Commercial Real Estate Law in Virginia
Commercial real estate is any type of land or structure in Covington, Virginia which is used for business purposes, primarily the sale of goods and/or services to the public.
The Covington, Virginia laws governing commercial real estate differ significantly from the laws that cover residential and other types of real estate.
People who buy and rent residential unites have a greater deal of legal protections not available to buyers of commercial property.
These absent protections include rent control, and warranties of habitability, among others. The most basic protections, such as prohibiting sellers of real estate from lying about the property to the buyer, apply in any context, however.
Common Commercial Real Estate Law Issues in Covington, Virginia
Financing: The majority of small business owners in Covington, Virginia probably can't afford to buy much real estate outright, with cash paid up front, so most small business purchase commercial real estate with a mortgage. A mortgage is a loan taken out for the purpose of buying real estate, using that real estate as collateral for the loan.
Duty to Disclose Defects: It is of the utmost importance that sellers and lessors of commercial real estate be up front about any defects that might be present in the property. Failing to disclose them can be bad, and actively concealing them can be much worse. In general, if a defect is serious enough that it would influence a reasonable person's decision to buy a piece of property, and the seller knows about it, the seller should disclose it. Failure to disclose can have serious consequences. If the buyer later discovers the defect, they can sue for the cost of repairing it, or for any reduction in the property's value caused by it. And, of course, if it causes any injuries, the buyer can sue the seller for those, as well.
Duty to Inspect: Lest you believe that the duty to disclose defects relieves any duty of diligence on the part of the buyer, the law will not reward such lapses with a major cause of action. Buyers have a duty to conduct a reasonable inspection of the property before they buy it, usuallyy with a licensed building inspector. If the buyer fails to do this, they won't be able to recover any damages for defects which they could have discovered through a reasonable inspection.
Encumbrances: An encumbrance is any interest held in a piece of property by a party other than the seller and the buyer. These property interests might make it very difficult for the buyer to use the land as they intended when they bought it. A common type of encumbrance in Covington, Virginia is the easement. An easement is some right that a third party has in a piece of property. For example, suppose that, many years ago, a neighbor adjacent to the land you want to buy, paid a previous owner for the right to cross his land to reach a public road. Unless the agreement states otherwise, this right will usually apply to subsequent owners, and has to be honored. Therefore, it might interfere with the intended use of the new owner.
Can a Covington, Virginia Attorney Help?
These issues can be very complicated, and most people consider such financially-weighty decisions to be very essential. If you are one of those people, it's a smart move to contact a Covington, Virginia real estate attorney if you are facing any of the issues discussed above.