Commercial Real Estate Law in California
In Redwood City, California, "commercial real estate" is any form of land or building which is utilized for a business, as opposed to residential, purpose.
The laws governing commercial real estate in Redwood City, California are quite different from those applying to residential real estate.
Buyers and renters of residential property enjoy a massive number of legal protections. Many of these protections don't apply to buyers or renters of commercial property.
For instance, 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 Redwood City, California
Financing: Some small businesses in Redwood City, California find it necessary, at some point, to purchase a piece of real estate, for various reasons. Nonetheless, most owners of small to medium-sized businesses can't afford to make a real estate purchase up front, with the cash they have on hand. Simply put, very few individuals have hundreds of thousands of dollars just sitting in the bank. One solution to this is a mortgage, which is similar to most other forms of secured loans: a bank lends you money, and you put up some piece of property as collateral, so the bank has some security in the event of default. With a mortgage, however, the property being purchased with the loan also secures the loan, permitting the bank to foreclose on it in case the buyer defaults.
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 accountable for any harm this defect cause, as well as the reduced value of the property, or the cost of repair.
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: 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 Redwood City, California, 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 Redwood City, California Attorney Help?
Because of the importance and potential complexity of the issues surrounding commercial real estate, it's almost always recommended that, before engaging in any real estate deal, you obtain the counsel of a good Redwood City, California real estate attorney.