Georgia Real Estate Lawyers
In Georgia, real estate law is a very broad area of law covering anything that has to do with the ownership of land and buildings.
Real estate law can apply to many various facets of a personal and professional life. It can apply to anything from the purchase of a vacant lot, to renting prime downtown office space.
Georgia real estate law can be very complicated, because it's really a collection of a lot of different areas of law. These areas of law include property rights, contracts, land use, and many others.
Having a good basic knowledge of Georgia real estate law can make a lot of transactions, such as buying a house or renting an apartment, much easier.
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Common Real Estate Issues in Georgia
Financing: Most people in Georgia probably can't afford to buy a house or a piece of land up front. Thus, most individuals and business use some form of financing to purchase real estate, normally a mortgage. A mortgage is a loan used to buy a piece of real estate, with the purchased real estate simultaneously securing the loan.
Disclosure: When selling a house, the seller is under a strict legal duty to tell the buyer about any physical defects which the buyer might not be able to discover on his or her own. Sometimes, it isn't entirely clear if a given defect has to be disclosed. In such cases, it's best to disclose it anyway. It simply isn't worth the risk to fail to disclose it, and hope that a court agrees that it was the type of defect that you didn't have to disclose.
Warranty of Habitability: When renting property to be used as a dwelling, the landlord, as a matter of law, implicitly promises that the dwelling will be suitable for human habitation. It doesn't matter what the lease says on this subject - it's always a requirement. Therefore, a rented unit must have the basic amenities required for modern life - it must provide adequate shelter from the weather, it must have running water, it must have heating, and it must have electricity. Of course, there are many more specific requirements, and a court will also look at the condition of the unit as a whole when deciding whether or not it is habitable.
Zoning Laws: Zoning laws state what can and cannot be built on a particular piece of property, usually based on the land's location within the town or city. Areas are normally zoned with the goal of ensuring that residential areas are not too close to industrial areas, among other things. If you have some kind of construction project planned on your property, you should make absolutely sure that it is in compliance with Georgia zoning laws BEFORE you begin.
Do I Need a Georgia Real Estate Lawyer?
Because of the potential complexity of the above-discussed issues, along with the many others that might come up in the real estate context, it would be smart to speak with a Georgia real estate lawyer before engaging in any huge real estate deal.
Georgia is the last of the 13 original colonies and the fourth state to ratify the U.S. Constitution. A prominent southern state, Georgia is known for its culture of "southern hospitality". Georgia has nearly 160 counties, the second most for any state in the U.S. It is has of the fastest-growing economies and the 9th largest population in America.
Georgia is nicknamed "The Peach State". It is sometimes referred to as "The Empire State of the South", in reference to its role as an important hub for commerce and trade. Georgia's zoning laws are very unique among states, as any incorporated town or community is granted the legal status of a city. Cities and counties are granted "home rule" power, which means that they can pass legislation as any traditional municipality would.
Georgia's highest court of law is the Supreme Court of Georgia. Below the Supreme Court and Court of Appeals levels, the court system of Georgia is quite complex. There are Superior Courts, State Courts, Magistrate Courts, Municipal Courts, and many others. Each of these hears different types of legal claims. Georgia has contributed much case law in the area of capital punishment and death penalty laws, some examples being Furman v. Georgia (1972) and Coker v. Georgia (1977).
Lawyers in Georgia can provide guidance in dealing with the state's complicated web of courts. Georgia laws can also be complicated, but a Georgia lawyer can provide advice and representation in court when necessary. Georgia attorneys are often members of various civic organizations and bar associations.