Commercial Real Estate Law in Massachusetts
In Groton, Massachusetts, 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 Groton, Massachusetts are quite different from those applying to residential real estate.
Buyers and renters of residential property enjoy some pretty substantial 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 absent protections include rent control, and warranties of habitability, among others. The most general protections, such as prohibiting sellers of real estate from lying regarding the property to the buyer, apply in any context, however.
Common Commercial Real Estate Law Issues in Groton, Massachusetts
Financing: The majority of small business owners in Groton, Massachusetts probably can't afford to buy much real estate outright, with cash paid up front, so most small business buy 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 requirement to inform prospective buyers of any defects present in the property, such as water damage and other structural problems. Essentially, 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 substantial 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: Buyers of commercial real estate are expected to be diligent, and a court will not reward a lack of diligence. Consequently, if the buyer fails to conduct a thorough inspection of the property before buying it, and thereby fails to discover defects which such an inspection could have easily revealed, he will not be able to sue the seller over these defects later on.
Encumbrances: Encumbrances are defects of a different type: rather than physical defects, they are defects of title. In Groton, Massachusetts, an encumbrance is an interest in a piece of real estate held by a third party, such as covenants or easements. An easement is a right held by someone to use the property of someone else for a specific purpose. For instance, a person might have an easement on the land of another person, allowing them to cross the land to access a public road.
Can a Groton, Massachusetts Attorney Help?
Because of the importance and potential complexity of the issues surrounding commercial real estate, it's almost always judicious that, before engaging in any real estate deal, you pursue the counsel of a good Groton, Massachusetts real estate attorney.