Do you know how to stop someone from selling a property? Selling and buying properties is a common occurrence in daily life. People come across various social, economic, or personal situations and have no choice but to sell their precious assets. It is not a hidden matter that there are always incidents of people selling fraudulent properties or selling properties without the consent of other shareholders. In cases like this, a person might not know what to do.
- How to seek legal help?
- How to stop the sale process?
It is not altogether easy, as it can get complicated and messy sometimes, especially if you do not have proper guidance or knowledge. But do not worry. In this article, we will do our best to take you step by step through the process of stopping the sale process.
By the end of the article, you will be more familiar with relevant terms like injunction, restrictive covenant agreements and stay orders, etc. So let’s dive straight into the world of selling properties.
How to Stop Someone from Selling Property?
Life is not always smooth. Some many ups and downs come with it, and you should be prepared for everything life throws. The sale process may involve incidents of fraudulent properties, shared inheritance, or fake deeds or titles. In times like this, you should know how to protect your interests. Or what are the steps to get legal help?
- Stop the sale process of your property
- Know why someone wants to sell the property
- Change the title of the property
- Send a letter to the lawyer stopping the sale of the property
- If all else fails, use an injunction to stop someone from selling their home
- Communicate the changes in advance
- Set a deadline for responding
- Ask for more time to think about it
- Object to the sale based on current maintenance costs
- Order of the court
Stop the sale process of your property:
Incidents like these are mostly seen in divorce cases where both spouses have property titles. After the divorce, one spouse starts the sale process of the whole or their share of the property without the other spouse’s consent.
Also, the deed is not well defined in most of these circumstances. One piece of advice is the deeds should be perfected in the courthouse or assessor’s office.
Another common occurrence is inheritance issues. The first thing you have to do is to immediately step forward in stopping the sale process. Get in touch with a lawyer immediately and also with the person who is selling the property.
Know why someone wants to sell the property:
One of the most important things to note is that you should never jump into stay orders or injunctions. Negotiation is always the first step in these matters. Get in touch with the seller and arrange a meeting to discuss why they want to sell the property.
If you immediately go for court help, you will have to provide in your stay application what legal alternatives you have already tried and how a stay order is your last resort. We can never ignore that both parties may come to a middle ground, and the dispute may be solved in favor of both.
Change the title of the property:
A title is a document that defines the legal owners of a piece of property or real estate. The title is different from a deed. It specifies the listed property owners, while a deed refers to how and from whom this property was transferred to someone’s name. Now, how the title of the property is important in this case?
One of the biggest negligence done by property owners is that they forget to change the property’s title or update it after a divorce etc. Though changing a title to a property is not easy since it helps to prevent fraud, one should always keep a check on it. If you get to know that someone is trying to sell your property, you should hurry up in changing the title.
Send a letter to the lawyer stopping the sale of the property:
The next step is to contact your lawyer so that you come to know about other legal alternatives. The grievance party should file an objection application to the registrar to stop the property transfer.
But the application can only be filed on genuine concerns, such as if there is a pending loan against a mortgaged property if, among many legal heirs, one tries to sell or transfer property. The fraudulent properties are with fabricated wills and deeds if there is an injunction order by the court, etc.
If all else fails, use an injunction to stop someone from selling their home:
As told before, stay order or an injunction from the court should be your last resort in this situation. Injunctions differ, and the court may order one depending on the case.
Set a deadline for responding:
After sending a letter through your lawyer, set a deadline for responding. If the other party doesn’t respond or stop their activity, you can take the next step and use this negligence against them in your trial.
Ask for more time to think about it:
Never be quick in making property decisions. Always take time and think about all the negative and positive points. How much damage will selling your property will cause you? What emotional component is involved? Nothing should be ignored.
What Can Be Included In A Restrictive Covenants Agreement?
A restrictive covenants agreement is a clause that restricts, binds, or limits certain actions of a person or entity in the contract or bond. Restrictive covenants can be negative means you can stop action from being performed, or they can be positive, meaning you can enforce an action that must be performed.
These clauses are common in real estate leases. The restrictive covenants agreement can include anything from the colors chosen to paint the walls to restrict the number of tenants/people allowed to live in a property. A thing to remember here is that these restrictive clauses are only enforceable if they are socially acceptable.
It means that they should not be racially or discriminately encouraged. Covenants should be reasonable and favorable for all the property owners in the community.
The restrictive covenants can include the following: –
What Are the Consequences Of Breaching A Restrictive Covenants Agreement?
Most of the time, people are unaware of the whole restrictive clause in the agreement. They buy the property and don’t bother to go through all the clauses. Or their conveyance solicitor also doesn’t inform the buyer of the effect of these restrictive clauses.
Therefore, ignorance is no excuse in situations where the law is concerned. When you sign an agreement or bond, you agree to all the terms and conditions mentioned in it, including the restrictive clauses. Agreeing, you indicate that you have read, heard, and understood all the terms. Haste makes waste, so you should never be hasty in signing the lease or contract.
Whether someone breaches a restrictive covenant agreement unknowingly or intentionally, they will have to face the consequences if the benefiter of the covenant takes legal action against them.
They might be asked to fill a compensatory fee, cease the activity immediately, or even ask you to undo the process if someone built out a conservatory that was restricted from being built on the property.
In cases where an owner has breached the covenant for almost 12 months without challenge and decide to sell the property, they get restrictive covenant insurance to protect their activity.
The best way to get around the whole clause breaching issue is to contact a conveyance solicitor who will be able to help you resolve the whole matter smoothly. A good conveyance solicitor may figure out loopholes in the restriction clause in the deeds or titles of the property or may find out that the current procedures were not involved in enforcing the clause.
How Do You Enforce A Restrictive Covenants Agreement?
The enforcement of covenants is quite complex. Restrictive covenants are written down in a deed or a separate document called a declaration of restrictive covenants.
But not all restrictive covenants are enforceable. There is a certain criterion that must be met to make it enforceable. The criteria include the following:
- covenant is benefited able to the other party’s land
- the covenant was “run with the land,” which means that the agreement is enforceable throughout the future
- the party enforcing the covenant owns the land
- buyer was aware of the covenant before buying it
If you live in a well-planned community, the Homeowners association usually enforces covenants. An interesting thing that arises here is laches—losing a right due to delay or failure to timely assert it—that means that if HOA fails to enforce after a year or two, they lose the right to enforce the covenant or get compensation for it. In the end, whether the covenant is enforceable or not depends upon the state laws.
What is an injunction?
In law, an injunction is a court order issued to a defendant (one or more parties) in a trial that prohibits or requires a person to cease a specific activity. In some less common cases, it commands the performance of some act. The real estate, litigation matters injunctions are widely applicable.
The injunctions may be enforced to protect the property’s value, prevent trespassing onto the property, protect against condemnation and protect the rights of multiple property owners in case of divorce or inheritance.
The injunctions are enforced only when it is suspected that if the specific type of the act is not ceased or not performed in some cases will result in irreparable harm to the plaintiff. If the defendant fails to follow the court’s order and violates the injunction, they would face the punishment for contempt of court.
Types of Injunctions
The court can order many types of injunctions, but the most commonly used are preliminary, permanent, and temporary ones.
Following is a brief detail about each type of injunction
It is a short-term or emergency injunction issued until the court conducts a more in-depth investigation of the case. It is more effective than temporary restraining orders, which a state or local court issues.
A plaintiff might seek a temporary injunction to immediately cease the activity, which may cause irreparable harm to the plaintiff. It usually requires a notice to be sent to the opposing party.
It comes after the temporary injunction. A court considers the preliminary injunctive relief under the light of various factors like the plaintiff should show that if the relief is not granted, what type of irreparable harm it might result to them or how it outweighs the damage the injunction may cause to the opposing property. It is usually enforced at the beginning of the case and continues throughout.
This injunction is imposed at the end of a trial or a legal proceeding. It has an indefinite time limit in most cases. Courts only issue permanent injunctions when the plaintiff proves their case, and the other legal alternatives will not resolve the dispute.
If the injunction is not enforced, it will result in irreparable harm to the plaintiff. Compensatory charges are still more reasonable in all cases if they are applicable than a stay order.
How to get an injunction?
An injunction in real estate litigation is obtained through court. The plaintiff files a case against the defendant and requests an injunction. A preliminary injunction is only preliminary, which means it has no permanent basis. It may be canceled at the trial’s end or become a permanent injunction.
A preliminary injunction doesn’t affect the trial in any case. Even after a temporary injunction is granted, the case continues as any other case. Sometimes the trial for preliminary injunction is heard by another judge, and another judge hears the case.
An injunction to Stop Someone from selling a property in the USA
In the USA, you can stop a person from selling a property by a stay order or an injunction only if selling that property may result in irreparable harm to you. In case of divorce or inheritance, if one of the owners decides to sell the property without the other’s consent, the latter party can file a case for preliminary injunction as a last resort after trying their legal alternatives. A stay order will restrict the sale of the property.
Frequently asked questions:
What are other Ways to Stop the Sale of Property?
Some other ways you can stop the sale of the property are to:
- Introducing a restrictive clause in the agreement
- By changing the title of the property as quickly as possible
- By filing a complaint to the local assessor’s office or sending a letter to the lawyer
How can a Property Be Sold?
A property can be sold through any real estate agent or broker who enlists your property and finds a suitable buyer for your property.
What Are the Steps to Sell Property?
- Find a real estate agent or broker
- Enlisting your property
- Meeting prospective buyers
- Find a suitable buyer and lay out the deed
- Inform both parties about the clauses and terms
- Transaction and transferring the title to the new buyer
In real estate litigation, injunctions are one of the most common terms. People selling fraudulent and unjust properties are not something we are unfamiliar with. In situations where the immediate stop of selling a property is inevitable, you should consult your lawyer as soon as possible.
Try all legal alternatives, reach out to the person selling the property, and carry out a negotiation-based resolution. If everything fails, you should go for a stay order from the court. To prevent such incidents, you can add restrictive covenant agreements in your contract and restrict such acts.
From an expert point of view, a person should always be vigilant in a matter of real estate titles and deeds. If you do not want your property sold unwillingly, keep an eye on the title and deed.
If there is any discrepancy, clear it out at the registrar’s office. In case of a dispute, you can introduce restrictive clauses in the agreements to prevent the exploitation of ownership rights.
Even then, if one legal heir decides to sell the property in divorce or inheritance issues, you can opt for a complaint at the local court or local registrar. You can file a preliminary injunction if the person doesn’t comply with the restriction.
The injunction would be temporary or permanent at the end of the trial. The plaintiff proves that the damage caused by the injunction to the defendant doesn’t outweigh it. The damage caused by the non-injunction to the plaintiff.