Commercial Real Estate Law in Missouri
Commercial Real Estate Law in St. Louis, Missouri is any form of land or permanent structure which isn't utilized for residential or industrial purposes, and is instead used for a business involving the buying and selling of goods or services.
The laws in St. Louis, Missouri which control commercial real estate differ substantially from the laws governing the rental and purchase of residential real estate.
Buyers and renters of residential property enjoy a massive number of legal protections. Many of these protections don't apply to buyers or renters of commercial property.
Several 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 general protections, nonetheless, 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. Louis, Missouri
Financing: The majority of small business owners in St. Louis, Missouri probably can't afford to buy much real estate outright, with cash paid up front, so most small business buy 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 significant 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 significant outcomes. 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: While buyers of real estate have some considerable protections with respect to defects, they also have some obligations. Before finalizing a purchase, buyers are expected to undertake a reasonable inspection of the property, usually by using a licensed building inspector. If the buyer fails to conduct an inspection, they normally won't be able to successfully sue, if defects are discovered after the purchase.
Encumbrances: Encumbrances are defects of a different type: rather than physical defects, they are defects of title. In St. Louis, Missouri, an encumbrance is an interest in a piece of real estate held by a third party, such as covenants or easements. An easement is a right held by someone to use the property of someone else for a particular purpose. For instance, a person might have an easement on the land of another person, allowing them to cross the land to access a public road.
Can a St. Louis, Missouri Attorney Help?
Because of the complexity and importance of many of the issues regarding commercial real estate, it is almost always imperative to consult with a St. Louis, Missouri attorney before buying or selling commercial real estate.