Commercial Real Estate Law in Virginia
In Reston, Virginia, commercial real estate is any parcel of land, or any building, which is used for business purposes, as opposed to residential, agricultural, or industrial use.
The laws in Reston, 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.
Some 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 basic protections, however, 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 Reston, Virginia
Financing: Some small businesses in Reston, 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, permitting 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 accountable 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. Typically, 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: These are defects to title, rather than physical defects. They are legal issues which might make it difficult or impossible for a landowner to make full use of their land. In Reston, Virginia, these might include easements. An easement is a right to use property held by a party other than the owner. This use is often very particular in scope, such as allowing the holder of the easement to cross the property to access a public road, or something similar. Such rights usually have to be recognized and honored by new owners, so if they buy property not knowing about them, they might be seriously inconvenienced.
Can a Reston, Virginia Attorney Help?
Because of the importance and potential complexity of the issues surrounding commercial real estate, it's almost always prudent that, before engaging in any real estate deal, you obtain the counsel of a good Reston, Virginia real estate attorney.