Providing Real World Solutions to Real Property Problems

The practice of real estate litigation involves disputes over real estate properties and projects of a wide array, such as office buildings, retail centers, apartment buildings, condominiums and cooperatives, hotels, and specialty properties. Disputes and ultimately litigation may arise anytime with respect to any aspect of these projects, from acquisition and financing to development and construction to management and leasing. Real estate disputes can be as varied as the parties and projects themselves. Such disputes, especially in New York City, often involve potentially high damages, multiple parties, and numerous regulations and laws. Court cases involving commercial and residential real estate are relatively common. These may arise out of confusion concerning the terms of a contract, the refusal of a party to follow state and city laws, or even issues over land-use.

Timmins Harlan represents individuals and businesses, of all sizes, in a wide range of real estate litigation disputes, some of which are highlighted below. As a full-service law firm with a dedicated Real Estate Litigation Practice, we have the expertise and experience to handle your specific situation.

Should you have any questions regarding our real estate litigation services, please feel free to fill out a request form or contact us directly.

Condominium & Cooperative

Numerous buildings throughout New York City are run by cooperative and condominium boards. In a cooperative, a shareholder owns a particular number of shares and may occupy a specific unit under a proprietary lease. In a condominium, a unit owner occupies a particular unit pursuant to a unit deed and owns a particular percentage of common interest in the building. Disputes can arise over bylaws, proprietary leases, house rules, regulations, or leases. We advise cooperative and condominium boards as well as unit holders and shareholders on a variety of matters, including:

  • Shareholder disputes
  • Common charge collection
  • Sponsor litigation
  • Breach of contract
  • Construction, management, and repair issues

Construction & Development

Construction and development litigation is a highly specialized area of the law. For owners and developers, disputes are often part of the construction process. There may be disagreements about the scope or cost of work, allocations of responsibility and the meaning of even the most carefully drafted contract provision. We advise a variety of industry participants, including general contractors, subcontractors, developers, owners, and lenders, on all types of construction and development matters, including:

  • Regulatory and licensing infractions by contractors
  • Per se violations of the Consumer Fraud Act
  • Construction contract breaches
  • Claims relating to defective goods and materials
  • Mechanic’s lien guidance
  • Breach of contract and breach of warranty
  • Bond and insurance claims


The landlord-tenant relationship can often be adversarial, and the legal process is based on this dynamic. On one side, an individual, company or other corporate entity requires adequate, well-maintained space in which to reside and conduct business. On the other side, a building or property owner wishes to secure tenants who are responsible and comply with their lease obligations. We represent owners and shareholders of cooperatives, condominiums, apartment buildings, townhouses, brownstones, and commercial properties, as well as residential and commercial tenants, in the full spectrum of landlord-tenant matters, including:

  • Eviction and nonpayment
  • Holdover and repairs
  • Commercial landlord-tenant issues
  • Nuisance, noise, and pets
  • Rent control and stabilization laws
  • Loft law

Ownership, Title & Deed

A common dispute is one between co-owners of real estate with divergent interests, such as unmarried couples who bought property together, siblings who inherited property, or business partners with joint property. A partition action is a legal proceeding that allows co-owners of real property to force the sale or division of the property when they cannot agree on how to use or manage it jointly. A co-owner may commence a partition action whether the property is owned as tenants in common, or joint tenants with right of survivorship. We handle an array of co-owner, title and deed issues matters, including:

  • Partition and accounting actions
  • Quiet title actions to resolve or preclude claims
  • License and access for property improvement
  • Declaratory judgments
  • Easements or other right-of-way issues
  • Fraudulent transfer of deeds
  • Beneficial and/or nominee interests
  • Adjacent property use affecting title or value of property

Real Estate Sales Contract Disputes

There is a great period of uncertainty in real estate sales contracts between signing and closing. There are typically numerous conditions that need to be fulfilled and contingencies that may allow the real estate purchaser to rescind the contract and obtain a refund of the deposit. A buyer or seller will often seek to avoid the contract based on alleged misrepresentations, non-fulfillment of conditions or other factors. Regardless of whether the dispute concerns a simple real estate deal gone awry or complex litigation involving large commercial properties, we can compel enforcement of parties’ contractual rights. Some of the types of matters we handle include:

  • Breach of contract by seller or buyer
  • Fraud, misrepresentation, or nondisclosure of property defects
  • Problems at closing (breach of contract, time is of the essence, title defects, misrepresentations, loan/financing issues, etc.)
  • Recovery of down payment or earnest money deposits

Real Estate Broker Commission Disputes

Real estate transactions often involve valuable property rights, nuanced legal paperwork, and large sums of money changing hands. Broker commission disputes can occur in a multitude of ways. Commonly, agents representing parties to a transaction agree to split the commission on the listing. When these deals are agreed upon orally or even when they are reduced to writing, conflicts can transpire. We advise on an all types of real estate brokerage commission matters, including disputes involving:

  • Real estate brokerage contracts
  • Buyers and sellers who refuse to pay an agreed-upon commission
  • Brokers or real estate agents from another firm

Should you have any questions regarding our real estate litigation services, please feel free to fill out a request form or contact us directly.