Commercial Real Estate Law in Delaware
In Wilmington, Delaware, "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 Wilmington, Delaware are quite different from those applying 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.
These absent protections include rent control, and warranties of habitability, among others. The most general protections, such as prohibiting sellers of real estate from lying regarding the property to the buyer, apply in any context, however.
Common Commercial Real Estate Law Issues in Wilmington, Delaware
Financing: Most small business owners in Wilmington, Delaware 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.
Disclosure of Defects: Sellers of real estate have an requirement to inform prospective buyers of any defects present in the property, such as water damage and other structural problems. Essentially, if the defect is significant enough that it might affect a reasonable buyer's decision on whether or not to purchase the property, and the seller knows about it, it must be disclosed. Failure to disclose such defects would give a buyer the right to sue the seller, and recover significant damages, including the cost of repairing the defect, compensation for any injuries or illness caused by it, and the reduction in the property's value caused by the defect.
Duty to Inspect: This is a companion to the duty to disclose defects. Generally, buyers of real estate are expected to inspect the property. If they fail to conduct a good inspection, they might not be able to recover damages if they are harmed by any defects which an inspection would have revealed.
Encumbrances: Undisclosed encumbrances are defects of another sort: defects of title. An encumbrance is any interest that a third party has in the Wilmington, Delaware commercial real estate. These usually take the form of easements, which are rights held by third parties to use the land for a specific purpose. Easements can have profound effects on how a new owner can use the land, so it is important to know about them before buying.
Can a Wilmington, Delaware 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 seek the counsel of a good Wilmington, Delaware real estate attorney.