Rhode Island Real Estate Lawyer

Property Transaction Attorney Serving Rhode Island

For many people in Rhode Island, a real estate transaction is the most expensive transaction into which they will ever enter. Legal issues may arise from residential closings, commercial closings, title insurance, zoning and variance concerns, and other situations. These issues can become complicated, risky, and expensive unless you consult an experienced Rhode Island real estate lawyer, Stephen P. Levesque can protect your property rights. Stephen P. Levesque is the Host of the weekly talk show Legal Tips every Sunday on 630 WPRO. He also is a member of the Rhode Island Bar Real Estate Committee.

Residential Closings

A residential real estate closing involves gathering the parties to a real estate transaction. The closing may occur at the office of a title insurance company, at the broker’s office, at the lender’s office, or at an attorney’s office. The parties and their attorneys will determine whether the terms of the agreement of sale have been satisfied. During a residential closing, title is officially transferred to the buyer of the real estate. A closing attorney facilitates the transfer of title and must record the new deed. The seller delivers a signed deed, and the buyer signs mortgage documents. After the closing, the deed and the mortgage are recorded, and the seller is paid.

Commercial Closings

Lawyers can assist clients with avoiding disputes, delays, and post-closing problems in connection with commercial closings. These may involve office buildings, shopping centers, apartment buildings, and other properties to be used for business. Often, these transactions are much more complex than residential real estate closings. A real estate attorney in Rhode Island can handle title searches and title insurance, provide representation at the closing, obtain land use approvals, draft condominium and homeowner association documents, and handle due diligence items.

Title Insurance

Title insurance allows homeowners a way to mitigate the risks associated with buying a home. It protects lenders or homeowners against defects in the chain of title. Defects could include bankruptcies, prior mortgages, liens, divorces, missing wills or heirs, and inadequate property descriptions. Sometimes there is a defect because real estate changes hands between family members, and even though this was recorded, this was not explained to the homebuyer. The homebuyer might be surprised to discover that there are different boundaries to the property than they believed. Title insurance is usually between the insurer and the mortgage lender, with the mortgage lender requiring the policy as a prerequisite for making the loan. The lender policy shields the lender, even though the homebuyer pays the premium for the policy. However, there are also separate title insurance policies for buyers. An ‘Owners’ policy of title insurance is perhaps the best way to protect yourself when you buy real estate. A Rhode Island or Massachusetts real estate closing attorney is the best person to guide you through the closing process.

Zoning and Variance Requests

Rhode Island’s land use regulations will affect whether you can use your land for a certain purpose. It is crucial to confirm that the property’s zoning district allows for your intended use. For example, if you want to buy property for a shopping mall, you will need to check whether this is an allowed use under the city’s zoning ordinances. If an intended use is allowed, you probably can go forward without taking special action, although you may want to obtain confirmation. If an intended use is not permitted, a Rhode Island real estate attorney can help you pursue a use variance or a zone change.

Adverse Possession Claims

Through adverse possession law, people who openly inhabit otherwise neglected property may be able to get legal title to the property after a statutory period of time has passed. In Rhode Island, somebody can claim legal title to an otherwise neglected parcel of property after openly inhabiting it for a minimum of 10 years. In most cases, adverse possession applies to situations in which, for example, someone has a shed or another structure that extends onto someone else’s property. The statute does not require paying property taxes or making improvements, but when these activities have occurred, they can be used to help the person with the adverse possession claim.

Quiet Title Actions

If a person claims title to real estate, but that title is disputed, they can bring a civil action known as a quiet title action. This action is brought against people who are claiming or who might claim an interest in the property, and against people who seem to have any adverse interest. The purpose of the quiet title action is to decide the validity of someone’s title or estate, to remove any clouds on that title, and to quiet any other claims of title to the real estate.

Partition Actions

Forced Sale Of Real Estate In RI With Family Member, Business Partner, Significant Others-Partition. A partition case in Rhode Island (RI) is an equitable, legal action in which a person corporation or legal entity can force the sale of real estate against another co-owner or life tenant.; Family Member, Business Partner, Life Tenant, Trust Property, and Estate Inheritance. A partition case can involve either residential or commercial real estate. Most disputes are about issues concerning payment of taxes, assessments, condominium issues, insurance, condominium fees, mortgage payments, payments of the home equity line, payment of lines of credit secured by the real estate, utilities, payment of heat, electric, water, maintenance of the property, upkeep, additions, rent of tenants, remodeling issues, contracts between the parties, payment of condo fees, common maintenance fees, legal fees etc. Partition is the most effective manner a person or entity can separate themselves from co-ownership of real estate and receive their share of the equity owed to them.

Discuss Your Needs with a Real Estate Lawyer in Rhode Island

If you are concerned about a matter affecting your property rights, you should call the Law Offices of Stephen P. Levesque at (401) 490-4900 or contact us through our website. Mr. Levesque represents people and companies throughout Washington County, Kent County, and Providence County from his office in Cranston.

Client Reviews
"Attorney Levesque answered my phone call immediately and was especially informative with regard to my problem. I am still in the initial stages of formulating a plan and I won't hesitate to have Stephen handle my situation." Eliza W.
"Words cannot express our gratitude for the way in which you capably and competently represented us in court last Tuesday. You are an outstanding attorney with a unique sensitivity to your client’s personal and legal affairs. We are proud to say that Stephen P. Levesque is our lawyer! Once again, thank you." William R.
"Thank you so much for helping me through this time. It’s refreshing to have such professional, courteous & respectful people surrounding me in business. You are the model that many should aspire to be. You are the best! Thank you again!" Roy R.
"Thank you so much for your help. I very much appreciate the professionalism, quick response to my calls and thoroughness of you and your staff. Thank you!" Jen R
"We just wanted to take a moment to say thank you for helping us get our lives back in order financially. There were many sleepless nights. We thank the Lord for people like you that are out there to help people like us." Andrea L.