Commercial Real Estate Law in Georgia
In Gwinnett County, Georgia, "commercial real estate" is any type of land or building which is used for a business, as opposed to residential, purpose.
Commercial real estate in Gwinnett County, Georgia is regulated by laws which differ significantly from state and local laws that apply to residential real estate.
People who buy and rent residential unites have a larger deal of legal protections not available to buyers of commercial property.
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 Gwinnett County, Georgia
Financing: Some small businesses in Gwinnett County, Georgia find it necessary, at some point, to purchase a piece of real estate, for various reasons. However, 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 people have hundreds of thousands of dollars just sitting in the bank. One solution to this is a mortgage, which is similar to most other types 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, permitting 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 accountable to the buyer or renter for any damages caused by this concealment.
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: An encumbrance is some small ownership interest in land held by a third party, or some right held by a third party to restrict the use of a parcel of land. A frequent encumbrance is an easement. In Gwinnett County, Georgia, an easement is some right of some third party to make limited use of land owned by someone else. For example, cable companies often purchase easements from property owners (or they are imposed by the government) allowing them to string cable wiring from the telephone wires on the street to nearby houses. Like any other property right, the holder of an easement can prevent others from interfering with it. Obviously, if a buyer doesn't know about an encumbrance on a piece of land, he might find that he's unable to make the use of the land that he was expecting.
Can a Gwinnett County, Georgia 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 a Gwinnett County, Georgia attorney before buying or selling commercial real estate.