Commercial Real Estate Law in California
In Merced County, California, "commercial real estate" is any type of land or building which is used for a business, as opposed to residential, purpose.
The laws covering commercial real estate in Merced County, California are quite different from those applying to residential real estate.
Buyers and renters of residential property enjoy a considerable number of legal protections. Many of these protections don't apply to buyers or renters of commercial property.
These include implied warranties of habitability, rent control, and covenants of use and quiet enjoyment, among many others. Of course, the most basic protections, such as prohibiting the seller from actively concealing defects, apply to both.
Common Commercial Real Estate Law Issues in Merced County, California
Financing: Many businesses in Merced County, California can't save up enough money to pay the full asking price of a decent-sized piece of real estate up front. Nonetheless, it's sometimes necessary for businesses to acquire real estate. To solve this problem, most rely on a mortgage. A mortgage is a common type of loan, taken out to purchase real estate. The lending institution lends the full purchase price to the borrower, who then purchases the property. The property, in turn, becomes collateral for the loan, which must be paid back over a period of years, with interest.
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 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.
Buyer's Duty to Inspect: usually, 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 injured by physical defects that an inspection would have revealed, and that the seller didn't know about.
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 Merced County, 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 Merced County, California Attorney Help?
These issues are sometimes confusing, and almost always very important. Therefore, it's imperative to seek the assistance of a Merced County, California real estate attorney if you have any dealings in this area.