Real Estate Law in Pennsylvania
Wilkes Barre'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 Wilkes Barre can get pretty complicated, especially when things such as mortgages, disputes about construction defects, and conflicts over title are involved.
Accordingly, it's a good idea to learn some of the basics of Wilkes Barre's real estate laws.
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 Wilkes Barre
Financing: Most individuals, families, and small businesses in Wilkes Barre cannot afford to buy a large piece of real estate with the money they have on hand. However, they usually can afford to pay for it over a long period of time, in installments, with interest. Thus, most real estate is purchased using a mortgage - a loan for a specific purchase, using the item purchased as collateral.
Zoning: Zoning regulations govern 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 authorize industrial use. These rules are meant to keep property values up, and promote harmony among neighbors by preventing conflicts.
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 frequent 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: In Wilkes Barre, every residential lease agreement, whether it's clearly stated or not, has an "implied warranty of habitability." This is a legally-imposed promise by the landlord that the rented dwelling (whether it's a house or apartment) is fit for habitation by humans. While there are many requirements for a place to be considered habitable, some of the most essential ones are electricity, running water, heating, and protection from the elements.
Can a Wilkes Barre Real Estate Lawyer Help?
These issues, along with many others, can sometimes be fairly convoluted. Therefore, you should never hesitate to consult with a Wilkes Barre real estate attorney if you have any questions.