill the deal. Unlike residential real estate deals, buyers don’t have as much protection when it comes to purchasing commercial property. The Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act, a federal law to protect home-buyers, doesn’t apply to commercial real estate. While this opens up more options for how both parties want to close the deal, it also means it is imperative to have an experienced lawyer who can help you make financially solid business decisions. Buying commercial real estate typically means you are investing a significant amount of money into the property. With that much invested, spending a bit extra on a qualified lawyer who can advocate for you is a smart business-decision.
A foreclosure attorney will help you avoid foreclosure by analyzing your situation and negotiating with the lender on your behalf to work out a reasonable solution. Your lawyer will try to find out if you have any foreclosure defenses that may be applicable to you. Take note that it’s best to hire a real estate attorney if you’re considering possible solutions like a short sale, loan modification, and deed in lieu of foreclosure.
If you are a landlord trying to evict a difficult tenant, a Birmingham Real Estate attorney will help you in taking the right legal actions. The law regarding the eviction of problematic tenants is complicated, and you will need the services of a real estate attorney to make sure that you don’t infringe the tenant’s rights and carry out the eviction legally. Common reasons for evictions include not paying rent, lease violations (such as having a pet in a no pet lease agreement), illegal drugs or other activities on the premises, renovations after lease is up, the landlord decides to not rent the property any longer, and the tenant’s lease agreement is up. However, according to the Cornell University Legal Information Institute, a tenant cannot be evicted due to their race or simply because the landlord does not like the tenant. Additionally, a landlord cannot harass a tenant in hopes that they will leave. This includes changing locks or removing utilities such as electricity and plumbing. Landlords also cannot evict tenants out of retaliation. If the tenant complained about the condition of the property or even sued the landlord because of unfair rent in violation of the Federal Fair Housing Act, the property owner cannot evict the tenant. As you can see, evictions are complex and it may be difficult or even impossible to evict a tenant. An experienced attorney can help you navigate through the eviction process so that no errors are made and no illegal actions are accidentally taken.
The Federal Fair Housing Act
Under the U.S. Federal Fair Housing Act, it is illegal to discriminate in real estate transactions based on race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, and nation of origin, according to the U.S. Department of Justice. As such, all real estate deals must abide by this act and it is prohibited to refuse sale or rent, or to negotiate based on the person’s race, religion, sex, etc. Whether you are renting or selling, it is imperative to follow the rules laid out by the Federal Fair Housing Act, as infringement upon a tenant or potential buyer’s rights can end in a costly lawsuit.
No matter your real estate needs, contact the experienced real estate attorneys of Cloud Willis & Ellis today at 205-322-6060. We are eager to assist you throughout each step of your case, contact our experienced Birmingham real estate attorneys.
For additional information concerning this practice area, please review these helpful documents:
- HOA Representation
- Real Estate Investor, Landlord and Property Management Representation
- Residential Real Estate Contract
- Real Estate Placement Form