Real Estate Law in Missouri
In Kansas City, real estate law can affect just about anything involving the use, purchase, or sale of land and fixtures to land, such as buildings.
The huge volume of laws governing real estate in Kansas City 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 Kansas City'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 Kansas City
Financing: Most individuals, families, and small businesses in Kansas City cannot afford to buy a large piece of real estate with the money they have on hand. However, they often can afford to pay for it over a long period of time, in installments, with interest. Therefore, most real estate is purchased using a mortgage - a loan for a specific purchase, using the item purchased as collateral.
Zoning: Zoning laws establish rules saying what kinds of buildings are allowed in various areas of a city or town. These rules serve a variety of purposes. For example, they usually protect residents by making it illegal for industrial facilities to be built in residential areas. This also protects industries, allowing them to do their business without being bothered by constant complaints and lawsuits from their residential neighbors.
Duty to Disclose: If you're buying a house in Kansas City, you have certain legal protections. The seller has a duty to tell the buyer about any defects that the property has. All defects which the seller knows about, and which the buyer can't be expected to discover through an ordinary inspection, must be disclosed. If the seller fails to disclose a defect, and the buyer later discovers it, the seller can be sued for any diminution in the property's value caused by the defect, the cost of repairing it, and any injuries the buyers suffers as a result.
Implied Warranties: Every lease of a residential unit in Kansas City 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 Kansas City 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 Kansas City real estate attorney.