Commercial Real Estate Law in Georgia
In Savannah, 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 Savannah, Georgia is managed 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 greater deal of legal protections not available to buyers of commercial property.
For instance, residential real estate is covered by laws concerning rent control, living conditions, and other things relevant to buildings where people will be living. Most of these protections don't apply to commercial real estate, because the law assumes that the average business person is a bit more sophisticated in such dealings than the general population, and because a place to do business is generally less important than a place to live. However, the most basic protections, such as protection from fraud and deliberate concealment of defects, still apply.
Common Commercial Real Estate Law Issues in Savannah, Georgia
Financing: Many businesses in Savannah, Georgia can't save up enough money to pay the full asking price of a decent-sized piece of real estate up front. Nonetheless, it's sometimes necessary for businesses to acquire real estate. To solve this problem, most rely on a mortgage. A mortgage is a common type of loan, taken out to purchase real estate. The lending institution lends the full purchase price to the borrower, who then purchases the property. The property, in turn, becomes collateral for the loan, which must be paid back over a period of years, with interest.
Concealment of Defects: Sellers and lessors of commercial real estate are under a duty to disclose any defects in the property which might impact the buyer's decision to purchase it, such as water damage, mold, or other structural problems. These defects are quite common, and the buyer has a right to know about them. If the seller doesn't disclose these defects, where they exist, the buyer can sue for any harm this causes.
Duty to Inspect: Buyers of commercial real estate are expected to be diligent, and a court will not reward a lack of diligence. Therefore, if the buyer fails to conduct a thorough inspection of the property before buying it, and thereby fails to discover defects which such an inspection could have easily revealed, he will not be able to sue the seller over these defects later on.
Encumbrances: Encumbrances are defects of a different type: rather than physical defects, they are defects of title. In Savannah, Georgia, an encumbrance is an interest in a piece of real estate held by a third party, such as covenants or easements. An easement is a right held by someone to use the property of someone else for a certain purpose. For example, a person might have an easement on the land of another person, allowing them to cross the land to access a public road.
Can a Savannah, Georgia Attorney Help?
Because of the complexity and importance of many of the issues concerning commercial real estate, it is almost always essential to consult with a Savannah, Georgia attorney before buying or selling commercial real estate.