Commercial Real Estate Law in Louisiana
In Lafayette, Louisiana, 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 Lafayette, Louisiana 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.
For instance, residential real estate is covered 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 generally 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 Lafayette, Louisiana
Financing: The majority of small business owners in Lafayette, Louisiana 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.
Disclosure of Defects: Sellers of real estate have an obligation to inform prospective buyers of any defects present in the property, such as water damage and other structural problems. Basically, 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 significant 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: This is a companion to the duty to disclose defects. Generally, buyers of real estate are expected to inspect the property. If they fail to conduct a good inspection, they might not be able to recover damages if they are harmed by any defects which an inspection would have revealed.
Encumbrances: Undisclosed encumbrances are defects of another sort: defects of title. An encumbrance is any interest that a third party has in the Lafayette, Louisiana 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 essential to know about them before buying.
Can a Lafayette, Louisiana Attorney Help?
Because of the importance and potential complexity of the issues surrounding commercial real estate, it's almost always prudent that, before engaging in any real estate deal, you seek the counsel of a good Lafayette, Louisiana real estate attorney.