Commercial Real Estate Law in Michigan
In St. Clair County, Michigan, commercial real estate is any type of real property (land or permanent structures) being used for business purposes.
Commercial real estate in St. Clair County, Michigan is regulated by laws which differ significantly from state and local laws that apply to residential real estate.
Buyers and renters of residential property enjoy some pretty substantial legal protections, because the law of most states presumes that shelter (being necessary to survive, for the most part) is more important than business. Therefore, many of these consumer protections don't apply to commercial real estate.
Some of the protections that don't apply to commercial property include warranties of habitability, rent control, and warranties of quiet enjoyment. There are others, as well. The most basic protections, however, apply to buyers of both residential and commercial real estate, including remedies for fraud and concealment of physical or title defects.
Common Commercial Real Estate Law Issues in St. Clair County, Michigan
Financing: Many businesses in St. Clair County, Michigan can't save up enough money to pay the full asking price of a decent-sized piece of real estate up front. Nonetheless, it's sometimes necessary for businesses to acquire real estate. To solve this problem, most rely on a mortgage. A mortgage is a common type of loan, taken out to purchase real estate. The lending institution lends the full purchase price to the borrower, who then purchases the property. The property, in turn, becomes collateral for the loan, which must be paid back over a period of years, with interest.
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 results. 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: This is a companion to the duty to disclose defects. Usually, buyers of real estate are expected to inspect the property. If they fail to conduct a good inspection, they might not be able to recover damages if they are harmed by any defects which an inspection would have revealed.
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 St. Clair County, 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 limited 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 St. Clair County, Michigan Attorney Help?
Because of the complexity and importance of many of the issues concerning commercial real estate, it is almost always necessary to consult with a St. Clair County, Michigan attorney before buying or selling commercial real estate.