Commercial Real Estate Law in Pennsylvania
Commercial real estate is any type of land or structure in Williamsport, Pennsylvania which is used for business purposes, primarily the sale of goods and/or services to the public.
The laws governing real estate in Williamsport, Pennsylvania apply differently when dealing with commercial, as opposed to residential, real estate.
People who buy and rent residential unites have a greater deal of legal protections not available to buyers of commercial property.
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 Williamsport, Pennsylvania
Financing: The majority of small business owners in Williamsport, 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: 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 common, 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. Therefore, 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: Encumbrances are defects of a different type: rather than physical defects, they are defects of title. In Williamsport, Pennsylvania, an encumbrance is an interest in a piece of real estate held by a third party, such as covenants or easements. An easement is a right held by someone to use the property of someone else for a certain purpose. For example, a person might have an easement on the land of another person, allowing them to cross the land to access a public road.
Can a Williamsport, Pennsylvania Attorney Help?
Because of the importance and potential complexity of the issues surrounding commercial real estate, it's almost always prudent that, before engaging in any real estate deal, you seek the counsel of a good Williamsport, Pennsylvania real estate attorney.