Real Estate Law in Virginia
Arlington 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 large volume of laws regulating real estate in Arlington County might seem overwhelming to the uninitiated. Indeed, they can get very complicated, especially when issues about title defects or construction disputes are involved.
Therefore, it's a good idea to learn some of the basics of Arlington County's real estate laws.
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 Arlington County
Financing: Most individuals are unable to make major real estate purchases in Arlington 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 Arlington 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 Warranties: Every lease of a residential unit in Arlington County carries with it an implicit promise by the owner that the unit will meet some basic minimum requirements for human habitability. There are many factors that go into deciding if an unit is "habitable," but there are a few essentials, and they include running water, heat, electricity, and adequate shelter from the elements.
Can a Arlington County Real Estate Lawyer Help?
Because the issues discussed above can get complicated for laypersons, if you have a real estate issue, such as an eviction, or a construction dispute, you should not hesitate to contact an Arlington County real estate attorney ASAP.