Commercial Real Estate Law in Rhode Island
Commercial real estate is any type of land or structure in Westerly, 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 Westerly, Rhode Island apply differently when dealing with commercial, as opposed to residential, real estate.
People who buy and rent residential unites have a higher deal of legal protections not available to buyers of commercial property.
For instance, residential real estate is controlled 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 usually 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 Westerly, Rhode Island
Financing: The majority of small business owners in Westerly, 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.
Disclosure of Defects: Sellers of real estate have an obligation to inform prospective buyers of any defects present in the property, such as water damage and other structural problems. Basically, if the defect is significant enough that it might affect a reasonable buyer's decision on whether or not to purchase the property, and the seller knows about it, it must be disclosed. Failure to disclose such defects would give a buyer the right to sue the seller, and recover substantial damages, including the cost of repairing the defect, compensation for any injuries or illness caused by it, and the reduction in the property's value caused by the defect.
Duty to Inspect: Buyers of commercial real estate are expected to be diligent, and a court will not reward a lack of diligence. Consequently, 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: These are defects to title, rather than physical defects. They are legal issues which might make it difficult or impossible for a landowner to make full use of their land. In Westerly, Rhode Island, these might include easements. An easement is a right to use property held by a party other than the owner. This use is often very limited in scope, such as allowing the holder of the easement to cross the property to access a public road, or something similar. Such rights usually have to be recognized and honored by new owners, so if they buy property not knowing about them, they might be seriously inconvenienced.
Can a Westerly, Rhode Island Attorney Help?
Because of the importance and potential complexity of the issues surrounding commercial real estate, it's almost always advisable that, before engaging in any real estate deal, you pursue the counsel of a good Westerly, Rhode Island real estate attorney.