Real Estate Law in Pennsylvania
Altoona'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 Altoona can be fairly complicated, 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 Altoona's real estate laws.
Some understanding of the appropriate law can give you an advantage in almost any situation. In the real estate situation, 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 Altoona
Financing: Not too many individuals or small businesses in Altoona can purchase real estate with the cash on hand, simply because land is expensive, and few people have hundreds of thousands (or even millions) of dollars in the bank. In buying real estate, a mortgage is an outstanding solution for most people. Of course, you still have to pay the full price of the real estate you're buying, but a mortgage allows you to do this in installments, over a period of years.
Zoning: Zoning laws control what types of structures can be built on given parcels of land. Typically, cities and towns are zoned in order to ensure that neighborhoods are clearly divided into residential, commercial, and industrial categories, to ensure that everyone who uses the land can make the best possible use of it, for their particular purpose
Duty of Disclosure: Sellers of homes are bound by a legal duty to disclose defects in the home to prospective buyers, before they purchase the house. Any defect which the seller knows (or reasonably should know) about, and which cannot be discovered by the buyer through an normal inspection, must be disclosed to the buyer.
Implied Warranty: All residential lease agreements in Altoona 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 contract 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 Altoona Real Estate Lawyer Help?
These issues, along with many others, can sometimes be fairly difficult. Therefore, you should never hesitate to consult with an Altoona real estate attorney if you have any questions.