Commercial Real Estate Law in Washington
In Milton, 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 Milton, 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.
For instance, commercial real estate normally isn't covered by rent control laws, nor does it carry with it an implied warranty of habitability (because people typically 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 Milton, Washington
Financing: The majority of small businesses in Milton, Washington can't afford to make large real estate purchases with the money they have in the bank. Nonetheless, buying real estate is sometimes necessary for a business' survival. This problem is sometimes remedied by taking out a mortgage; a loan used to buy property, with that same property being used to secure 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 Milton, 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 critical to know about them before buying.
Can a Milton, Washington Attorney Help?
These issues can be very complicated, and most people consider such financially-weighty decisions to be very critical. If you are one of those people, it's a smart move to contact a Milton, Washington real estate attorney if you are facing any of the issues discussed above.