Commercial Real Estate Law in California
In Laguna Woods, California, "commercial real estate" is any type of land or building which is used for a business, as opposed to residential, purpose.
The laws governing real estate in Laguna Woods, California apply differently when dealing with commercial, as opposed to residential, real estate.
Buyers and renters of residential property enjoy some pretty considerable 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 example, commercial real estate normally isn't covered by rent control laws, nor does it carry with it an implied warranty of habitability (because people typically 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 Laguna Woods, California
Financing: Most small business owners in Laguna Woods, California don't have the money to buy real estate with the cash on hand. However, there is a solution to this problem, allowing 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 purchased is used as collateral for 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 serious 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 serious outcomes. 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.
Buyer's Duty to Inspect: typically, buyers of commercial real estate are expected to inspect the property before buying it. A failure to do so might prevent the buyer from prevailing in a lawsuit if he is hurt by physical defects that an inspection would have revealed, and that the seller didn't know about.
Encumbrances: Encumbrances are defects of a different type: rather than physical defects, they are defects of title. In Laguna Woods, California, an encumbrance is an interest in a piece of real estate held by a third party, such as covenants or easements. An easement is a right held by someone to use the property of someone else for a particular purpose. For example, a person might have an easement on the land of another person, allowing them to cross the land to access a public road.
Can a Laguna Woods, California Attorney Help?
Because of the importance and potential complexity of the issues surrounding commercial real estate, it's almost always prudent that, before engaging in any real estate deal, you obtain the counsel of a good Laguna Woods, California real estate attorney.