Commercial Real Estate Law in Pennsylvania
Commercial real estate is any type of land or structure in Dauphin County, Pennsylvania which is used for business purposes, primarily the sale of goods and/or services to the public.
The laws in Dauphin County, Pennsylvania which regulate commercial real estate differ considerably from the laws governing the rental and purchase of residential real estate.
People who buy and rent residential unites have a higher deal of legal protections not available to buyers of commercial property.
For instance, residential real estate is controlled by laws concerning rent control, living conditions, and other things relevant to buildings where people will be living. Most of these protections don't apply to commercial real estate, because the law assumes that the average business person is a bit more sophisticated in such dealings than the general population, and because a place to do business is usually less important than a place to live. However, the most basic protections, such as protection from fraud and deliberate concealment of defects, still apply.
Common Commercial Real Estate Law Issues in Dauphin County, Pennsylvania
Financing: The majority of small businesses in Dauphin County, Pennsylvania can't afford to make large real estate purchases with the money they have in the bank. Still, buying real estate is sometimes imperative 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.
Disclosure of Defects: Sellers of real estate have an obligation to inform prospective buyers of any defects present in the property, such as water damage and other structural problems. Basically, if the defect is significant enough that it might affect a reasonable buyer's decision on whether or not to purchase the property, and the seller knows about it, it must be disclosed. Failure to disclose such defects would give a buyer the right to sue the seller, and recover substantial damages, including the cost of repairing the defect, compensation for any injuries or illness caused by it, and the reduction in the property's value caused by the defect.
Duty to Inspect: Buyers of commercial real estate are expected to be diligent, and a court will not reward a lack of diligence. Consequently, if the buyer fails to conduct a thorough inspection of the property before buying it, and thereby fails to discover defects which such an inspection could have easily revealed, he will not be able to sue the seller over these defects later on.
Encumbrances: Undisclosed encumbrances are defects of another sort: defects of title. An encumbrance is any interest that a third party has in the Dauphin County, Pennsylvania commercial real estate. These typically 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 Dauphin County, Pennsylvania Attorney Help?
Because of the importance and potential complexity of the issues surrounding commercial real estate, it's almost always prudent that, before engaging in any real estate deal, you pursue the counsel of a good Dauphin County, Pennsylvania real estate attorney.