Real Estate Law in Georgia
Real estate law in Athens governs almost everything involved in the sale and use of land.
The various laws affecting real estate in Athens can sometimes feel overwhelming in their volume and complexity. This might apply doubly when your case involves a foreclosure, or a construction dispute.
Therefore, it's a good idea to learn some of the basics of Athens's real estate laws.
Knowing the law can serve you in a variety of ways: it can put you in a better negotiating position, it can help you spot unlawful terms in lease agreements, and confirm that you know your rights if a dispute arises, among other things.
Common Real Estate Law Issues in Athens
Financing: Most individuals are unable to make major real estate purchases in Athens with cash, because few people have that kind of money on hand. Thus, to buy real estate, most entities use a mortgage. This is a loan used to buy a piece of property. When the loan is issued, and the property purchased, the lender holds a security interest in the property until the loan is paid off, with interest.
Zoning: Zoning laws dictate what types of buildings can go on given pieces of property. These laws are generally designed to ensure that residential areas are as clean and as quiet as possible, thereby preserving property values. They accomplish this by ensuring that other uses that might be inappropriate in a residential area, such as heavy industry, are in different parts of town. This also ensures that industries will be able to go about their business without constant complaints from their neighbors.
Duty to Disclose: sellers of real estate, particularly houses and other residential property, are legally bound to tell the buyer about any defects in the property that the seller knows about, and that the buyer couldn't easily discover on his own (mold or termite problems are common examples). If the seller fails to make such disclosures, he or she could be liable for any harm the defect causes to the buyer, as well as the cost of repairing it. If the seller intentionally conceals or lies about the defect, he or she might also face punitive damages.
Implied Warranties: Every lease of a residential unit in Athens carries with it an implicit promise by the owner that the unit will meet some basic minimum requirements for human habitability. There are many factors that go into deciding if an unit is "habitable," but there are a few essentials, and they include running water, heat, electricity, and adequate shelter from the elements.
Can a Athens Real Estate Lawyer Help?
These issues, along with many others, can sometimes be fairly perplexing. Therefore, you should never hesitate to consult with an Athens real estate attorney if you have any questions.