Commercial Real Estate Law in Rhode Island
Commercial real estate is any type of land or structure in Johnston, Rhode Island which is used for business purposes, primarily the sale of goods and/or services to the public.
The laws governing real estate in Johnston, Rhode Island apply differently when dealing with commercial, as opposed to residential, real estate.
People who buy and rent residential unites have a larger deal of legal protections not available to buyers of commercial property.
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 Johnston, Rhode Island
Financing: The majority of small business owners in Johnston, Rhode Island 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: While buyers of real estate have some considerable protections with respect to defects, they also have some obligations. Before finalizing a purchase, buyers are expected to undertake a reasonable inspection of the property, usually by using a licensed building inspector. If the buyer fails to conduct an inspection, they normally won't be able to successfully sue, if defects are discovered after the purchase.
Encumbrances: An encumbrance is some small ownership interest in land held by a third party, or some right held by a third party to restrict the use of a parcel of land. A frequent encumbrance is an easement. In Johnston, Rhode Island, an easement is some right of some third party to make limited use of land owned by someone else. For example, cable companies often purchase easements from property owners (or they are imposed by the government) allowing them to string cable wiring from the telephone wires on the street to nearby houses. Like any other property right, the holder of an easement can prevent others from interfering with it. Obviously, if a buyer doesn't know about an encumbrance on a piece of land, he might find that he's unable to make the use of the land that he was expecting.
Can a Johnston, Rhode Island Attorney Help?
Because of the complexity and importance of many of the issues concerning commercial real estate, it is almost always essential to consult with a Johnston, Rhode Island attorney before buying or selling commercial real estate.