Commercial Real Estate Law in Massachusetts
In Plymouth, 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 Plymouth, Massachusetts are quite different from those applying to residential real estate.
Buyers and renters of residential property enjoy some pretty considerable 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 normally isn't covered by rent control laws, nor does it carry with it an implied warranty of habitability (because people typically 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 Plymouth, Massachusetts
Financing: The majority of small business owners in Plymouth, 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.
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 serious 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 serious outcomes. 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: This is a companion to the duty to disclose defects. Typically, buyers of real estate are expected to inspect the property. If they fail to conduct a good inspection, they might not be able to recover damages if they are harmed by any defects which an inspection would have revealed.
Encumbrances: Undisclosed encumbrances are defects of another sort: defects of title. An encumbrance is any interest that a third party has in the Plymouth, Massachusetts commercial real estate. These normally take the form of easements, which are rights held by third parties to use the land for a specific purpose. Easements can have profound effects on how a new owner can use the land, so it is critical to know about them before buying.
Can a Plymouth, Massachusetts Attorney Help?
These issues can be very complicated, and most people consider such financially-weighty decisions to be very critical. If you are one of those people, it's a smart move to contact a Plymouth, Massachusetts real estate attorney if you are facing any of the issues discussed above.