Commercial Real Estate Law in Washington
In Clark County, Washington, 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 Clark County, Washington which control commercial real estate differ substantially from the laws governing the rental and purchase of residential real estate.
People who buy and rent residential unites have a larger 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 general protections, such as prohibiting sellers of real estate from lying regarding the property to the buyer, apply in any context, however.
Common Commercial Real Estate Law Issues in Clark County, Washington
Financing: Many businesses in Clark County, Washington can't save up enough money to pay the full asking price of a decent-sized piece of real estate up front. Nonetheless, it's sometimes necessary for businesses to acquire real estate. To solve this issue, most rely on a mortgage. A mortgage is a typical type of loan, taken out to purchase real estate. The lending institution lends the full purchase price to the borrower, who then purchases the property. The property, in turn, becomes collateral for the loan, which must be paid back over a period of years, with interest.
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: 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: Undisclosed encumbrances are defects of another sort: defects of title. An encumbrance is any interest that a third party has in the Clark County, Washington 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 essential to know about them before buying.
Can a Clark County, Washington 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 Clark County, Washington real estate attorney if you are facing any of the issues discussed above.