Commercial Real Estate Law in Pennsylvania
Commercial real estate is any type of land or structure in Forest Hills, Pennsylvania which is used for business purposes, primarily the sale of goods and/or services to the public.
The laws in Forest Hills, Pennsylvania which govern commercial real estate differ significantly from the laws governing the rental and purchase of residential real estate.
Buyers and renters of residential property enjoy some pretty significant legal protections, because the law of most states presumes that shelter (being necessary to survive, for the most part) is more important than business. Therefore, many of these consumer protections don't apply to commercial real estate.
These absent protections include rent control, and warranties of habitability, among others. The most basic protections, such as prohibiting sellers of real estate from lying about the property to the buyer, apply in any context, however.
Common Commercial Real Estate Law Issues in Forest Hills, Pennsylvania
Financing: Most small business owners in Forest Hills, Pennsylvania don't have the money to buy real estate with the cash on hand. However, there is a solution to this problem, allowing people without massive sums of money (but with a steady income) to buy real estate: the mortgage. A mortgage is a loan used to buy real estate, and the real estate being purchased is used as collateral for 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 consequences. 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.
Buyer's Duty to Inspect: generally, buyers of commercial real estate are expected to inspect the property before buying it. A failure to do so might prevent the buyer from prevailing in a lawsuit if he is harmed by physical defects that an inspection would have revealed, and that the seller didn't know about.
Encumbrances: Encumbrances are defects of a different type: rather than physical defects, they are defects of title. In Forest Hills, Pennsylvania, an encumbrance is an interest in a piece of real estate held by a third party, such as covenants or easements. An easement is a right held by someone to use the property of someone else for a certain purpose. For example, a person might have an easement on the land of another person, allowing them to cross the land to access a public road.
Can a Forest Hills, Pennsylvania Attorney Help?
Because of the importance and potential complexity of the issues surrounding commercial real estate, it's almost always advisable that, before engaging in any real estate deal, you seek the counsel of a good Forest Hills, Pennsylvania real estate attorney.