What is real estate law? What do real estate lawyers do and how? This was one of those questions which remained unanswered for a long time for me, until I was sought for advise in a real estate matter myself.
A couple of years ago, a friend’s father contacted me out of the blue. He is a retired marine engineer. His elder daughter had recently been married. So, as a gift to his daughter and son-in-law, he had bought them a flat in Bangalore. He had paid about INR 2.5 lakhs as down payment and signed some papers. He was told that the construction work will start in about six months. He then went back to his home in Kolkata. About near 6 months later he realised that the construction work has not started. He contacted the parties and learnt that there will be a delay of a couple of months due to some unforeseen circumstances.
But even after few months, the work had not started. That is when he called for clarifications. Upon seeing such a lackadaisical attitude, things got heated and he threatened them with a lawsuit. Then the contractors simply said that he has waived off the right to sue based on one of the papers he had signed. This is when he got in touch with me.
Real estate lawyers do everything from title search of a property to dispute resolution. They have to conduct the due diligence for the property to know if the title is clear for development or sale. Then they have to make title search reports or title search certificates as per their client’s requirements. They also check for pending mortgages and litigation on the property, to find a reasonable and amicable solution for their clients. They advise their clients on various property related matters. They draft MOUs, lease agreements, leave and license agreements, etc. They also handle land or property related disputes. Their clients range from individuals investing in a flat to developers or promoters. So, if you’re a developer trying to get the land to develop a property, you have to get in touch with a real estate lawyer.