Commercial Real Estate Law in Iowa
In Spirit Lake, Iowa, "commercial real estate" is any type of land or building which is used for a business, as opposed to residential, purpose.
The Spirit Lake, 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 large number of legal protections. Many of these protections don't apply to buyers or renters of commercial property.
For example, commercial real estate usually isn't covered by rent control laws, nor does it carry with it an implied warranty of habitability (because people generally won't be living in it). Furthermore, it also doesn't come with a covenant of quiet enjoyment. However, some of the most basic legal protections (such as laws against fraud, and concealment of defects) apply in both the commercial and residential context.
Common Commercial Real Estate Law Issues in Spirit Lake, Iowa
Financing: The majority of small business owners in Spirit Lake, 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.
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: While buyers of real estate have some significant 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 usually won't be able to successfully sue, if defects are discovered after the purchase.
Encumbrances: Encumbrances are defects of a different type: rather than physical defects, they are defects of title. In Spirit Lake, Iowa, 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 Spirit Lake, Iowa Attorney Help?
These issues can be very complicated, and most people consider such financially-weighty decisions to be very important. If you are one of those people, it's a smart move to contact a Spirit Lake, Iowa real estate attorney if you are facing any of the issues discussed above.