Commercial Real Estate Law in Michigan
In Ann Arbor, Michigan, commercial real estate is any form of real property (land or permanent structures) being utilized for business purposes.
Commercial real estate in Ann Arbor, Michigan is controlled 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 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 Ann Arbor, Michigan
Financing: Some small businesses in Ann Arbor, Michigan 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, allowing the bank to foreclose on it in case the buyer defaults.
Disclosure of Defects: Sellers of real estate have an requirement to inform prospective buyers of any defects present in the property, such as water damage and other structural problems. Essentially, if the defect is significant enough that it might affect a reasonable buyer's decision on whether or not to purchase the property, and the seller knows about it, it must be disclosed. Failure to disclose such defects would give a buyer the right to sue the seller, and recover significant damages, including the cost of repairing the defect, compensation for any injuries or illness caused by it, and the reduction in the property's value caused by the defect.
Buyer's Duty to Inspect: generally, 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 harmed by physical defects that an inspection would have revealed, and that the seller didn't know about.
Encumbrances: These are defects to title, rather than physical defects. They are legal issues which might make it challenging or impossible for a landowner to make full use of their land. In Ann Arbor, Michigan, 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 specific 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 Ann Arbor, Michigan Attorney Help?
These issues can be very complicated, and most people consider such financially-weighty decisions to be very critical. If you are one of those people, it's a smart move to contact an Ann Arbor, Michigan real estate attorney if you are facing any of the issues discussed above.