Commercial Real Estate Law in Washington
In Vancouver, 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 Vancouver, Washington which govern commercial real estate differ significantly from the laws governing the rental and purchase of residential real estate.
People who buy and rent residential unites have a greater deal of legal protections not available to buyers of commercial property.
For instance, residential real estate is covered by laws concerning rent control, living conditions, and other things relevant to buildings where people will be living. Most of these protections don't apply to commercial real estate, because the law assumes that the average business person is a bit more sophisticated in such dealings than the general population, and because a place to do business is generally less important than a place to live. However, the most basic protections, such as protection from fraud and deliberate concealment of defects, still apply.
Common Commercial Real Estate Law Issues in Vancouver, Washington
Financing: Many businesses in Vancouver, 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.
Concealment of Defects: if the seller or lessor of commercial real estate actively conceals a material defect in the real estate, they can be liable 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. Generally, 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 challenging or impossible for a landowner to make full use of their land. In Vancouver, Washington, 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 specific 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 Vancouver, Washington Attorney Help?
Because of the importance and potential complexity of the issues surrounding commercial real estate, it's almost always judicious that, before engaging in any real estate deal, you seek the counsel of a good Vancouver, Washington real estate attorney.