Real Estate Law in Oregon
Portland'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 Portland can be fairly intricate, especially when it comes to things like mortgages and the resolution of disputes over construction defects.
Therefore, it's a good idea to learn some of the basics of Portland's real estate laws.
Some understanding of the proper law can give you an advantage in almost any situation. In the real estate instance, 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 Portland
Financing: Most persons, families, and small businesses in Portland 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. Consequently, most real estate is purchased using a mortgage - a loan for a specific purchase, using the item purchased as collateral.
Zoning: Zoning regulations control what types of structures are allowed on various parcels, based on their location in a municipality. For instance, some areas in a city might be zoned only for residential use. Another area might permit industrial use. These rules are meant to keep property values up, and promote harmony among neighbors by preventing conflicts.
Duty to Disclose: If you're buying a house in Portland, you have specific 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 Warranty: All residential lease agreements in Portland carry with them an implicit promise by the landlord that the property is fit for human habitation. This warranty does not need to be explicitly stated in order to have effect, and neither the tenant nor landlord can waive it. Any arrangement claiming to waive this warranty is void. To be considered habitable, a building must not be so dirty as to pose a health hazard, it must have running water, it must have electricity, and it must provide adequate protection from the weather. There are many other requirements, but if a building or unit lacks any one of those, it will be considered uninhabitable.
Can a Portland Real Estate Lawyer Help?
The issues briefly discussed above, as well as many others, can be very confusing. Accordingly, if you are engaged in any real estate transaction, it's never a bad idea to first consult with an experienced Portland real estate attorney.