Commercial Real Estate Law in Alabama
In Birmingham, Alabama, "commercial real estate" is any form of land or building which is utilized for a business, as opposed to residential, purpose.
The laws regulating real estate in Birmingham, Alabama apply differently when dealing with commercial, as opposed to residential, real estate.
People who buy and rent residential unites have a higher deal of legal protections not available to buyers of commercial property.
For instance, commercial real estate typically isn't covered by rent control laws, nor does it carry with it an implied warranty of habitability (because people usually won't be living in it). Furthermore, it also doesn't come with a covenant of quiet enjoyment. However, some of the most basic legal protections (such as laws against fraud, and concealment of defects) apply in both the commercial and residential context.
Common Commercial Real Estate Law Issues in Birmingham, Alabama
Financing: The majority of small businesses in Birmingham, Alabama can't afford to make large real estate purchases with the money they have in the bank. Still, buying real estate is sometimes imperative for a business' survival. This problem is sometimes remedied by taking out a mortgage; a loan used to buy property, with that same property being used to secure the loan.
Concealment of Defects: Sellers and lessors of commercial real estate are under a duty to disclose any defects in the property which might impact the buyer's decision to purchase it, such as water damage, mold, or other structural problems. These defects are quite typical, and the buyer has a right to know about them. If the seller doesn't disclose these defects, where they exist, the buyer can sue for any harm this causes.
Duty to Inspect: Buyers of commercial real estate are expected to be diligent, and a court will not reward a lack of diligence. Consequently, if the buyer fails to conduct a thorough inspection of the property before buying it, and thereby fails to discover defects which such an inspection could have easily revealed, he will not be able to sue the seller over these defects later on.
Encumbrances: An encumbrance is any interest held in a piece of property by a party other than the seller and the buyer. These property interests might make it very challenging for the buyer to use the land as they intended when they bought it. A typical type of encumbrance in Birmingham, Alabama is the easement. An easement is some right that a third party has in a piece of property. For example, suppose that, many years ago, a neighbor adjacent to the land you want to buy, paid a previous owner for the right to cross his land to reach a public road. Unless the agreement states otherwise, this right will usually apply to subsequent owners, and has to be honored. Therefore, it might interfere with the intended use of the new owner.
Can a Birmingham, Alabama Attorney Help?
These issues are sometimes complicated, and almost always very important. Therefore, it's imperative to seek the assistance of a Birmingham, Alabama real estate attorney if you have any dealings in this area.