Commercial Real Estate Law in Maryland
In Berlin, Maryland, commercial real estate is any form of real property (land or permanent structures) being utilized for business purposes.
Commercial real estate in Berlin, Maryland is handled by laws which differ significantly from state and local laws that apply to residential real estate.
Most of the protections that buyers and renters of residential real estate enjoy rarely apply to renters of 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 Berlin, Maryland
Financing: Most small business owners in Berlin, Maryland 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.
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.
Duty to Inspect: While buyers of real estate have some substantial protections with respect to defects, they also have some obligations. Before finalizing a purchase, buyers are expected to undertake a reasonable inspection of the property, usually by using a licensed building inspector. If the buyer fails to conduct an inspection, they typically won't be able to successfully sue, if defects are discovered after the purchase.
Encumbrances: Encumbrances are defects of a different type: rather than physical defects, they are defects of title. In Berlin, Maryland, an encumbrance is an interest in a piece of real estate held by a third party, such as covenants or easements. An easement is a right held by someone to use the property of someone else for a specific purpose. For instance, a person might have an easement on the land of another person, allowing them to cross the land to access a public road.
Can a Berlin, Maryland Attorney Help?
These issues can be very complicated, and most people consider such financially-weighty decisions to be very important. If you are one of those people, it's a smart move to contact a Berlin, Maryland real estate attorney if you are facing any of the issues discussed above.