Real Estate Law in Pennsylvania
Berks County'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.
Real estate law in Berks County can be fairly complicated, especially when it comes to things like mortgages and the resolution of disputes over construction defects.
Accordingly, it's a good idea to learn some of the basics of Berks County's real estate laws.
Having at least some knowledge of real estate law will be to your advantage in virtually 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 Berks County
Financing: Most individuals, families, and small businesses in Berks County cannot afford to buy a large piece of real estate with the money they have on hand. However, they often can afford to pay for it over a long period of time, in installments, with interest. Thus, most real estate is purchased using a mortgage - a loan for a specific purchase, using the item purchased as collateral.
Zoning: Zoning regulations govern 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 authorize 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, especially 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 frequent 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: Every lease of a residential unit in Berks County carries with it an implicit promise by the owner that the unit will meet some basic minimum standards for human habitability. There are many factors that go into determining if an unit is "habitable," but there are a few essentials, and they include running water, heat, electricity, and adequate shelter from the elements.
Can a Berks County Real Estate Lawyer Help?
The issues discussed here, along with others, can be complicated and confusing. Therefore, if you have any questions on this subject, you should not hesitate to ask a Berks County real estate lawyer.