Commercial Real Estate Law in Colorado
In El Paso County, Colorado, "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 El Paso County, Colorado are quite different from those applying to residential real estate.
When renting or buying residential real estate, renters and buyers have considerable legal protections which often don't apply to commercial real estate.
These absent protections include rent control, and warranties of habitability, among others. The most basic protections, such as prohibiting sellers of real estate from lying about the property to the buyer, apply in any context, however.
Common Commercial Real Estate Law Issues in El Paso County, Colorado
Financing: The majority of small business owners in El Paso County, Colorado probably can't afford to buy much real estate outright, with cash paid up front, so most small business purchase commercial real estate with a mortgage. A mortgage is a loan taken out for the purpose of buying real estate, using that real estate 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.
Duty to Inspect: Lest you believe that the duty to disclose defects relieves any duty of diligence on the part of the buyer, the law will not reward such lapses with a major cause of action. Buyers have a duty to conduct a reasonable inspection of the property before they buy it, normallyy with a licensed building inspector. If the buyer fails to do this, they won't be able to recover any damages for defects which they could have discovered through a reasonable inspection.
Encumbrances: Encumbrances are defects of a different type: rather than physical defects, they are defects of title. In El Paso County, Colorado, 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 El Paso County, Colorado Attorney Help?
Because of the complexity and importance of many of the issues concerning commercial real estate, it is almost always necessary to consult with an El Paso County, Colorado attorney before buying or selling commercial real estate.