Atlanta Commercial Real Estate Attorney
Whether you have a landlord/tenant issue, a zoning issue, a real estate law question or a quiet title action, it is important that your interests are protected by an experienced legal professional. Robust legal representation from advocates who understand the intricacies associated with commercial real estate, development deals or land use in Atlanta and throughout the state is as necessary as any other element in your business. Our commercial real estate attorneys represent the interests of commercial clients, individuals, and government entities with confidence and attention to detail. We always work to avoid lengthy and expensive litigation; in business, however, that’s not always possible. In those instances, we enter the courtroom armed with the facts and anchored in strong ethical practices and respect for the court and our client.
What type of real estate litigation matters do your Atlanta business attorneys represent?
Our team of real estate lawyers will tackle almost every type of commercial real estate and land use issue. Among those real estate issues, our clients may face:
- Partner and member disputes;
- Contract disputes;
- Business divorces;
- Quiet title actions;
- Land use;
- Water runoff;
- Commercial foreclosures;
- Wrongful foreclosures;
- Easement disputes;
- Boundary disputes; and
- And many more.
Do you handle commercial property tax appeals and exemptions?
In addition to assisting with real estate transactions, leasing, foreclosures and other real estate law issues, we also handle property tax appeals and exemptions. In fact, we handle these cases on a regular basis. Hecht Walker, PC is one of the few real estate and land use firms in the metro Atlanta area that offers commercial property tax appeal services.
Complicated but necessary, commercial tax appeals enhance the value on real property while also shoring up the bottom line. Often, we can secure a positive outcome with teamwork with our client during the administrative appeal stage which makes litigation unnecessary. Note that if the matter is not settled prior to litigation, we will seek attorneys’ fees provided the valuations asserted by the tax assessor are well above market.
Are you familiar with commercial foreclosures and confirmations?
When a creditor forecloses on a security deed for a commercial property, a process known as confirmation may be used by the creditor. The confirmation process is for the creditor to seek a deficiency judgment in addition to taking the property.
Compliance with Georgia’s real estate laws, including the specific processes for notification, is mandatory. We handle the commercial foreclosure and confirmation process from start to finish. Our Atlanta attorneys bring to the table specialized experience in these types of real estate disputes and can move the process forward for their clients, negotiating, mediating and litigation as needed.
Can you help with lease default litigation?
Yes. Depending on the circumstances, leverage can be achieved by either the landlord or the tenant.
It’s important to adhere to the specific statutes in Georgia law. Both landlords and tenants must exercise caution in the termination of leases and eviction of occupants. A solid review from a qualified commercial real estate attorney should be conducted as soon as possible. Leverage can be a powerful tool for both a landlord and the tenant; therefore, this is something that should not be discounted.
A careful review of the applicable notice requirements, terms of the lease and the condition of the property play a role in determining which legal avenue to pursue. The primary areas that will require a deeper review are the default and remedies section of the commercial lease. Georgia courts look to the details within these provisions for guidance in their rulings. The courts will sometimes interpret them in ways neither the landlord nor tenant anticipated and this certainly highlights the importance of having an Atlanta real estate dispute attorney by your side.
What are some other specialized real estate litigation issues you can help with?
Our commercial business lawyers represent clients with their commercial property rezoning and permitting needs. This representation assists clients in determining whether a property can achieve a certain density or use. Often, the property is only going to be purchased based on attaining a special use permit or a re-zoning being achieved. Hecht Walker will advise the client after some due diligence as to whether we believe the goals are achievable or not to better evaluation the potential transaction. Thereafter, we will put our best efforts and contacts forward to help our clients achieve their goals in this area.
Is a real estate litigation attorney really necessary for land use and title issues?
Hopefully not, but it often is. Land use issues are complex, especially when it comes to variances, special use permit applications, and re-zonings in Atlanta and throughout the state. Whether you have vested rights that are ignored or a re-zoning that should be approved but is denied for illegal reasons, litigation is the enforcement tool when local leaders refuse to follow the law. Politics will sometimes get in the way of the application of law. If the attorneys at Hecht Walker cannot achieve the results requested through the administrative process, our attorneys are ready to go to battle for you in the Courtroom.
Also, while not common, complications associated with property titles can crop up unexpectedly, causing delays, unanticipated expenses, and sometimes the inability to sell property. The financial aspects can be challenging. We can work with you on title insurance and title litigation.
Why would I need the help of a real estate litigation attorney for a lien against a property?
The answer to that question depends on your position. If you are filing a lien in order to secure payment and resolve a legal dispute with another party, the law requires the lien to be formatted in a very specific manner. The omission of certain language mayinvalidate your right as a lienholder. We work with property owners, builders, developers, materialmen, supplier and other lienholders to protect their rights. We would enjoy the opportunity to assist you.
For an owner, a lien against property is a real threat to his rights. Liens can significantly delay or even prevent the closing process on the purchase and sale of property, securing loans and the very real threat of foreclosure of the lien is always present.
For a contractor, subcontractor or supplier, liens are a proactive approach that can provide assurances for future payments of monies owed. They protect the financial stability for a contractor so that he may meet his own financial obligations, such as payroll and payments to his own subcontractors. A Georgia law went into effect on January 1, 2013, and addresses certain recorded liens that can encumber property for up to 365 days before a lienholder will be required to file suit to collect on the amount of the lien. We work with commercial lien holders and property owners on these issues.
Lien laws in Georgia are ever-changing and are specific. Failure to abide by these laws can result in the unenforceability of the lien and a forfeiture of lien rights. For example, with regard to certain liens presently, a lienholder may be required to file his/her lien within 90 days after completion of the work or furnishing of materials. Other compliance requirements may include but are not limited to providing notice of the lien to the property owner via certified mail within two days of the lien filing. Not only that, but current laws may require certain liens to be memorialized and formatted in a very specific manner, and the failure to adhere to those guidelines may invalidate the rights of lienholders in some instances. To be sure, getting it right the first time is crucial.
What’s the Difference between a Breach of Contract Claim and a Lien Claim?
Many assume a breach of contract claim is interchangeable with a lien claim. The biggest difference is found in who or what is left vulnerable. In a lien claim, it’s the property and not the individual in the crosshairs. Even when an owner has paid the contractor in full, the property may still be vulnerable if the contractor does not pay the suppliers and subcontractors.
Lien waivers are invaluable and can protect a property owner from unethical or irresponsible contractors and subcontractors. Like liens, in order to be effective, lien waivers require precise legal framing with procedural compliance to be effective. For example, in many instances, certain lien waivers must be prepared in 12-point font with boldface capital letters and must notify interested parties that signing the notice will financially obligate the contractor, subcontractor and/or supplier who signs the document.
Our attorneys have significant experience in enforcing Atlanta lien rights and defending them throughout the state of Georgia. We have assisted individuals and multi-million dollar companies affected by unenforceable liens, and we have also successfully secured payment for contractors, subcontractors, and suppliers by ensuring the details were in place, and the final documents were properly prepared and filed.
What are regulatory takings?
Whether you own a commercial structure, a residence or development property, the threat of condemnation is always present and certainly unwelcome. Simply defined, regulatory takings in the state of Georgia means that the government may step in to regulate or limit the use of a property, even if it does not own the property, if it is detrimental to the public. If these actions lend to a deprivation of the use of the property by the property owner, it then it may become a “taking”.
What’s the Difference between a Regulatory Taking and Eminent Domain?
Contrary to what many believe, eminent domain and regulatory takings are two separate actions. In eminent domain, the property is taken by the government when a greater public need is established. The property owner is required to be fairly compensated for the transaction. Regulatory takings also involve government action, but typically, the interest is in limiting the use of the property. The reasons can vary: oil or mineral interests, for example, may play a role in the government’s decision. As mentioned, if the government becomes too restrictive to the point that it offers no value to the property owner, then steps are taken to compensate the property owner, much the way compensation occurs in eminent domain.
Why Do I Need an Atlanta Real Estate Lawyer for Regulatory Taking?
Unrepresented parties may not receive an offer that reflects the true market value of the property. Not only that, but the process as a whole can quickly become overwhelming. Our experienced legal teams are diligent in our research and committed to ensuring our clients are protected. We assist clients in regulatory takings and the condemnation process through applied leverage, negotiations, and the use of experts in the field when needed. Hecht Walker, P.C. will work with you to secure financial offers above the government’s initial offer.
Can Hecht Walker, P.C. help me avoid litigation?
While we are formidable trial lawyers, our goal is to avoid a courtroom showdown when possible. Litigation can be expensive, time-consuming and stressful. We assess the client’s goals and work to be efficient in resolving the matter first if possible. Atlanta real estate disputes can and often are resolved between the parties. Our Hecht Walker, L.C. team brings to the table many years of legal experience and an impressive history of going above and beyond on behalf of our clients. A few of our creative strategies include applied leverage, negotiations, mediation, and arbitration.
Serving clients throughout Atlanta, Georgia, our legal team can assist with a range of real estate law matters, from assistance with acquisition and negotiating real estate deals, to leasing, new construction projects, cases involving a company’s bankruptcy and a range of other business matters.
What Does the AV Preeminent Rating Mean?
The Peer Review Ratings™ are compiled by and maintained by Martindale-Hubbell. Our Founding Partners Greg Hecht and Mark Walker, are AV Rated Attorneys. AV rated attorneys are recognized by Martindale-Hubbell as having the highest rating for Legal Ability and Professional Ethics. This is Martindale-Hubbell’s highest recognition for attorneys. The ratings are designed to provide insight into a lawyer’s ethics, professionalism, and business practices. What makes this rating process important is that they are determined by an attorney’s peers and other members of the applicable bar association.
While the Peer Review Ratings include insight on Georgia attorneys, the system is used around the country and in Canada. The first review to establish a lawyer’s rating usually occurs three years after having passed the bar. We are enormously proud of our AV Preeminent® rating as it’s the highest rating offered. It takes teamwork to consistently rank near the top.
Whether you are a small business owner, a CEO for a large national company or perhaps you are a real estate contractor, Hecht Walker, P.C. is home to some of the most principled, experienced and committed lawyers in Georgia.
Our Hecht Walker, P.C. mission statement is simple:
HARD WORK, HONEST WORK, TEAM WORK
This information was posted on 08-23-2016 and does not constitute legal advice nor does it create an attorney-client relationship. The law changes on a daily basis and the reader should engage an attorney through a written agreement before taking action in this area of the law.