Real Estate Law in Washington
The real estate industry in Federal Way is governed by a wide variety of laws, and these laws can affect the process and outcome of essentially any transaction or deal involving the sale, lease, or use of land.
Real estate law in Federal Way can be fairly complicated, especially when it comes to things like mortgages and the resolution of disputes over construction defects.
Accordingly, it's a good idea to learn some of the basics of Federal Way'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 Federal Way
Financing: Not too many people or small businesses in Federal Way 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 regulations govern what types of structures are allowed on various parcels, based on their location in a municipality. For example, some areas in a city might be zoned only for residential use. Another area might authorize industrial use. These rules are meant to keep property values up, and promote harmony among neighbors by preventing conflicts.
Duty to Disclose: If you're buying a house in Federal Way, 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 Warranty: All residential lease agreements in Federal Way carry with them an implicit promise by the landlord that the property is fit for human habitation. This warranty does not need to be explicitly stated in order to have effect, and neither the tenant nor landlord can waive it. Any contract claiming to waive this warranty is void. To be considered habitable, a building must not be so dirty as to pose a health hazard, it must have running water, it must have electricity, and it must provide adequate protection from the weather. There are many other requirements, but if a building or unit lacks any one of those, it will be considered uninhabitable.
Can a Federal Way Real Estate Lawyer Help?
These issues, along with many others, can sometimes be fairly convoluted. Therefore, you should never hesitate to consult with a Federal Way real estate attorney if you have any questions.