Real Estate Lawyers Berkeley

The real estate market is a place where many individuals and businesses have invested significant time and resources. For families, this is often their largest asset and can serve as the basis for eventual retirement. For companies, a physical location can be the heart of an operation and the main source of income. Sadly, disputes over real estate rights and purchases can often result in the need for litigation. When this happens, having a skilled real estate attorney by your side is crucial.

An Berkeley real estate lawyer at Estavillo Law Group is prepared to protect your rights. This includes explaining the laws that control your case, gathering evidence that supports your position, always focusing on your goals and representing your interests during settlement talks, and presenting your case in court, if necessary.

Our Commercial Real Estate Services Berkeley

Buying commercial real estate—especially in expensive Berkeley markets—is a serious investment. That’s why potential real estate investors and owners in the Bay Area turn to us year after year. Here are a few of the commercial real estate offerings we provide:

  • Oversight of all legal paperwork
  • Contract preparation and review
  • Negotiation of acquisitions and dispositions
  • Explanation of laws, rights and documentation during the purchase process
  • Inspection of property before purchase
  • Compliance with local and state laws
  • Exploration of tax liability

At the end of the day, you deserve the peace of mind that comes with knowing that someone has reviewed every detail, implication and possible outcome of your real estate transactions. Luckily, that’s what we do best.

Real Estate Litigation Attorneys

Not everyone realizes that “lawyer” and “litigator” are not interchangeable. Whereas some lawyers only practice transactional law, a litigator is a lawyer who tries cases in court, also known as a trial lawyer. In other words, all litigators are lawyers, but not all lawyers try cases in court.

In disputes involving real property, it’s essential to partner with a firm that practices real estate litigation, a legal process for resolving disputes and settling conflicts in court. Although some real estate disputes can be resolved outside of court, litigation can be a powerful tool in certain situations.

Real Estate Litigation Berkeley

Property owners can engage in real estate litigation involving serious residential or commercial real estate disputes. Most parties pursue real estate litigation when another party’s actions jeopardize their title or the value of their property.

Why Pursue Real Estate Litigation? Berkeley

The need for real estate litigation can stem from many different scenarios, but the following are among the most common:

  • Breach of contract involving residential or commercial leases
  • Contract disputes between landlords and tenants
  • A breach of construction contracts
  • Encroachments and easements
  • Zoning disputes
  • Failures to disclose
  • Title disputes or defects
  • Mortgage disputes, including default or foreclosure
  • Issues involving condominiums, such as conflict between boards and owners or associations and management companies

Many different types of people are affected by real estate conflicts. If you’re wondering whether or not to pursue litigation, it’s essential to ask yourself a couple of questions. First—can my conflict or dispute be resolved outside of court? And secondly, does your conflict threaten your title ownership or the value of my property?


Many people believe that purchasing land gives them the right to do whatever they want with their new property. Unfortunately, this is not the case. A collection of federal, state, and local laws controls the activities that owners can undertake on their land as well as what they can do with it. It is not unusual for a landowner to purchase land with a specific goal in mind only to find that other landowners or government entities are now objecting to this use.

An Oakland land use litigation lawyer at Estavillo Law Group could help you or your business if the need to pursue legal action becomes apparent. Our knowledgeable real estate attorneys could explain the laws that control proper land use in the area and compare them with your actions or those of another party. With this information, they could take the lead in pursuing a fair settlement or bring a case to court on your behalf.

What Are Real Estate Acquisitions & Dispositions in Berkeley?

“Acquisitions” and “dispositions” are two words you’ll hear a lot in the real estate industry. Although they sound complex, they really just refer to the processes of acquiring (the acquisition of) or selling (disposing of) a real property.

Real Estate Acquisitions

When someone refers to real estate acquisition, they are talking about gaining ownership or control over a real estate property. Contrary to what you might think, this process is a lot more complicated than simply signing a contract and transferring funds.

The Acquisition Process

When it comes to property acquisition, there are several factors to consider. The most important are marketing, lead processing, due diligence and closing. Here’s what they each entail:

  1. Marketing. This first stage employs strategies that are designed to generate responses from motivated sellers. The primary goal is to find properties that would provide ideal investment opportunities.
  2. Lead processing. This process means compiling all relevant responses from prospective sellers and evaluating them to make an informed offer.
  3. Due diligence. Due diligence involves making sure there aren’t any aspects of the transaction that could limit the buyer’s ability to profit from the investment. This information could include rent rolls, property zoning, profit and loss statements, conversations with contractors, appraisers, inspectors and more.
  4. Closing. This final stage occurs after due diligence is completed and is the most essential one in which to involve a legal professional.

The ultimate goal of most acquisitions is to one day sell the property in order to benefit from the investment. As a result, acquisition is the necessary precursor to disposition.

Four Types of Acquisitions

In terms of real estate, acquisitions are typically divided into four types. These commercial real estate investments are sometimes referred to as the “core four” and include the following divisions:

  • Office buildings. From low-rise to high-rise, commercial office spaces can differ drastically and are generally differentiated by height, location and use.
  • Industrial properties. Industrial real estate is typically used for manufacturing, distribution or storage and is typically categorized by use.
  • Retail centers. Retail buildings can range from single-business structures, such as a pharmacy, to large, mixed-use buildings like shopping centers containing multiple businesses.
  • Multi-family real estate. Multi-family properties can vary drastically by size and shape, ranging from tall urban apartment buildings to resort-style condominiums.

Regardless of which type of real estate acquisition you’re pursuing, an experienced real estate attorney is an essential player in achieving your goals.

Real Estate Disposition Process

Disposition is generally considered the last stage in the real estate investment process, the point at which you sell your property. With help from a real estate expert, you’ll work to find a buyer with the mission of liquidating your asset and eventually investing in another property.


Every real estate transaction taking place in the Oakland area should occur under the umbrella of a contract. This can include purchase/sale agreements, lease arrangements, and even sublets. Unfortunately, disputes over the terms and fulfillment of these contracts are common. Such conflicts can range in complexity from simple accusations of a failure to provide payment in a timely manner to concerns over whether a party has provided substantial performance under the letter of the law.

No matter the situation, parties have the right to demand legal enforcement. An Oakland contract disputes lawyer may be able to help to meet your goals during settlement negotiations to bring the matter to a close. If this fails, our team of dedicated real estate attorneys are prepared to fight for your rights in court.

Providing Protection After an Alleged Breach of Contract

A breach of contract can occur at almost any time and for multiple reasons. In general, parties to contracts must abide by the terms under the language of that agreement. Usually, this means providing a payment, delivering the property on time, or providing a service. If a party believes that the other has failed to fulfill their duties under the language of the contract, they may allege that a breach has occurred.

The first step in dealing with a breach is attempting to resolve the dispute outside of the court system. Parties who have a contract disagreement in Oakland can always attempt to settle their claims outside of court. An experienced Oakland contract disputes attorney could help to protect the rights of property owners and renters and determine if a breach has actually occurred.


One of the many advantages and benefits of owning your property is the right to use that land as you wish. However, this does not mean that you have the ability to interfere with your neighbor’s same rights. Living near others is often a balancing act between doing what you want and respecting the privacy and right to privacy of others.

Sadly, many people take things too far. This can result in property damage that affects your land or nuisances that interfere with your ability to live a peaceful life. If conversations with others have failed to bring these matters to a close, it may be time to seek legal help. An Oakland property and neighbor dispute lawyer could explain your rights under the law, evaluate the actions of others, and demand a fair resolution that protects your property and dignity. Reach out to one of the dedicated real estate attorneys at Estavillo Law Group today for a case review.

The Rights of Property Owners and Tenants to Use the Land

A common saying is that a person’s home is their castle. This general concept has some backing under state law. One common example is the right to quiet enjoyment. According to California Civil Code § 1927, a person who rents an apartment or home from a landlord has the right to expect to be able to live peacefully on that property. This means that they should be free from interference from both the landlord and other tenants.

The same general concept applies to homeowners. CA Civ. Code § 3479 defines the concept of a nuisance as anything that harms the health of others or obstructs the free use of land. This could include excessive sound, foul odors, or blockages on driveways or other paths.

Either of these examples may serve as the basis for a lawsuit demanding an end to certain behavior. A seasoned Oakland property and neighbor dispute attorney is ready to examine the actions of others to determine if they infringe upon a property owner’s or tenant’s right to use their land.

Commercial Real Estate Leasing Berkeley

Commercial Real estate Leasing is the bread-and-butter of investors everywhere. A real estate lease is a binding legal contract that outlines the terms by which one party rents property from its owner. Depending on whether it is a residential or commercial lease, it includes a number of stipulations and guarantees.

Residential vs. Commercial Real Estate Leases

There are two primary types of leases: residential and commercial. Whereas residential real estate refers to property used exclusively for private living quarters, commercial real estate means any type of property used for business purposes.

In the world of real estate investment, any lessor can benefit from contracting legally drafted leases, but especially owners of commercial real estate. That’s because commercial leases vary widely by type, tend to involve more money than residential leases and are more complex.

Types of Commercial Real Estate Leases

The terms of a commercial real estate lease affect both the lessor and lessee. For property owners, the conditions of the lease and the type of lease can have a huge impact on the property’s profitability. In California, commercial leases are divided into the following three types:

  1. Gross lease. Widely considered the most tenant-friendly lease, the gross lease only requires tenants to make a single fixed monthly payment. All property expenses, including utilities, taxes, insurance, maintenance and janitorial services, are paid by the property owner, although landlords may put a cap on utility costs in some instances. The owner may use this type of lease for small office buildings with low energy costs and relatively little wear and tear.
  2. Modified gross lease. In a modified gross lease, the tenant will only pay a fixed monthly cost for the first year, just like in a gross lease. The landlord will continue to pay the other expenses beyond the first year if they remain the same amount. If those expenses exceed the first year’s, the tenant is responsible for paying the difference. Although not as tenant-friendly as a normal gross lease, it still offers most business owners a reasonably cost-effective leasing transaction.
  3. Triple-net lease. Under the terms of a triple-net lease (which is generally used in retail settings such as shopping centers), the tenant is responsible for paying all of the property’s expenses, including taxes, insurance, maintenance and utilities. Although there are some exceptions, the tenant is responsible for almost every expense incurred through regular property use, which tends to benefit commercial landlords.

Reach Out to an Oakland Real Estate Attorney Today

Disputes concerning real estate can have a significant financial impact on individuals and businesses alike. If there is a dispute and it appears that a compromise is not possible, it may be necessary to initiate litigation. This could mean participating in settlement or mediation talks or even bringing a formal lawsuit to civil court.

An Oakland real estate lawyer may be able to help. They are prepared to take the lead in settlement talks that could help to avoid costly court cases. However, if the case does go to court, they will take every step necessary to protect your rights. Contact us now to learn more.