Real Estate Law in Rhode Island
Bristol'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 Bristol 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 Bristol's real estate laws.
If you have even a little bit of basic familiarity of applicable real estate law, your life will probably be a great deal easier. If you have some understanding of the law, your knowledge will likely put you in a better bargaining position.
Common Real Estate Law Issues in Bristol
Financing: Most individuals, families, and small businesses in Bristol 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. Consequently, most real estate is purchased using a mortgage - a loan for a specific purchase, using the item purchased as collateral.
Zoning: Zoning laws dictate what types of buildings can go on given pieces of property. These laws are usually designed to ensure that residential areas are as clean and as quiet as possible, thereby preserving property values. They accomplish this by ensuring that other uses that might be inappropriate in a residential area, such as heavy industry, are in different parts of town. This also ensures that industries will be able to go about their business without constant complaints from their neighbors.
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: In Bristol, every residential lease agreement, whether it's specifically 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 Bristol Real Estate Lawyer Help?
The issues discussed here, along with others, can be intricate and complex. Therefore, if you have any questions on this subject, you should not hesitate to ask a Bristol real estate lawyer.