Real Estate Law in Minnesota
In Virginia, real estate law can affect just about anything involving the use, purchase, or sale of land and fixtures to land, such as buildings.
The massive volume of laws governing real estate in Virginia might seem overwhelming to the uninitiated. Indeed, they can get very complicated, especially when issues about title defects or construction disputes are involved.
Accordingly, it's a good idea to learn some of the basics of Virginia's real estate laws.
Some understanding of the relevant law can give you an advantage in almost any situation. In the real estate context, it can help you spot illegal terms in lease agreements, give you some idea of what your rights are in a dispute, among other things. If nothing else, knowledge of the law can help you spot people who are willing to break it, so you can avoid dealing with them.
Common Real Estate Law Issues in Virginia
Financing: Most people are unable to make major real estate purchases in Virginia with cash, because few people have that kind of money on hand. Therefore, to buy real estate, most entities use a mortgage. This is a loan used to buy a piece of property. When the loan is issued, and the property purchased, the lender holds a security interest in the property until the loan is paid off, with interest.
Zoning: Zoning regulations determine 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 allow industrial use. These rules are meant to keep property values up, and promote harmony among neighbors by preventing conflicts.
Duty to Disclose: sellers of real estate, especially houses and other residential property, are legally bound to tell the buyer about any defects in the property that the seller knows about, and that the buyer couldn't easily discover on his own (mold or termite problems are common examples). If the seller fails to make such disclosures, he or she could be liable for any harm the defect causes to the buyer, as well as the cost of repairing it. If the seller intentionally conceals or lies about the defect, he or she might also face punitive damages.
Implied Warranties: Every lease of a residential unit in Virginia carries with it an implicit promise by the owner that the unit will meet some basic minimum standards for human habitability. There are many factors that go into determining if an unit is "habitable," but there are a few essentials, and they include running water, heat, electricity, and adequate shelter from the elements.
Can a Virginia Real Estate Lawyer Help?
The issues briefly discussed above, as well as many others, can be very complicated. Accordingly, if you are engaged in any real estate transaction, it's never a bad idea to first consult with an experienced Virginia real estate attorney.