Real Estate Law in Texas
Athens'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 numerous laws affecting real estate in Athens can sometimes feel overwhelming in their volume and complexity. This might apply doubly when your case involves a foreclosure, or a construction dispute.
Therefore, it's a smart idea to obtain at least a very basic knowledge of how real estate law in Athens works.
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 dispute arises, among other things.
Common Real Estate Law Issues in Athens
Financing: Most individuals are unable to make major real estate purchases in Athens 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 determine 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 allow industrial use. These rules are meant to keep property values up, and promote harmony among neighbors by preventing conflicts.
Duty to Disclose: sellers of real estate, particularly 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 common 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 Athens, every residential rental agreement carries with it a warranty of habitability, in which the landlord implicitly promises that the unit is fit for human habitation. This applies whether or not such a warranty is mentioned in the lease agreement, and it still applies even if the landlord tries to disclaim any such warranty. There are many circumstances that might make an unit uninhabitable. A few examples are a lack of electricity, no running water, or no heating.
Can a Athens Real Estate Lawyer Help?
These issues, along with many others, can sometimes be fairly perplexing. Therefore, you should never hesitate to consult with an Athens real estate attorney if you have any questions.