First time posting and unfortunately it’s about a big issue on my first ever purchase.
Last summer (2019) I bought some land in Navajo County, Arizona, I received a special warranty deed, and everything seemed okay other than a caveat that I needed to be able to prove legal access before being issued a building permit. I waited a few months and noticed the GIS wasn’t updating to show the parcel in my name, so I contacted the county and they said to me that they had asked the seller to use the “Minor Land Division” process to create the splits he was selling but he did not. I contacted the seller about the issue via email and explained the taxes were still being assessed to them and I didn’t want for them to fall behind, it seems they were paid but the seller seemed to be avoiding me. About 9 months after the sale I left a voice message explaining I will have to file in court if I don’t start getting some answers, and the seller’s assistant finally started emailing me back.
I had two issues, the first being the land was not split from the parent parcel, and the second being the legal description on my deed is slightly wrong and needs to be corrected. Unfortunately they were not interested in fixing either and simply said “the county changed the rules and we can’t do anything about it.” I then attempted to use an online State-court sponsored mediation service and invited the seller to join me so we can work out our differences, but again the seller was uninterested and declined to use the service. I then received an email from the seller that my card had been refunded the original purchase price of the land, and a quick note from the seller explaining the refund. I never asked for a refund, it was 100% unsolicited, and done in a matter which appears like the seller was trying to cover his a$$.
I had been planning to bring my trailer down to the land this February when my current lease is up so I can improve and work on it, but the seller is being extremely uncooperative with any suggestions I’ve offered to help them correct the issue. Am I correct in thinking that if the seller does not want to properly divide the land according to the rules the county told him to follow, that I could bring a case for specific performance so the court can ensure he follows through with his duty to perform? If he does’t want to perform am I correct that the seller may be liable for expectation damages due to changes in market price? What about fraud for advertising something he had no intention of making good on, using my credit for 14 months, and lying about the circumstances in light of the county stating the complete opposite?
I’m getting really concerned because I need to have this fixed by February or I will not have a place to put my trailer, and I will have wasted a lot of time making plans to live on this land. If anyone has any experience in this or knows a good real estate attorney in Arizona who could help for a reasonable amount (should be able to collect fees on winning) can you please let me know?
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