Commercial Real Estate Law in Washington
In Kirkland, Washington, 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 Kirkland, Washington which regulate commercial real estate differ considerably from the laws governing the rental and purchase of residential real estate.
People who buy and rent residential unites have a higher deal of legal protections not available to buyers of commercial property.
For example, commercial real estate typically isn't covered by rent control laws, nor does it carry with it an implied warranty of habitability (because people usually won't be living in it). Furthermore, it also doesn't come with a covenant of quiet enjoyment. However, some of the most basic legal protections (such as laws against fraud, and concealment of defects) apply in both the commercial and residential context.
Common Commercial Real Estate Law Issues in Kirkland, Washington
Financing: The majority of small business owners in Kirkland, Washington probably can't afford to buy much real estate outright, with cash paid up front, so most small business purchase 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 serious 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 serious results. 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, typicallyy 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: Encumbrances are defects of a different type: rather than physical defects, they are defects of title. In Kirkland, Washington, an encumbrance is an interest in a piece of real estate held by a third party, such as covenants or easements. An easement is a right held by someone to use the property of someone else for a specific purpose. For example, a person might have an easement on the land of another person, allowing them to cross the land to access a public road.
Can a Kirkland, Washington Attorney Help?
Because of the importance and potential complexity of the issues surrounding commercial real estate, it's almost always advisable that, before engaging in any real estate deal, you pursue the counsel of a good Kirkland, Washington real estate attorney.