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Milwaukee, WI 53202
Gimbel, Reilly, Guerin & Brown, LLP

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Milwaukee WI real estate litigation attorney home defectsBy Russell J. Karnes

Most people are relieved and ready to move on to the next phase of their lives after going through the long and stressful process of selling a home. Buyers and sellers typically have had very little direct interaction with each other during the sale process, and most sellers assume that they will never hear from the buyers again. 

But as sure as the first warm sunny day will melt the winter snow, so too will Wisconsin’s real estate litigation start heating up this spring. Because with all that melting snow comes another sure sign of spring in Wisconsin: damp and leaky basements. In some cases, last season’s real estate buyers are surprised to find out that their new home’s basement is no longer dry. So some buyers decide to sue the sellers after realizing how much it’s going to cost to fix their leaky basements. 

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real estate litigation, Milwaukee real estate lawyers, boundary disputes, real estate litigation process, property ownership issuesPurchasing real estate property is a major step in a person’s life, and property ownership provides a wide variety of benefits. However, those who invest in real estate will want to do everything they can to protect their investment, and this means that disputes can sometimes arise that must be settled through real estate litigation. Boundary disputes are one common issue that property owners may encounter and, in these cases, it is important to understand how Wisconsin laws can affect property ownership.

Boundary Disputes and Adverse Possession 

Boundary disputes occur when neighbors disagree about the location of property lines. While a property survey can establish legal boundary lines, there are cases in which a person may be able to claim ownership of his or her neighbor’s property based on his or her use of that property. This is known as adverse possession. 

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Wisconsin real estate litigation, home buyer disputes, Milwaukee real estate litigation attorneys, breach of contract, zoning issuesBuying or selling a home can be a lengthy, complicated process, requiring both parties, their real estate agents, and their attorneys to meet a variety of legal and financial requirements. Unfortunately, disputes can arise in which a party fails to abide by the terms of the purchase contract, and real estate litigation may be necessary to resolve these matters. Consider the following common issues that can lead to legal disputes in real estate transactions:

  • Failure to disclose - Under Wisconsin law, a seller is required to fully disclose any known defects that affect the value of a property, present safety issues for those who use it, or result in a shortened lifespan for the premises. Failure to disclose required information may result in the buyer rescinding the purchase contract. Furthermore, in some cases, a seller may be required to pay damages to the buyer.

  • Zoning issues - Following the signing of the purchase contract, legal issues affecting the property may arise, such as disputes over boundaries or property lines, zoning regulations that affect how a property can be used, or easements on a property. Litigation may be required to determine how these issues will impact the sale of the property.

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Milwaukee tax assessment lawyer, property tax assessment, Wisconsin tax assessors, Wisconsin property taxes, pay property taxesIn Wisconsin, owners of real estate are required to pay property taxes on an annual basis, and the revenue generated from these taxes is used to fund local government and public schools. Property taxes are based on the value of real estate. However, due to changes in the market, these values can fluctuate from year to year. Property owners should be sure to understand how the process of property tax assessment can affect the taxes they pay.

Understanding Property Tax Assessment

Every year, local officials known as tax assessors determine the taxable value of all property in their district. This assessment consists of three factors:

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commercial real estate, Milwaukee real estate lawyer, carbon monoxide detection, Assembly Bill 904, carbon monoxide detection requirementsCarbon monoxide is a common by-product of combustion, and it is produced by automobile engines, fireplaces, stoves, grills, and furnaces. Unfortunately, this colorless, odorless gas is a serious threat to public safety. Across the United States, more than 500 people are killed and 10,000 people are injured by carbon monoxide poisoning every year.

In order to address the dangers of carbon monoxide, the Wisconsin Assembly recently introduced a bill which would change the requirements for carbon monoxide detectors in residential buildings. Owners of commercial real estate should be sure they understand these possible changes and are prepared to meet these requirements if the bill passes.

Updated Carbon Monoxide Detection Requirements

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