Commercial Real Estate Law in Arkansas
In Washington County, Arkansas, "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 Washington County, Arkansas apply differently when dealing with commercial, as opposed to residential, real estate.
When renting or buying residential real estate, renters and buyers have substantial legal protections which often don't apply to commercial real estate.
Several of the protections that don't apply to commercial property include warranties of habitability, rent control, and warranties of quiet enjoyment. There are others, as well. The most general protections, nonetheless, apply to buyers of both residential and commercial real estate, including remedies for fraud and concealment of physical or title defects.
Common Commercial Real Estate Law Issues in Washington County, Arkansas
Financing: The majority of small businesses in Washington County, Arkansas 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.
Duty to Disclose Defects: It is of the utmost importance that sellers and lessors of commercial real estate be up front about any defects that might be present in the property. Failing to disclose them can be bad, and actively concealing them can be much worse. In general, if a defect is significant enough that it would influence a reasonable person's decision to buy a piece of property, and the seller knows about it, the seller should disclose it. Failure to disclose can have significant results. If the buyer later discovers the defect, they can sue for the cost of repairing it, or for any reduction in the property's value caused by it. And, of course, if it causes any injuries, the buyer can sue the seller for those, as well.
Duty to Inspect: While buyers of real estate have some substantial protections with respect to defects, they also have some obligations. Before finalizing a purchase, buyers are expected to undertake a reasonable inspection of the property, usually by using a licensed building inspector. If the buyer fails to conduct an inspection, they typically won't be able to successfully sue, if defects are discovered after the purchase.
Encumbrances: These are defects to title, rather than physical defects. They are legal issues which might make it challenging or impossible for a landowner to make full use of their land. In Washington County, Arkansas, these might include easements. An easement is a right to use property held by a party other than the owner. This use is often very set in scope, such as allowing the holder of the easement to cross the property to access a public road, or something similar. Such rights usually have to be recognized and honored by new owners, so if they buy property not knowing about them, they might be seriously inconvenienced.
Can a Washington County, Arkansas Attorney Help?
Because of the complexity and importance of many of the issues regarding commercial real estate, it is almost always crucial to consult with a Washington County, Arkansas attorney before buying or selling commercial real estate.