Real Estate Law in Pennsylvania
Washington's real estate industry is controlled by a huge body of laws. This is because almost any real estate transaction invokes laws regarding civil rights, consumer protection, land use, and contracts.
The law controlling real estate in Washington can get pretty complicated, especially when things such as mortgages, disputes about construction defects, and conflicts over title are involved.
Therefore, it's a good idea to learn some of the basics of Washington's real estate laws.
Knowing the law can serve you in a variety of ways: it can put you in a better negotiating position, it can help you spot unlawful terms in lease agreements, and confirm that you know your rights if a conflict arises, among other things.
Common Real Estate Law Issues in Washington
Financing: Not too many individuals or small businesses in Washington can purchase real estate with the cash on hand, simply because land is expensive, and few people have hundreds of thousands (or even millions) of dollars in the bank. In buying real estate, a mortgage is an outstanding solution for most people. Of course, you still have to pay the full price of the real estate you're buying, but a mortgage allows you to do this in installments, over a period of years.
Zoning: Zoning regulations control what types of structures are allowed on various parcels, based on their location in a municipality. For instance, 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: When buying a home in Washington, you are safeguarded by the law. The seller has a legal obligation to disclose to the buyer any defects of which the seller is aware, which the buyer couldn't detect through a superficial inspection. If you are selling a home, it's probably best to disclose every defect you know about, to guarantee that you aren't faced with a lawsuit from the buyer sometime in the future.
Implied Warranties: In Washington, every residential rental agreement carries with it a warranty of habitability, in which the landlord implicitly promises that the unit is fit for human habitation. This applies whether or not such a warranty is mentioned in the lease agreement, and it still applies even if the landlord tries to disclaim any such warranty. There are many circumstances that might make an unit uninhabitable. A few examples are a lack of electricity, no running water, or no heating.
Can a Washington Real Estate Lawyer Help?
These issues, along with many others, can sometimes be fairly confusing. Therefore, you should never hesitate to consult with a Washington real estate attorney if you have any questions.