Real Estate Law in Ohio
Athens's real estate industry is governed by a huge body of laws. This is because almost any real estate transaction invokes laws concerning civil rights, consumer protection, land use, and contracts.
The massive volume of laws governing real estate in Athens might seem overwhelming to the uninitiated. Indeed, they can get very complicated, especially when issues about title defects or construction disputes are involved.
Therefore, it's always good to have at least some knowledge of Athens's real estate law.
Having at least some knowledge of real estate law will be to your advantage in essentially 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 Athens
Financing: The majority of people in Athens can't afford to make a major real estate purchase by paying the entire purchase price up front. Most people and small businesses, therefore, use a mortgage to make real estate purchases. A mortgage is a loan issued for the purpose of buying a piece of property, with the bank obtaining a security interest in that property until the loan and interest are paid off.
Zoning: Zoning regulations determine what types of structures are allowed on various parcels, based on their location in a municipality. For example, some areas in a city might be zoned only for residential use. Another area might allow industrial use. These rules are meant to keep property values up, and promote harmony among neighbors by preventing conflicts.
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 ordinary inspection, must be disclosed to the buyer.
Implied Warranties: In Athens, 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 stated in the lease agreement, and it still applies even if the landlord tries to disclaim any such warranty. There are many conditions that might make an unit uninhabitable. A few examples are a lack of electricity, no running water, or no heating.
Can a Athens 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 Athens real estate attorney.