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What Are Common Forms Of Real Estate Fraud?

What Are Common Forms Of Real Estate Fraud?

| Jan 13, 2021 | Firm News |

The past year’s events have caused some unprecedented changes in commercial real estate transactions. As business and commerce landscapes shift to possibly permanent new models of development, property owners have begun selling off non-productive properties. Some investors see these sales as an opportunity for better buyer conditions, even as many workspaces and storefronts go unused. 

Understand what nondisclosures constitute fraud

Any breach of the duties laid out in a contract can lead to legal action. This is why verifying the claims made in a transaction is so important in commercial real estate. Not every intentional nondisclosure in a real estate sale, lease or purchase is considered fraud, but here are some of the actions that could result in litigation:

  • If a seller misrepresented real property, this might be regarded as fraud. A material misrepresentation can include a falsified statement being presented as fact before and during a transaction.
  • If a seller uses aesthetic changes to hide damages or make certain claims about a property, this may be considered misrepresentation of the property’s material facts.
  • A seller should not conceal facts about events that occurred on the property that could affect its value or the terms of a transaction.

Finding remedies for fraud

Oftentimes, a seller doesn’t commit fraud purposefully. If a seller did knowingly misrepresent the material facts of a property, the buyer could bring a suit against them. If this is the case, a buyer would have to show evidence that the seller misrepresented the property and that they would not have completed a transaction with that knowledge. Moreso, you may have to show that a transaction caused you damage while the seller profited.