Real Estate Law in Pennsylvania
Harrisburg'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 Harrisburg can be fairly intricate, especially when it comes to things like mortgages and the resolution of disputes over construction defects.
Thus, if you're planning on engaging in any kind of real estate transaction, it's important that you learn at least the basics of real estate law in Harrisburg.
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 Harrisburg
Financing: Most individuals, families, and small businesses in Harrisburg 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. Consequently, most real estate is purchased using a mortgage - a loan for a specific purchase, using the item purchased as collateral.
Zoning: Zoning regulations control 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 permit industrial use. These rules are meant to keep property values up, and promote harmony among neighbors by preventing conflicts.
Duty to Disclose: If you're buying a house in Harrisburg, you have specific legal protections. The seller has a duty to tell the buyer about any defects that the property has. All defects which the seller knows about, and which the buyer can't be expected to discover through an ordinary inspection, must be disclosed. If the seller fails to disclose a defect, and the buyer later discovers it, the seller can be sued for any diminution in the property's value caused by the defect, the cost of repairing it, and any injuries the buyers suffers as a result.
Implied Warranty: All residential lease agreements in Harrisburg 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 arrangement 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 Harrisburg Real Estate Lawyer Help?
The issues briefly discussed above, as well as many others, can be very intricate. Accordingly, if you are engaged in any real estate transaction, it's never a bad idea to first consult with an experienced Harrisburg real estate attorney.