Rhode Island Real Estate Lawyers
In Rhode Island, 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.
Rhode Island 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 Rhode Island 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 Rhode Island
Financing: Most people in Rhode Island 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 structure is for sale, the seller has to tell prospective buyers about all physical defects of which the seller is aware, and which the buyer couldn't be reasonably expected to discover. However, if you are selling a house, you should probably just disclose every defect you're aware of. This will save you a great deal of potential liability. Even if your disclosure of a particular defect wasn't required (because the buyer could have easily discovered it), the buyer might still sue, and the cost of defending this lawsuit, even if you win, will be very high.
Warranty of Habitability: All rented residential properties have at least one general requirement: they must actually be fit for people to live in them. While the apartments they rent aren't required to be luxurious or pretty, landlords are absolutely obligated to ensure that their property meets some basic standards for human habitability. This applies whether the lease mentions it or not, and cannot be waived, under any circumstances. A dwelling will usually be found to be uninhabitable if it lacks running water, electricity, heating, or protection from the elements. There are many other ways that a dwelling could be uninhabitable, however.
Zoning Laws: Zoning laws state what can and cannot be built on a specific piece of property, usually based on the land's location within the town or city. Areas are typically zoned with the goal of ensuring that residential areas are not too close to industrial areas, among other things. If you have some kind of construction project planned on your property, you should make absolutely sure that it is in compliance with Rhode Island zoning laws BEFORE you begin.
Do I Need a Rhode Island Real Estate Lawyer?
These issues can be very intricate, and the above discussion can't replace the advice of an expert on the subject. Thus, if you have any real estate issues, it's never a bad idea to make an appointment with a real estate attorney in Rhode Island.
Rhode Island is situated along the eastern portions of the United States. It has the second highest population density of all U.S. states, although it has the smallest total area. There are no county governments in the state, as Rhode Island is divided into municipalities which oversee government matters for the state's 39 towns and cities.
As one of the older U.S. states, Rhode Island played a major part in the development of early American laws and government structure. Today it is often at the forefront of legal and legislative trends. For example, Rhode Island was the second U.S. state to abolish capital punishment. Out of the 50 states, Rhode Island has one of the most complex body of tax laws.
Rhode Island's highest court divisions are the Supreme Court of Rhode Island and the Superior Court. Below these levels, Rhode Island operates District Courts and Municipal Courts. Rhode Island's judiciary is distinct in that it also has a separate Worker's Compensation Court. Many landmark cases have been heard at Rhode Island's Supreme Court. An important Rhode Island case is Picard v. Barry Pontiac-Buick, Inc. (1995, often cited in law schools as the standard example of battery.
Lawyers in Rhode Island practice law according to strict professional standards and guidelines. This helps to boost the degree of professionalism for Rhode Island lawyers. Continuing Legal Education Programs help attorneys in Rhode Island sharpen their legal skills.