Commercial Real Estate Law in Pennsylvania
Commercial real estate is any type of land or structure in Brookhaven, Pennsylvania which is used for business purposes, primarily the sale of goods and/or services to the public.
The laws in Brookhaven, Pennsylvania which control commercial real estate differ substantially from the laws governing the rental and purchase of residential real estate.
People who buy and rent residential unites have a larger deal of legal protections not available to buyers of commercial property.
For example, commercial real estate normally isn't covered by rent control laws, nor does it carry with it an implied warranty of habitability (because people typically won't be living in it). Furthermore, it also doesn't come with a covenant of quiet enjoyment. However, some of the most basic legal protections (such as laws against fraud, and concealment of defects) apply in both the commercial and residential context.
Common Commercial Real Estate Law Issues in Brookhaven, Pennsylvania
Financing: The majority of small businesses in Brookhaven, Pennsylvania can't afford to make large real estate purchases with the money they have in the bank. Nonetheless, buying real estate is sometimes necessary for a business' survival. This problem is sometimes remedied by taking out a mortgage; a loan used to buy property, with that same property being used to secure the loan.
Duty to Disclose Defects: It is of the utmost importance that sellers and lessors of commercial real estate be up front about any defects that might be present in the property. Failing to disclose them can be bad, and actively concealing them can be much worse. In general, if a defect is serious enough that it would influence a reasonable person's decision to buy a piece of property, and the seller knows about it, the seller should disclose it. Failure to disclose can have serious outcomes. If the buyer later discovers the defect, they can sue for the cost of repairing it, or for any reduction in the property's value caused by it. And, of course, if it causes any injuries, the buyer can sue the seller for those, as well.
Duty to Inspect: While buyers of real estate have some considerable protections with respect to defects, they also have some obligations. Before finalizing a purchase, buyers are expected to undertake a reasonable inspection of the property, usually by using a licensed building inspector. If the buyer fails to conduct an inspection, they normally won't be able to successfully sue, if defects are discovered after the purchase.
Encumbrances: Undisclosed encumbrances are defects of another sort: defects of title. An encumbrance is any interest that a third party has in the Brookhaven, Pennsylvania commercial real estate. These normally take the form of easements, which are rights held by third parties to use the land for a specific purpose. Easements can have profound effects on how a new owner can use the land, so it is critical to know about them before buying.
Can a Brookhaven, Pennsylvania Attorney Help?
These issues are sometimes difficult, and almost always very important. Therefore, it's necessary to seek the assistance of a Brookhaven, Pennsylvania real estate attorney if you have any dealings in this area.