Real Estate Law in Missouri
St. Louis's real estate industry is controlled by a huge body of laws. This is because almost any real estate transaction invokes laws regarding civil rights, consumer protection, land use, and contracts.
Real estate law in St. Louis can be fairly complicated, especially when it comes to things like mortgages and the resolution of disputes over construction defects.
Therefore, it's a smart idea to obtain at least a very basic knowledge of how real estate law in St. Louis works.
Having at least some knowledge of real estate law will be to your advantage in practically any real estate transaction. Knowing the law can give you a bargaining advantage and prevent you from being saddled with obligations that you don't have to assume.
Common Real Estate Law Issues in St. Louis
Financing: Most persons, families, and small businesses in St. Louis cannot afford to buy a large piece of real estate with the money they have on hand. However, they typically can afford to pay for it over a long period of time, in installments, with interest. Thus, 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 authorized in various areas of a city or town. These rules serve a variety of purposes. For example, they normally 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 of Disclosure: Sellers of homes are bound by a legal duty to disclose defects in the home to prospective buyers, before they buy the house. Any defect which the seller knows (or reasonably should know) about, and which cannot be discovered by the buyer through an average inspection, must be disclosed to the buyer.
Implied Warranties: In St. Louis, every residential rental agreement carries with it a warranty of habitability, in which the landlord implicitly promises that the unit is fit for human habitation. This applies whether or not such a warranty is mentioned in the lease agreement, and it still applies even if the landlord tries to disclaim any such warranty. There are many circumstances that might make a unit uninhabitable. A few examples are a lack of electricity, no running water, or no heating.
Can a St. Louis Real Estate Lawyer Help?
The issues briefly discussed above, as well as many others, can be very difficult. Accordingly, if you are engaged in any real estate transaction, it's never a bad idea to first consult with an experienced St. Louis real estate attorney.