Real Estate Law in South Carolina
Richland County's real estate industry is controlled by a huge body of laws. This is because almost any real estate transaction invokes laws regarding civil rights, consumer protection, land use, and contracts.
The law controlling real estate in Richland County can get pretty complicated, especially when things such as mortgages, disputes about construction defects, and conflicts over title are involved.
Thus, if you're planning on engaging in any kind of real estate transaction, it's crucial that you learn at least the basics of real estate law in Richland County.
Knowing the law can serve you in a variety of ways: it can put you in a better negotiating position, it can help you spot unlawful terms in lease agreements, and confirm that you know your rights if a conflict arises, among other things.
Common Real Estate Law Issues in Richland County
Financing: Most individuals are unable to make major real estate purchases in Richland County with cash, because few people have that kind of money on hand. Thus, to buy real estate, most entities use a mortgage. This is a loan used to buy a piece of property. When the loan is issued, and the property purchased, the lender holds a security interest in the property until the loan is paid off, with interest.
Zoning: Zoning regulations control what types of structures are allowed on various parcels, based on their location in a municipality. For instance, some areas in a city might be zoned only for residential use. Another area might permit industrial use. These rules are meant to keep property values up, and promote harmony among neighbors by preventing conflicts.
Duty to Disclose: If you're buying a house in Richland County, you have specific legal protections. The seller has a duty to tell the buyer about any defects that the property has. All defects which the seller knows about, and which the buyer can't be expected to discover through an ordinary inspection, must be disclosed. If the seller fails to disclose a defect, and the buyer later discovers it, the seller can be sued for any diminution in the property's value caused by the defect, the cost of repairing it, and any injuries the buyers suffers as a result.
Implied Warranty: All residential lease agreements in Richland County carry with them an implicit promise by the landlord that the property is fit for human habitation. This warranty does not need to be explicitly stated in order to have effect, and neither the tenant nor landlord can waive it. Any arrangement claiming to waive this warranty is void. To be considered habitable, a building must not be so dirty as to pose a health hazard, it must have running water, it must have electricity, and it must provide adequate protection from the weather. There are many other requirements, but if a building or unit lacks any one of those, it will be considered uninhabitable.
Can a Richland County Real Estate Lawyer Help?
These issues, along with many others, can sometimes be fairly confusing. Therefore, you should never hesitate to consult with a Richland County real estate attorney if you have any questions.