Real Estate Law in West Virginia
The real estate industry in Morgantown is controlled by a wide variety of laws, and these laws can affect the process and outcome of practically any transaction or deal involving the sale, lease, or use of land.
The law controlling real estate in Morgantown can get pretty complicated, especially when things such as mortgages, disputes about construction defects, and conflicts over title are involved.
Therefore, it's a good idea to learn some of the basics of Morgantown's real estate laws.
Knowing the law can serve you in a variety of ways: it can put you in a better negotiating position, it can help you spot unlawful terms in lease agreements, and confirm that you know your rights if a disagreement arises, among other things.
Common Real Estate Law Issues in Morgantown
Financing: The majority of people in Morgantown can't afford to make a major real estate purchase by paying the full purchase price up front. Most individuals and small businesses, therefore, use a mortgage to make real estate purchases. A mortgage is a loan given for the purpose of buying a piece of property, with the bank obtaining a security interest in that property until the loan and interest are paid off.
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: sellers of real estate, particularly houses and other residential property, are legally bound to tell the buyer about any defects in the property that the seller knows about, and that the buyer couldn't easily discover on his own (mold or termite problems are frequent examples). If the seller fails to make such disclosures, he or she could be liable for any harm the defect causes to the buyer, as well as the cost of repairing it. If the seller intentionally conceals or lies about the defect, he or she might also face punitive damages.
Implied Warranties: In Morgantown, every residential lease agreement, whether it's clearly stated or not, has an "implied warranty of habitability." This is a legally-imposed promise by the landlord that the rented dwelling (whether it's a house or apartment) is fit for habitation by humans. While there are many requirements for a place to be considered habitable, some of the most essential ones are electricity, running water, heating, and protection from the elements.
Can a Morgantown Real Estate Lawyer Help?
These issues, along with many others, can sometimes be fairly difficult. Therefore, you should never hesitate to consult with a Morgantown real estate attorney if you have any questions.