Real Estate Law in Pennsylvania
Philadelphia'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.
The law governing real estate in Philadelphia can get pretty complicated, especially when things such as mortgages, disputes about construction defects, and conflicts over title are involved.
Therefore, it's always good to have at least some knowledge of Philadelphia's real estate law.
Having at least some knowledge of real estate law will be to your advantage in essentially 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 Philadelphia
Financing: Most people are unable to make major real estate purchases in Philadelphia with cash, because few people have that kind of money on hand. Therefore, to buy real estate, most entities use a mortgage. This is a loan used to buy a piece of property. When the loan is authorized, and the property purchased, the lender holds a security interest in the property until the loan is paid off, with interest.
Zoning: Zoning laws govern what types of structures can be built on given parcels of land. Usually, cities and towns are zoned in order to ensure that neighborhoods are clearly divided into residential, commercial, and industrial categories, to ensure that everyone who uses the land can make the best possible use of it, for their particular purpose
Duty to Disclose: sellers of real estate, especially houses and other residential property, are legally bound to tell the buyer about any defects in the property that the seller knows about, and that the buyer couldn't easily discover on his own (mold or termite problems are prevalent examples). If the seller fails to make such disclosures, he or she could be liable for any harm the defect causes to the buyer, as well as the cost of repairing it. If the seller intentionally conceals or lies about the defect, he or she might also face punitive damages.
Implied Warranties: Every lease of a residential unit in Philadelphia carries with it an implicit promise by the owner that the unit will meet some basic minimum standards for human habitability. There are many factors that go into determining if an unit is "habitable," but there are a few essentials, and they include running water, heat, electricity, and adequate shelter from the elements.
Can a Philadelphia Real Estate Lawyer Help?
These issues, along with many others, can sometimes be fairly intricate. Therefore, you should never hesitate to consult with a Philadelphia real estate attorney if you have any questions.