Commercial Real Estate Law in Louisiana
In Walker, Louisiana, commercial real estate is any form of real property (land or permanent structures) being utilized for business purposes.
The laws governing commercial real estate in Walker, Louisiana are quite different from those applying to residential real estate.
Buyers and renters of residential property enjoy some pretty significant legal protections, because the law of most states presumes that shelter (being necessary to survive, for the most part) is more important than business. Therefore, many of these consumer protections don't apply to commercial real estate.
These include implied warranties of habitability, rent control, and covenants of use and quiet enjoyment, among various others. Of course, the most general protections, such as prohibiting the seller from actively concealing defects, apply to both.
Common Commercial Real Estate Law Issues in Walker, Louisiana
Financing: The majority of small businesses in Walker, Louisiana 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 significant 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 significant 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: These are defects to title, rather than physical defects. They are legal issues which might make it challenging or impossible for a landowner to make full use of their land. In Walker, Louisiana, these might include easements. An easement is a right to use property held by a party other than the owner. This use is often very specific in scope, such as allowing the holder of the easement to cross the property to access a public road, or something similar. Such rights usually have to be recognized and honored by new owners, so if they buy property not knowing about them, they might be seriously inconvenienced.
Can a Walker, Louisiana Attorney Help?
Because of the complexity and importance of many of the issues regarding commercial real estate, it is almost always imperative to consult with a Walker, Louisiana attorney before buying or selling commercial real estate.