Real Estate Law in Maine
In Portland, real estate law can affect just about anything involving the use, purchase, or sale of land and fixtures to land, such as buildings.
The many laws affecting real estate in Portland can sometimes feel overwhelming in their volume and complexity. This might apply doubly when your case involves a foreclosure, or a construction dispute.
Accordingly, it's a good idea to learn some of the basics of Portland's real estate laws.
Knowing the law can serve you in a number of ways: it can put you in a better negotiating position, it can help you spot unlawful terms in lease agreements, and ensure that you know your rights if a conflict arises, among other things.
Common Real Estate Law Issues in Portland
Financing: Not too many people or small businesses in Portland can purchase real estate with the cash on hand, simply because land is expensive, and few people have hundreds of thousands (or even millions) of dollars in the bank. In buying real estate, a mortgage is an excellent solution for most people. Of course, you still have to pay the full price of the real estate you're buying, but a mortgage allows you to do this in installments, over a period of years.
Zoning: Zoning regulations control what types of structures are allowed on various parcels, based on their location in a municipality. For example, some areas in a city might be zoned only for residential use. Another area might permit industrial use. These rules are meant to keep property values up, and promote harmony among neighbors by preventing conflicts.
Duty of Disclosure: Sellers of homes are bound by a legal duty to disclose defects in the home to prospective buyers, before they buy the house. Any defect which the seller knows (or reasonably should know) about, and which cannot be discovered by the buyer through an usual inspection, must be disclosed to the buyer.
Implied Warranty: All residential lease agreements in Portland carry with them an implicit promise by the landlord that the property is fit for human habitation. This warranty does not need to be explicitly stated in order to have effect, and neither the tenant nor landlord can waive it. Any arrangement claiming to waive this warranty is void. To be considered habitable, a building must not be so dirty as to pose a health hazard, it must have running water, it must have electricity, and it must provide adequate protection from the weather. There are many other requirements, but if a building or unit lacks any one of those, it will be considered uninhabitable.
Can a Portland Real Estate Lawyer Help?
The issues discussed here, along with others, can be intricate and confusing. Therefore, if you have any questions on this subject, you should not hesitate to ask a Portland real estate lawyer.