Commercial Real Estate Law in Massachusetts
In Somerville, 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 Somerville, 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 Somerville, Massachusetts
Financing: The majority of small businesses in Somerville, Massachusetts can't afford to make large real estate purchases with the money they have in the bank. Still, buying real estate is sometimes imperative for a business' survival. This problem is sometimes remedied by taking out a mortgage; a loan used to buy property, with that same property being used to secure the loan.
Concealment of Defects: if the seller or lessor of commercial real estate actively conceals a material defect in the real estate, they can be responsible to the buyer or renter for any damages caused by this concealment.
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: These are defects to title, rather than physical defects. They are legal issues which might make it difficult or impossible for a landowner to make full use of their land. In Somerville, 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 limited 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 Somerville, Massachusetts Attorney Help?
Because of the importance and potential complexity of the issues surrounding commercial real estate, it's almost always advisable that, before engaging in any real estate deal, you pursue the counsel of a good Somerville, Massachusetts real estate attorney.