Commercial Real Estate Law in Virginia
Commercial real estate is any type of land or structure in Fairfax County, Virginia which is used for business purposes, primarily the sale of goods and/or services to the public.
The Fairfax County, 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 higher 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 Fairfax County, Virginia
Financing: Some small businesses in Fairfax County, Virginia find it necessary, at some point, to purchase a piece of real estate, for various reasons. However, most owners of small to medium-sized businesses can't afford to make a real estate purchase up front, with the cash they have on hand. Simply put, very few people have hundreds of thousands of dollars just sitting in the bank. One solution to this is a mortgage, which is similar to most other types of secured loans: a bank lends you money, and you put up some piece of property as collateral, so the bank has some security in the event of default. With a mortgage, however, the property being purchased with the loan also secures the loan, authorizing the bank to foreclose on it in case the buyer defaults.
Concealment of Defects: if the seller or lessor of commercial real estate actively conceals a material defect in the real estate, they can be responsible to the buyer or renter for any damages caused by this concealment.
Duty to Inspect: This is a companion to the duty to disclose defects. Usually, buyers of real estate are expected to inspect the property. If they fail to conduct a good inspection, they might not be able to recover damages if they are harmed by any defects which an inspection would have revealed.
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 challenging for the buyer to use the land as they intended when they bought it. A typical type of encumbrance in Fairfax County, 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 Fairfax County, Virginia Attorney Help?
Because of the complexity and importance of many of the issues concerning commercial real estate, it is almost always necessary to consult with a Fairfax County, Virginia attorney before buying or selling commercial real estate.