Commercial Real Estate Law in Pennsylvania
Commercial real estate is any form of land or structure in State College, Pennsylvania which is utilized for business purposes, mainly the sale of goods and/or services to the public.
The laws regulating real estate in State College, Pennsylvania apply differently when dealing with commercial, as opposed to residential, real estate.
Most of the protections that buyers and renters of residential real estate enjoy rarely apply to renters of commercial real estate.
For instance, residential real estate is governed 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 typically 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 State College, Pennsylvania
Financing: Many businesses in State College, Pennsylvania can't save up enough money to pay the full asking price of a decent-sized piece of real estate up front. Nonetheless, it's sometimes necessary for businesses to acquire real estate. To solve this issue, most rely on a mortgage. A mortgage is a typical type of loan, taken out to purchase real estate. The lending institution lends the full purchase price to the borrower, who then purchases the property. The property, in turn, becomes collateral for the loan, which must be paid back over a period of years, with interest.
Concealment of Defects: Sellers and lessors of commercial real estate are under a duty to disclose any defects in the property which might impact the buyer's decision to purchase it, such as water damage, mold, or other structural problems. These defects are quite typical, and the buyer has a right to know about them. If the seller doesn't disclose these defects, where they exist, the buyer can sue for any harm this causes.
Duty to Inspect: Buyers of commercial real estate are expected to be diligent, and a court will not reward a lack of diligence. Thus, 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 State College, Pennsylvania commercial real estate. These normally 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 essential to know about them before buying.
Can a State College, Pennsylvania Attorney Help?
Because of the importance and potential complexity of the issues surrounding commercial real estate, it's almost always judicious that, before engaging in any real estate deal, you obtain the counsel of a good State College, Pennsylvania real estate attorney.