Commercial Real Estate Law in California
In Lafayette, California, "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 Lafayette, California apply differently when dealing with commercial, as opposed to residential, real estate.
Buyers and renters of residential property enjoy some pretty significant legal protections, because the law of most states presumes that shelter (being necessary to survive, for the most part) is more important than business. Therefore, many of these consumer protections don't apply to commercial real estate.
For instance, commercial real estate usually isn't covered by rent control laws, nor does it carry with it an implied warranty of habitability (because people generally 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 Lafayette, California
Financing: Most small business owners in Lafayette, California don't have the money to buy real estate with the cash on hand. Nonetheless, there is a solution to this problem, permitting people without massive sums of money (but with a steady income) to buy real estate: the mortgage. A mortgage is a loan used to buy real estate, and the real estate being bought is used as collateral for the loan.
Concealment of Defects: if the seller of commercial property acts to conceal a significant defect in the property, and then sells the property, he will be liable for any harm this defect cause, as well as the reduced value of the property, or the cost of repair.
Duty to Inspect: Buyers of commercial real estate are expected to be diligent, and a court will not reward a lack of diligence. Therefore, 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 difficult for the buyer to use the land as they intended when they bought it. A common type of encumbrance in Lafayette, California 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 Lafayette, California 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 Lafayette, California attorney before buying or selling commercial real estate.