Commercial Real Estate Law in Massachusetts
In Springfield, 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 Springfield, 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 instance, 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 Springfield, Massachusetts
Financing: The majority of small businesses in Springfield, 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.
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 significant 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 significant results. 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.
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 Springfield, 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 Springfield, Massachusetts Attorney Help?
The issues surrounding commercial real estate in Springfield, Massachusetts can get fairly complex. Therefore, it's never a bad idea to have the assistance of an efficient commercial real estate attorney.