Commercial Real Estate Law in Iowa
In North Liberty, Iowa, "commercial real estate" is any type of land or building which is used for a business, as opposed to residential, purpose.
The North Liberty, Iowa laws governing commercial real estate differ significantly from the laws that cover residential and other types of real estate.
Buyers and renters of residential property enjoy a considerable number of legal protections. Many of these protections don't apply to buyers or renters of commercial property.
Some 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 basic protections, however, 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 North Liberty, Iowa
Financing: The majority of small business owners in North Liberty, Iowa probably can't afford to buy much real estate outright, with cash paid up front, so most small business purchase commercial real estate with a mortgage. A mortgage is a loan taken out for the purpose of buying real estate, using that real estate as collateral for the loan.
Duty to Disclose Defects: It is of the utmost importance that sellers and lessors of commercial real estate be up front about any defects that might be present in the property. Failing to disclose them can be bad, and actively concealing them can be much worse. In general, if a defect is serious enough that it would influence a reasonable person's decision to buy a piece of property, and the seller knows about it, the seller should disclose it. Failure to disclose can have serious results. If the buyer later discovers the defect, they can sue for the cost of repairing it, or for any reduction in the property's value caused by it. And, of course, if it causes any injuries, the buyer can sue the seller for those, as well.
Duty to Inspect: While buyers of real estate have some substantial protections with respect to defects, they also have some obligations. Before finalizing a purchase, buyers are expected to undertake a reasonable inspection of the property, usually by using a licensed building inspector. If the buyer fails to conduct an inspection, they typically won't be able to successfully sue, if defects are discovered after the purchase.
Encumbrances: These are defects to title, rather than physical defects. They are legal issues which might make it difficult or impossible for a landowner to make full use of their land. In North Liberty, Iowa, 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 limited 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 North Liberty, Iowa Attorney Help?
These issues can be very complicated, and most people consider such financially-weighty decisions to be very essential. If you are one of those people, it's a smart move to contact a North Liberty, Iowa real estate attorney if you are facing any of the issues discussed above.