Commercial Real Estate Law in Pennsylvania
Commercial real estate is any type of land or structure in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania which is used for business purposes, primarily the sale of goods and/or services to the public.
The laws in Lancaster County, 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.
For example, commercial real estate usually isn't covered by rent control laws, nor does it carry with it an implied warranty of habitability (because people generally 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 Lancaster County, Pennsylvania
Financing: The majority of small business owners in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania probably can't afford to buy much real estate outright, with cash paid up front, so most small business purchase commercial real estate with a mortgage. A mortgage is a loan taken out for the purpose of buying real estate, using that real estate as collateral for the loan.
Concealment of Defects: if the seller of commercial property acts to conceal a significant defect in the property, and then sells the property, he will be liable for any harm this defect cause, as well as the reduced value of the property, or the cost of repair.
Duty to Inspect: While buyers of real estate have some significant 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 usually 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 Lancaster County, Pennsylvania commercial real estate. These usually 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 crucial to know about them before buying.
Can a Lancaster County, Pennsylvania Attorney Help?
These issues are sometimes complex, and almost always very important. Therefore, it's essential to seek the assistance of a Lancaster County, Pennsylvania real estate attorney if you have any dealings in this area.