Louisiana Real Estate Lawyers
In Louisiana, real estate law is a very broad area of law governing anything that has to do with the ownership of land and buildings.
Real estate law can apply to many different facets of a personal and professional life. It can apply to anything from the purchase of a vacant lot, to renting prime downtown office space.
Louisiana real estate law can be very complex, because it's really a collection of a lot of different areas of law. These areas of law include property rights, contracts, land use, and many others.
Having a good general knowledge of Louisiana real estate law can make a lot of transactions, such as purchasing a house or renting an apartment, much easier.
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Common Real Estate Issues in Louisiana
Financing: Most people in Louisiana probably can't afford to buy a house or a piece of land up front. Therefore, most individuals and business use some form of financing to purchase real estate, usually a mortgage. A mortgage is a loan used to buy a piece of real estate, with the purchased real estate simultaneously securing the loan.
Disclosure: When a house or other building is being sold, it's possible that there will be some physical defects in the structure. Potential buyers generally have a right to know about these defects, which means that sellers have to disclose them. Generally, if the defect is one that the seller knows about, and the buyer probably couldn't discover it through a normal inspection, the seller has to disclose it. Really, though, it's a good idea for sellers to disclose every defect they know about, whether or not they believe disclosure is technically required as to a specific defect.
Warranty of Habitability: All rented residential properties have at least one general requirement: they must actually be fit for people to live in them. While the apartments they rent aren't required to be luxurious or pretty, landlords are absolutely obligated to ensure that their property meets some basic standards for human habitability. This applies whether the lease mentions it or not, and cannot be waived, under any circumstances. A dwelling will usually be found to be uninhabitable if it lacks running water, electricity, heating, or protection from the elements. There are many other ways that a dwelling could be uninhabitable, however.
Zoning Laws: Zoning laws dictate what kinds of buildings can be placed on lots in certain parts of a town or city. Their purpose is to confirm, for example, that sewage treatment plants don't get built next to homes, or that noisy, polluting factory doesn't get built next to a daycare center. To this end, they "zone" sections of the locality for different uses, such as residential, industrial, commercial, etc. If you are buying a piece of vacant land, it's essential that whatever use you intend to make of it is compatible with Louisiana's zoning laws.
Do I Need a Louisiana Real Estate Lawyer?
These issues can be very intricate, and the above discussion can't replace the advice of an expert on the subject. Thus, if you have any real estate issues, it's never a bad idea to make an appointment with a real estate attorney in Louisiana.
Louisiana became a U.S. state in 1812. The territory was obtained from France through the Louisiana Purchase, for a total worth of $15 million at the time. The state has a cultural-linguistic atmosphere unlike any other area in the U.S., due to the French, Spanish, Native American, African, and Caribbean influences.
Much of Louisiana's laws and government structure are unique among U.S. states. For example, Louisiana is the only state to have government units called "parishes". These are equivalent to counties in other states. Another feature of Louisiana governance is its extensive system of civil law based on Spanish and French systems. The majority of countries use some form of civil law, which is based mainly on codified statutes. Most of American law is common law- that is, derived from judge-made court decisions.
Louisiana's court system is structurally similar to most states, with a Supreme Court, Court of Appeals, and District Courts. However, because of the civil law influence, the Court of Appeals tends to have much broader discretion when reviewing trials. Also, the Louisiana state Constitution does not directly provide for the right to a jury trial for civil cases. The distribution of damages is also different in Louisiana.
Although Louisiana law is so distinct, lawyers in Louisiana understand how to interpret the state's legal code. Louisiana lawyers carefully review state laws when assisting clients. Depending on your legal dispute or issue, it may be necessary to obtain the expertise of an attorney in Louisiana.