Commercial Real Estate Law in Maryland
In Columbia, Maryland, commercial real estate is any form of real property (land or permanent structures) being utilized for business purposes.
Commercial real estate in Columbia, Maryland is controlled 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 Columbia, Maryland
Financing: Some small businesses in Columbia, Maryland find it necessary, at some point, to purchase a piece of real estate, for various reasons. Nonetheless, most owners of small to medium-sized businesses can't afford to make a real estate purchase up front, with the cash they have on hand. Simply put, very few individuals have hundreds of thousands of dollars just sitting in the bank. One solution to this is a mortgage, which is similar to most other forms of secured loans: a bank lends you money, and you put up some piece of property as collateral, so the bank has some security in the event of default. With a mortgage, however, the property being purchased with the loan also secures the loan, permitting the bank to foreclose on it in case the buyer defaults.
Concealment of Defects: Sellers and lessors of commercial real estate are under a duty to disclose any defects in the property which might impact the buyer's decision to purchase it, such as water damage, mold, or other structural problems. These defects are quite typical, and the buyer has a right to know about them. If the seller doesn't disclose these defects, where they exist, the buyer can sue for any harm this causes.
Buyer's Duty to Inspect: typically, 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 hurt by physical defects that an inspection would have revealed, and that the seller didn't know about.
Encumbrances: Encumbrances are defects of a different type: rather than physical defects, they are defects of title. In Columbia, 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 particular 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 Columbia, Maryland Attorney Help?
Because of the importance and potential complexity of the issues surrounding commercial real estate, it's almost always judicious that, before engaging in any real estate deal, you obtain the counsel of a good Columbia, Maryland real estate attorney.