Maine Real Estate Lawyers
In Maine, real estate law is a very broad area of law covering anything that has to do with the ownership of land and buildings.
Real estate law can apply to many numerous facets of a personal and professional life. It can apply to anything from the purchase of a vacant lot, to renting prime downtown office space.
Maine real estate law can be very intricate, because it's really a collection of a lot of different areas of law. These areas of law include property rights, contracts, land use, and many others.
Having a good basic knowledge of Maine real estate law can make a lot of transactions, such as buying a house or renting an apartment, much easier.
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Common Real Estate Issues in Maine
Financing: Most people in Maine probably can't afford to buy a house or a piece of land up front. Consequently, most individuals and business use some form of financing to purchase real estate, typically a mortgage. A mortgage is a loan used to buy a piece of real estate, with the purchased real estate simultaneously securing the loan.
Disclosure: When a house or other building is being sold, it's possible that there will be some physical defects in the structure. Potential buyers generally have a right to know about these defects, which means that sellers have to disclose them. Generally, if the defect is one that the seller knows about, and the buyer probably couldn't discover it through a normal inspection, the seller has to disclose it. Really, though, it's a good idea for sellers to disclose every defect they know about, whether or not they believe disclosure is technically required as to a specific defect.
Warranty of Habitability: All rented residential properties have at least one basic requirement: they must actually be fit for people to live in them. While the apartments they rent aren't required to be luxurious or pretty, landlords are absolutely required to ensure that their property meets some basic standards for human habitability. This applies whether the lease mentions it or not, and cannot be waived, under any circumstances. A dwelling will usually be found to be uninhabitable if it lacks running water, electricity, heating, or protection from the elements. There are many other ways that a dwelling could be uninhabitable, however.
Zoning Laws: Before you begin any construction project, you need to make sure that it will not violate any zoning laws in Maine. This is because zoning laws control what can and can't be done on a given piece of property. They can be pretty complex, but, in general, they are designed to ensure that people who use land in different ways can co-exist as harmoniously as possible. To that end, they work to keep industrial and residential uses separate, among other things.
Do I Need a Maine Real Estate Lawyer?
These matters can be pretty difficult, and the above discussion only scratched the surface of the huge body of law that can affect real estate transactions. Therefore, if you think any business or personal plan you have might be affected by real estate law, you should consult with a Maine real estate lawyer as soon as possible.
Maine is situated on the eastern coast of the U.S., and is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean. As a coastal state, Maine's laws, economy and culture are heavily influenced by coastal and maritime aspects. Maine was contained within Massachusetts before it became a separate state.
Maine's legal system is organized according to the Maine Constitution. It consists of the Maine Supreme Judicial Court, the Maine Superior Court, and the District Courts. The Supreme Court is among a handful of state Supreme Courts that are authorized to issue advisory opinions. These provide information and clarification on specific issues, as requested by the legislature or by the governor. The Maine Supreme Judicial Court is somewhat atypical because it is located in Portland and not in the capital city of Augusta.
Maine is an "alcohol beverage control state" (ABC state). This means that the state of Maine exercises strict control over the retailing and wholesaling of alcoholic beverages. However, Maine is not an alcohol monopoly state, since the state does not directly run liquor establishments. Instead, the state contracts with private businesses and takes a commission on sales of alcoholic beverages in the state.
Lawyers in Maine are knowledgeable of the particular details that shape the state's laws. An experienced attorney in Maine can provide advice on legal questions and can help clients obtain legal relief. Maine lawyers are licensed by the state bar and practice law according to state standards.