Illinois Real Estate Lawyers
In Illinois, real estate law is a very broad area of law governing anything that has to do with the ownership of land and buildings.
Real estate law can apply to many numerous facets of a personal and professional life. It can apply to anything from the purchase of a vacant lot, to renting prime downtown office space.
Illinois real estate law can be very intricate, because it's really a collection of a lot of different areas of law. These areas of law include property rights, contracts, land use, and many others.
Having a good general knowledge of Illinois real estate law can make a lot of transactions, such as purchasing a house or renting an apartment, much easier.
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Common Real Estate Issues in Illinois
Financing: Most people in Illinois probably can't afford to buy a house or a piece of land up front. Consequently, most individuals and business use some form of financing to purchase real estate, typically a mortgage. A mortgage is a loan used to buy a piece of real estate, with the purchased real estate simultaneously securing the loan.
Disclosure: When a house or other building is being sold, it's possible that there will be some physical defects in the structure. Potential buyers generally have a right to know about these defects, which means that sellers have to disclose them. Generally, if the defect is one that the seller knows about, and the buyer probably couldn't discover it through a normal inspection, the seller has to disclose it. Really, though, it's a good idea for sellers to disclose every defect they know about, whether or not they believe disclosure is technically required as to a specific defect.
Warranty of Habitability: This applies in residential leases. Landlords are under a legal duty, whether it's specifically stated in the lease agreement or not, to ensure that the rented property is fit for human habitation. The requirements for habitability often include electricity, heating, running water, a working phone line, and protection from the elements. Of course, that list is not exhaustive.
Zoning Laws: Before you begin any construction project, you need to make sure that it will not violate any zoning laws in Illinois. This is because zoning laws control what can and can't be done on a given piece of property. They can be pretty complex, but, in general, they are designed to ensure that people who use land in different ways can co-exist as harmoniously as possible. To that end, they work to keep industrial and residential uses separate, among other things.
Do I Need a Illinois Real Estate Lawyer?
Because of the potential complexity of the above-discussed issues, along with the many others that might come up in the real estate context, it would be smart to speak with a Illinois real estate lawyer before engaging in any influential real estate deal.
Illinois is nicknamed "The Prairie State" and "The Land of Lincoln". It has the fifth largest population in all of the U.S. and achieved statehood in the year 1818. With its broad industrial base and economic productivity, it is sometimes referred to as a "microcosm" of America. Illinois is often looked to as a bellwether in terms of social, cultural, and political trends.
Of the 50 states, Illinois is noted for having a distinct and variegated system of governance. At the local level, Illinois' government is perhaps the most complex of all states. Many different districts have been created for specific functions. For example, there are school districts, library districts, sanitary districts, watershed districts, land use districts, and many others. These individual miniature government units often have their own taxing and election authority.
In contrast to its local governance system, the court system of Illinois is relatively simple. It is composed of Circuit Courts, Appellate Courts, and the Illinois Supreme Court. Most legal claims in Illinois are processed at the circuit court level. Appeals and more complex matters are typically heard in the Appellate Courts or at the Supreme Court.
The Supreme Court of Illinois maintains the "Supreme Court Commission of Professionalism". The Commission is responsible for maintaining the professional standards for lawyers, judges, and for the justice system overall. Lawyers in Illinois practice law according to these standards, thus ensuring the quality of legal services provided to clients. Illinois lawyers are also familiar with the state's complex governance system.