Locate South Carolina Real Estate Lawyers
In South Carolina, real estate law is a very broad area of law covering anything that has to do with the ownership of land and buildings.
Real estate law can apply to many different facets of a personal and professional life. It can apply to anything from the purchase of a vacant lot, to renting prime downtown office space.
South Carolina real estate law can be very complex, because it's really a collection of a lot of different areas of law. These areas of law include property rights, contracts, land use, and many others.
Having a good basic knowledge of South Carolina real estate law can make a lot of transactions, such as buying a house or renting an apartment, much easier.
Common Real Estate Issues in South Carolina
Financing: Most people in South Carolina probably can't afford to buy a house or a piece of land up front. Therefore, most individuals and business use some form of financing to purchase real estate, usually a mortgage. A mortgage is a loan used to buy a piece of real estate, with the purchased real estate simultaneously securing the loan.
Disclosure: When a house or other structure is for sale, the seller has to tell prospective buyers about all physical defects of which the seller is aware, and which the buyer couldn't be reasonably expected to discover. However, if you are selling a house, you should probably just disclose every defect you're aware of. This will save you a great deal of potential liability. Even if your disclosure of a particular defect wasn't required (because the buyer could have easily discovered it), the buyer might still sue, and the cost of defending this lawsuit, even if you win, will be very high.
Warranty of Habitability: All residential property which is being rented must be fit for human habitation. This is usually not a difficult standard for a reasonably well-maintained unit to meet (or one would think), but violations of this rule still occur. When renting an apartment, the landlord is implicitly promising that the unit will be habitable, whether or not such a promise is actually written in the lease, or even if the lease disclaims it. There are many requirements for a dwelling to be habitable, and most of them are fairly obvious- they include heating, running water, electricity, and basic protection from the elements. There are many other requirements, however.
Zoning Laws: Zoning laws regulate what type of structures can be built in given parts of a town or city. Their general purpose is to ensure that a city is as livable as possible by ensuring that residential areas are not too close to the noise and pollution of industrial areas. It is very important that, before you make any improvements to a piece of property, you make sure that the proposed improvements comply with South Carolina's zoning regulations.
Do I Need a South Carolina Real Estate Lawyer?
Because of the potential complexity of the above-discussed issues, along with the many others that might come up in the real estate context, it would be smart to speak with a South Carolina real estate lawyer before engaging in any major real estate deal.
Interesting Facts About South Carolina
South Carolina is located in the "deep south" of the U.S. and is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the east. One of the 13 original colonies, it was the first to separate from the Union and served as the founding state for the Confederate States. Today South Carolina is an important hub of social and economic activity. "Carolina" comes from the Latin word "Carolus", meaning Charles, a reference to a British king.
The capital of South Carolina is Columbia. The capitol building is called "The State House" and is where the legislature creates state laws. The University of South Carolina School of Law is also located in Columbia. South Carolina is noted for its extensive legal history, particularly in the area of alcohol laws. For example, South Carolina is the first U.S. state requiring mandatory videotaping by a police officer administering a breathalyzer test or making a DUI arrest.
South Carolina's judicial branch consists of the Circuit Court level, the intermediate level Court of Appeals, and the state Supreme Court. There are also minor courts below the Circuit Court level. Most trials are processed at the Circuit Court level. South Carolina's Circuit Court system is somewhat unique in that they have limited powers to hear some appeals.
Many lawyers in South Carolina are members of local bar associations in addition to the South Carolina Bar. The South Carolina Bar has over 13,500 members. South Carolina lawyers provide assistance in all types of legal claims and disputes.