Real Estate Law in Oregon
Washington County'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 Washington County can be fairly complex, 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 Washington County's real estate laws.
Some understanding of the relevant law can give you an advantage in almost any situation. In the real estate context, 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 Washington County
Financing: Most individuals are unable to make major real estate purchases in Washington County with cash, because few people have that kind of money on hand. Thus, to buy real estate, most entities use a mortgage. This is a loan used to buy a piece of property. When the loan is issued, and the property purchased, the lender holds a security interest in the property until the loan is paid off, with interest.
Zoning: Zoning regulations determine 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 allow industrial use. These rules are meant to keep property values up, and promote harmony among neighbors by preventing conflicts.
Duty to Disclose: sellers of real estate, particularly houses and other residential property, are legally bound to tell the buyer about any defects in the property that the seller knows about, and that the buyer couldn't easily discover on his own (mold or termite problems are common examples). If the seller fails to make such disclosures, he or she could be liable for any harm the defect causes to the buyer, as well as the cost of repairing it. If the seller intentionally conceals or lies about the defect, he or she might also face punitive damages.
Implied Warranties: In Washington County, every residential lease agreement, whether it's explicitly stated or not, has an "implied warranty of habitability." This is a legally-imposed promise by the landlord that the rented dwelling (whether it's a house or apartment) is fit for habitation by humans. While there are many requirements for a place to be considered habitable, some of the most crucial ones are electricity, running water, heating, and protection from the elements.
Can a Washington County Real Estate Lawyer Help?
These issues, along with many others, can sometimes be fairly perplexing. Therefore, you should never hesitate to consult with a Washington County real estate attorney if you have any questions.