Commercial Real Estate Law in Massachusetts
In Northampton, Massachusetts, 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 Northampton, 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.
For example, commercial real estate typically isn't covered by rent control laws, nor does it carry with it an implied warranty of habitability (because people usually won't be living in it). Furthermore, it also doesn't come with a covenant of quiet enjoyment. However, some of the most basic legal protections (such as laws against fraud, and concealment of defects) apply in both the commercial and residential context.
Common Commercial Real Estate Law Issues in Northampton, Massachusetts
Financing: The majority of small business owners in Northampton, Massachusetts 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.
Concealment of Defects: if the seller of commercial property acts to conceal a significant defect in the property, and then sells the property, he will be responsible for any harm this defect cause, as well as the reduced value of the property, or the cost of repair.
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: An encumbrance is any interest held in a piece of property by a party other than the seller and the buyer. These property interests might make it very challenging for the buyer to use the land as they intended when they bought it. A typical type of encumbrance in Northampton, Massachusetts is the easement. An easement is some right that a third party has in a piece of property. For example, suppose that, many years ago, a neighbor adjacent to the land you want to buy, paid a previous owner for the right to cross his land to reach a public road. Unless the agreement states otherwise, this right will usually apply to subsequent owners, and has to be honored. Therefore, it might interfere with the intended use of the new owner.
Can a Northampton, Massachusetts Attorney Help?
The issues surrounding commercial real estate in Northampton, Massachusetts can get fairly complex. Therefore, it's never a bad idea to have the assistance of an efficient commercial real estate attorney.