Real Estate Law in Massachusetts
In Essex County, real estate law can affect just about anything involving the use, purchase, or sale of land and fixtures to land, such as buildings.
The several laws affecting real estate in Essex County can sometimes feel overwhelming in their volume and complexity. This might apply doubly when your case involves a foreclosure, or a construction dispute.
So, if you're planning on engaging in any kind of real estate transaction, it's important that you learn at least the basics of real estate law in Essex County.
Some understanding of the relevant law can give you an advantage in almost any situation. In the real estate context, it can help you spot illegal terms in lease agreements, give you some idea of what your rights are in a dispute, among other things. If nothing else, knowledge of the law can help you spot people who are willing to break it, so you can avoid dealing with them.
Common Real Estate Law Issues in Essex County
Financing: Most individuals, families, and small businesses in Essex County cannot afford to buy a large piece of real estate with the money they have on hand. However, they usually can afford to pay for it over a long period of time, in installments, with interest. Therefore, most real estate is purchased using a mortgage - a loan for a specific purchase, using the item purchased as collateral.
Zoning: Zoning regulations determine what types of structures are allowed on various parcels, based on their location in a municipality. For example, some areas in a city might be zoned only for residential use. Another area might allow industrial use. These rules are meant to keep property values up, and promote harmony among neighbors by preventing conflicts.
Duty of Disclosure: Sellers of homes are bound by a legal duty to disclose defects in the home to prospective buyers, before they buy the house. Any defect which the seller knows (or reasonably should know) about, and which cannot be discovered by the buyer through an ordinary inspection, must be disclosed to the buyer.
Implied Warranty: All residential lease agreements in Essex County carry with them an implicit promise by the landlord that the property is fit for human habitation. This warranty does not need to be explicitly stated in order to have effect, and neither the tenant nor landlord can waive it. Any agreement claiming to waive this warranty is void. To be considered habitable, a building must not be so dirty as to pose a health hazard, it must have running water, it must have electricity, and it must provide adequate protection from the weather. There are many other requirements, but if a building or unit lacks any one of those, it will be considered uninhabitable.
Can a Essex County Real Estate Lawyer Help?
The issues briefly discussed above, as well as many others, can be very complicated. Accordingly, if you are engaged in any real estate transaction, it's never a bad idea to first consult with an experienced Essex County real estate attorney.