Trial attorneys helping to resolve real property disputes in Central California

Real estate disputes can arise at every stage of property ownership. Whether the property is residential or commercial or for purchase, sale or lease, investment in real estate often involves significant sums of money. It also involves a great deal of time in activities such as planning, investigation, diligence, construction and maintenance. When litigation involves real estate, you need an aggressive, experienced real estate litigation lawyer like the ones at McCarthy & Kroes who represent your interests in whatever forum required, from the negotiating table to the courtroom.

How we can help

At the Santa Barbara law firm of McCarthy & Kroes, we understand the costs at stake in real estate transactions. We know how to help you achieve an effective resolution of disputes through negotiating for a mutually agreeable solution or taking a claim to trial to enforce a contract or obtain a remedy. Our skilled and capable lawyers are experienced in representing individuals and businesses in many types of real estate disputes:

  • Easements, property line and boundary disputes
  • Title defects, including ambiguous language in deeds, incorrect property descriptions, outstanding liens or encumbrances
  • Disputes over buy-sell agreements, including financing, disclosure issues and contract terms
  • Disputes over land contracts, including seller financing, delivery of marketable title and buyer default
  • Landlord-tenant law and disputes over leases, quiet enjoyment, possession, unpaid rent, habitability and more
  • Zoning and land use disputes, including permitting issues, variances, boundary disputes rezoning, tax assessments and classification
  • Joint-tenants and partition actions for the division of property
  • Construction disputes, including design and workmanship and soil and slope stability
  • Quiet title suits to determine ownership of real property
  • Specific performance of real estate sales contracts
  • Fraudulent conveyance of deeds


An easement is the right of use over a property by someone other than the property owner. There are three types of easements that are particularly common:

  • Easement in gross: These typically are created to allow access to property by public utilities for power lines, water pipes, gas lines and phone lines.
  • Easement appurtenant: These are created by necessity, such as when a property becomes landlocked because of a division and sale, and a road over adjoining property is necessary for access.
  • Prescriptive easements: These occur when a person uses property without permission. The most common instances are when a homeowner erects a fence or paves a driveway on the wrong side of the boundary line. When a prescriptive easement is not secret, clearly observable, without the landowner’s consent and continuous for a minimum of five years, the property becomes the possession of the user instead of the owner.

Most easement disputes are resolved through suits to quiet title, but granting written permission for use prevents a user from obtaining a prescriptive easement.

Transfer disclosure statements

Our Santa Barbara attorney represents both buyers and sellers in all types of transactions and real estate agents in matters such as transfer disclosure statements and claims of failure to disclose. California law requires most property transfers to be accompanied by a written disclosure of the condition of the property. This disclosure applies to the property itself and to items on the property, such as appliances, alarms and other additions. The disclosure must describe the operating condition of these items and the condition of the property itself, such as cracks in the walls or sidewalks, leaky roofs and other issues. In addition, the statement should disclose any other conditions affecting the use or enjoyment of the property, such as the existence of easements, neighborhood nuisances or environmental hazards and whether any part of the property was built without the proper permits or in violation of applicable zoning laws.

Contact experienced lawyers for help resolving real estate disputes today

Whether you are a buyer, seller, agent or other party to a transaction involving any type of real estate transaction, the law office of McCarthy & Kroes has the experience and skill to represent your interests in litigation and dispute resolution. To discuss your case and obtain professional representation, contact the Santa Barbara lawyers of McCarthy & Kroes online or call 805.564.2085 today.