Commercial Real Estate Law in Florida
In Okaloosa County, Florida, "commercial real estate" is any form of land or building which is utilized for a business, as opposed to residential, purpose.
Commercial real estate in Okaloosa County, Florida is controlled by laws which differ significantly from state and local laws that apply to residential real estate.
Buyers and renters of residential property enjoy a large number of legal protections. Many of these protections don't apply to buyers or renters of commercial property.
Several of the protections that don't apply to commercial property include warranties of habitability, rent control, and warranties of quiet enjoyment. There are others, as well. The most general protections, nonetheless, apply to buyers of both residential and commercial real estate, including remedies for fraud and concealment of physical or title defects.
Common Commercial Real Estate Law Issues in Okaloosa County, Florida
Financing: Some small businesses in Okaloosa County, Florida 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, allowing the bank to foreclose on it in case the buyer defaults.
Concealment of Defects: if the seller or lessor of commercial real estate actively conceals a material defect in the real estate, they can be liable to the buyer or renter for any damages caused by this concealment.
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: 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 Okaloosa County, Florida, 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 specific 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 Okaloosa County, Florida Attorney Help?
Because of the complexity and importance of many of the issues regarding commercial real estate, it is almost always imperative to consult with an Okaloosa County, Florida attorney before buying or selling commercial real estate.