Commercial Real Estate Law in Maine
In Harpswell, Maine, commercial real estate is any type of real property (land or permanent structures) being used for business purposes.
Commercial real estate in Harpswell, Maine is managed by laws which differ significantly from state and local laws that apply to residential real estate.
People who buy and rent residential unites have a greater deal of legal protections not available to buyers of commercial property.
These include implied warranties of habitability, rent control, and covenants of use and quiet enjoyment, among several others. Of course, the most basic protections, such as prohibiting the seller from actively concealing defects, apply to both.
Common Commercial Real Estate Law Issues in Harpswell, Maine
Financing: The majority of small businesses in Harpswell, Maine can't afford to make large real estate purchases with the money they have in the bank. Nevertheless, buying real estate is sometimes essential 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 serious 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 serious consequences. 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 significant 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 usually won't be able to successfully sue, if defects are discovered after the purchase.
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 Harpswell, Maine, 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 particular 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 Harpswell, Maine Attorney Help?
The issues surrounding commercial real estate in Harpswell, Maine can get fairly complex. Therefore, it's never a bad idea to have the assistance of an experienced commercial real estate attorney.