Commercial Real Estate Law in Indiana
In Columbia, Indiana, commercial real estate is any form of real property (land or permanent structures) being utilized for business purposes.
The laws in Columbia, Indiana which control commercial real estate differ substantially from the laws governing the rental and purchase of residential real estate.
People who buy and rent residential unites have a larger deal of legal protections not available to buyers of commercial property.
For instance, residential real estate is governed 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 typically 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 Columbia, Indiana
Financing: The majority of small businesses in Columbia, Indiana can't afford to make large real estate purchases with the money they have in the bank. Nonetheless, buying real estate is sometimes necessary for a business' survival. This problem is sometimes remedied by taking out a mortgage; a loan used to buy property, with that same property being used to secure the loan.
Disclosure of Defects: Sellers of real estate have an requirement to inform prospective buyers of any defects present in the property, such as water damage and other structural problems. Essentially, if the defect is significant enough that it might affect a reasonable buyer's decision on whether or not to purchase the property, and the seller knows about it, it must be disclosed. Failure to disclose such defects would give a buyer the right to sue the seller, and recover considerable damages, including the cost of repairing the defect, compensation for any injuries or illness caused by it, and the reduction in the property's value caused by the defect.
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: Undisclosed encumbrances are defects of another sort: defects of title. An encumbrance is any interest that a third party has in the Columbia, Indiana commercial real estate. These normally take the form of easements, which are rights held by third parties to use the land for a specific purpose. Easements can have profound effects on how a new owner can use the land, so it is important to know about them before buying.
Can a Columbia, Indiana Attorney Help?
Because of the importance and potential complexity of the issues surrounding commercial real estate, it's almost always recommended that, before engaging in any real estate deal, you obtain the counsel of a good Columbia, Indiana real estate attorney.