Commercial Real Estate Law in Massachusetts

In Lancaster, 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 Lancaster, 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 Lancaster, Massachusetts

Financing: Most small business owners in Lancaster, Massachusetts don't have the money to buy real estate with the cash on hand. Nonetheless, there is a solution to this problem, permitting people without massive sums of money (but with a steady income) to buy real estate: the mortgage. A mortgage is a loan used to buy real estate, and the real estate being bought is used 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.

Buyer's Duty to Inspect: usually, buyers of commercial real estate are expected to inspect the property before buying it. A failure to do so might prevent the buyer from prevailing in a lawsuit if he is injured by physical defects that an inspection would have revealed, and that the seller didn't know about.

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 Lancaster, Massachusetts, 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 set 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 Lancaster, Massachusetts Attorney Help?

Because of the importance and potential complexity of the issues surrounding commercial real estate, it's almost always recommended that, before engaging in any real estate deal, you pursue the counsel of a good Lancaster, Massachusetts real estate attorney.