Real Estate Law in Virginia
Fairfax'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 huge volume of laws governing real estate in Fairfax 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 Fairfax's real estate laws.
Some understanding of the appropriate law can give you an advantage in almost any situation. In the real estate situation, 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 Fairfax
Financing: Not too many people or small businesses in Fairfax can purchase real estate with the cash on hand, simply because land is expensive, and few people have hundreds of thousands (or even millions) of dollars in the bank. In buying real estate, a mortgage is an excellent solution for most people. Of course, you still have to pay the full price of the real estate you're buying, but a mortgage allows you to do this in installments, over a period of years.
Zoning: Zoning laws control what types of structures can be built on given parcels of land. Typically, cities and towns are zoned in order to ensure that neighborhoods are clearly divided into residential, commercial, and industrial categories, to ensure that everyone who uses the land can make the best possible use of it, for their particular purpose
Duty to Disclose: If you're buying a house in Fairfax, you have particular 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 Fairfax carries with it an implicit promise by the owner that the unit will meet some basic minimum standards for human habitability. There are many factors that go into determining if a unit is "habitable," but there are a few essentials, and they include running water, heat, electricity, and adequate shelter from the elements.
Can a Fairfax Real Estate Lawyer Help?
Because the issues discussed above can get confusing for laypersons, if you have a real estate issue, such as an eviction, or a construction dispute, you should not hesitate to contact a Fairfax real estate attorney ASAP.