Commercial Real Estate Law in Virginia
In Newport News, Virginia, commercial real estate is any parcel of land, or any building, which is utilized for business purposes, as opposed to residential, agricultural, or industrial use.
The laws in Newport News, Virginia which control commercial real estate differ substantially from the laws governing the rental and purchase of residential real estate.
Buyers and renters of residential property enjoy a massive number of legal protections. Many of these protections don't apply to buyers or renters of commercial property.
Several of the protections that don't apply to commercial property include warranties of habitability, rent control, and warranties of quiet enjoyment. There are others, as well. The most general protections, nonetheless, apply to buyers of both residential and commercial real estate, including remedies for fraud and concealment of physical or title defects.
Common Commercial Real Estate Law Issues in Newport News, Virginia
Financing: The majority of small business owners in Newport News, Virginia probably can't afford to buy much real estate outright, with cash paid up front, so most small business buy 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 significant 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 significant outcomes. 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, normallyy 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: Undisclosed encumbrances are defects of another sort: defects of title. An encumbrance is any interest that a third party has in the Newport News, Virginia commercial real estate. These normally take the form of easements, which are rights held by third parties to use the land for a specific purpose. Easements can have profound effects on how a new owner can use the land, so it is critical to know about them before buying.
Can a Newport News, Virginia Attorney Help?
Because of the importance and potential complexity of the issues surrounding commercial real estate, it's almost always judicious that, before engaging in any real estate deal, you obtain the counsel of a good Newport News, Virginia real estate attorney.