Real Estate Law in Virginia
Charlottesville's real estate industry is governed by a huge body of laws. This is because almost any real estate transaction invokes laws concerning civil rights, consumer protection, land use, and contracts.
The massive volume of laws governing real estate in Charlottesville might seem overwhelming to the uninitiated. Indeed, they can get very complicated, especially when issues about title defects or construction disputes are involved.
Accordingly, it's a good idea to learn some of the basics of Charlottesville's real estate laws.
Some understanding of the proper law can give you an advantage in almost any situation. In the real estate instance, it can help you spot illegal terms in lease agreements, give you some idea of what your rights are in a dispute, among other things. If nothing else, knowledge of the law can help you spot people who are willing to break it, so you can avoid dealing with them.
Common Real Estate Law Issues in Charlottesville
Financing: Most individuals, families, and small businesses in Charlottesville cannot afford to buy a large piece of real estate with the money they have on hand. However, they usually can afford to pay for it over a long period of time, in installments, with interest. Consequently, most real estate is purchased using a mortgage - a loan for a specific purchase, using the item purchased as collateral.
Zoning: Zoning regulations control what types of structures are allowed on various parcels, based on their location in a municipality. For example, 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 Charlottesville, 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: In Charlottesville, every residential lease agreement, whether it's specifically stated or not, has an "implied warranty of habitability." This is a legally-imposed promise by the landlord that the rented dwelling (whether it's a house or apartment) is fit for habitation by humans. While there are many requirements for a place to be considered habitable, some of the most important ones are electricity, running water, heating, and protection from the elements.
Can a Charlottesville Real Estate Lawyer Help?
These issues, along with many others, can sometimes be fairly intricate. Therefore, you should never hesitate to consult with a Charlottesville real estate attorney if you have any questions.