Commercial Real Estate Law in Kentucky
In Somerset, Kentucky, commercial real estate is any type of real property (land or permanent structures) being used for business purposes.
The laws covering commercial real estate in Somerset, Kentucky are quite different from those applying to residential real estate.
When renting or buying residential real estate, renters and buyers have significant legal protections which often don't apply to commercial real estate.
These include implied warranties of habitability, rent control, and covenants of use and quiet enjoyment, among several others. Of course, the most basic protections, such as prohibiting the seller from actively concealing defects, apply to both.
Common Commercial Real Estate Law Issues in Somerset, Kentucky
Financing: The majority of small businesses in Somerset, Kentucky can't afford to make large real estate purchases with the money they have in the bank. Nevertheless, buying real estate is sometimes essential 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.
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 consequences. 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 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: Undisclosed encumbrances are defects of another sort: defects of title. An encumbrance is any interest that a third party has in the Somerset, Kentucky commercial real estate. These usually 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 Somerset, Kentucky 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 Somerset, Kentucky real estate attorney if you are facing any of the issues discussed above.