Business Formation
Areas of Practice
Real Estate/Leases

Real Estate/Leases


If you are planning on buying or selling a house, you might need to employ a lawyer to assist you with the Earnest Money Contract, especially if you're not being represented by a real estate brokerage firm. Once you've entered into the contract, a lawyer can also shed some light on all the documents the mortgage company wants you to sign, if you're a buyer, or the legal obligations imposed on you by law, if you're a seller. Whether you are a buyer or a seller, you should review the Settlement Statement prepared by the title company carefully, and a lawyer can help you to understand it better if you have any questions about it.

Jennifer has been conducting real estate transactions both with and without title companies and real estate agents and brokers since 1983 and can answer just about any questions you may have.

If you have already bought a house and you feel you have been misled or cheated in some way, Jennifer can counsel you about this and refer you to a litigation attorney who may be able to represent you under the Texas Residential Construction Commission Act or the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act.


Every land title is actually an opinion, based on the public records which show the history of ownership of the property. Title Companies which are licensed by the State of Texas employ title examiners who have expertise in looking at these records. Land titles are passed by deeds, of course, but also by devise when someone dies and leaves a will that is probated, and by descent when a landowner dies and leaves no will. Land titles are also affected by recorded instruments such as mortgages and easements, foreclosures and lawsuits, tax liens and divorces.

Jennifer has extensive experience in clearing up all kinds of problems with land titles, such as those arising from boundary disputes and questionable past transfers, and most commonly, those which result from an owner's death when there was no will and no probate. Sometimes more than one generation of children of the original owner have all passed away without the land title having been addressed. This is a situation which urgently needs to be addressed before there are hundreds of claimants to the land-all the descendants of the original owner. Only an experienced lawyer can help you navigate this kind of title problem.


Landlord/Tenant law is considerably different in residential situations than in those involving commercial property. Jennifer is experienced in both, having served as Justice of the Peace in Williamson County Precinct One, where she heard almost all the eviction cases in Round Rock for more than two years.

The lease is the most important document in a situation involving rented property. Almost all of the rights and obligations of both landlord and tenant are defined by the lease, and Texas law can only supersede this written agreement between the parties in a very few instances. If there is no lease, the parties usually have a month-to-month tenancy, and this is defined by the Texas Property Code. If you have a question about something that is happening with your rental situation, the best thing to do is to first read your lease. If it is one of the typical preprinted forms, such as that used by the Texas Apartment Association, it probably has a provision that speaks to your specific question. You may need a magnifying glass, however!

The Texas Property Code can fairly be said to be slanted toward the rights of landlords. The reasons for this are many, but the high respect Texas law generally holds for the rights of property owners is probably the most logical explanation. Accordingly, like most Real Estate lawyers who handle Landlord/Tenant Law, Jennifer’s experience tends to be in representing landlords in residential situations. She has represented many commercial tenants, however, and is highly experienced in the review of commercial leases. She can answer your questions and assist you in negotiating your lease before you sign it.

This web site is designed for general information only. The information presented at this site should not be construed to be formal legal advice nor the formation of a lawyer/client relationship.
Copyright 2009, Jennifer J. Mattingly