Commercial Real Estate Law in Montana
Commercial Real Estate Law in Billings, Montana 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 Billings, Montana which regulate commercial real estate differ considerably from the laws governing the rental and purchase of residential real estate.
When renting or buying residential real estate, renters and buyers have substantial 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 general protections, such as prohibiting sellers of real estate from lying regarding the property to the buyer, apply in any context, however.
Common Commercial Real Estate Law Issues in Billings, Montana
Financing: The majority of small business owners in Billings, Montana 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 results. 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 substantial 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 typically won't be able to successfully sue, if defects are discovered after the purchase.
Encumbrances: Undisclosed encumbrances are defects of another sort: defects of title. An encumbrance is any interest that a third party has in the Billings, Montana commercial real estate. These typically take the form of easements, which are rights held by third parties to use the land for a specific purpose. Easements can have profound effects on how a new owner can use the land, so it is important to know about them before buying.
Can a Billings, Montana Attorney Help?
The issues surrounding commercial real estate in Billings, Montana can get fairly complex. Therefore, it's never a bad idea to have the assistance of an efficient commercial real estate attorney.