Commercial Real Estate Law in Missouri
In Kansas City, Missouri, commercial real estate is any type of real property (land or permanent structures) being used for business purposes.
The Kansas City, Missouri laws governing commercial real estate differ significantly from the laws that cover residential and other types of real estate.
When renting or buying residential real estate, renters and buyers have significant legal protections which often don't apply to commercial real estate.
These absent protections include rent control, and warranties of habitability, among others. The most basic protections, such as prohibiting sellers of real estate from lying about the property to the buyer, apply in any context, however.
Common Commercial Real Estate Law Issues in Kansas City, Missouri
Financing: The majority of small business owners in Kansas City, Missouri probably can't afford to buy much real estate outright, with cash paid up front, so most small business purchase commercial real estate with a mortgage. A mortgage is a loan taken out for the purpose of buying real estate, using that real estate as collateral for 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: This is a companion to the duty to disclose defects. Generally, 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 Kansas City, Missouri, 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 Kansas City, Missouri 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 Kansas City, Missouri attorney before buying or selling commercial real estate.