Commercial Real Estate Law in West Virginia
In Wheeling, West Virginia, 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 governing real estate in Wheeling, West Virginia apply differently when dealing with commercial, as opposed to 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 example, 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 Wheeling, West Virginia
Financing: The majority of small businesses in Wheeling, West Virginia 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.
Concealment of Defects: if the seller or lessor of commercial real estate actively conceals a material defect in the real estate, they can be accountable to the buyer or renter for any damages caused by this concealment.
Duty to Inspect: While buyers of real estate have some considerable protections with respect to defects, they also have some obligations. Before finalizing a purchase, buyers are expected to undertake a reasonable inspection of the property, usually by using a licensed building inspector. If the buyer fails to conduct an inspection, they normally won't be able to successfully sue, if defects are discovered after the purchase.
Encumbrances: An encumbrance is some small ownership interest in land held by a third party, or some right held by a third party to restrict the use of a parcel of land. A frequent encumbrance is an easement. In Wheeling, West Virginia, an easement is some right of some third party to make limited use of land owned by someone else. For example, cable companies often purchase easements from property owners (or they are imposed by the government) allowing them to string cable wiring from the telephone wires on the street to nearby houses. Like any other property right, the holder of an easement can prevent others from interfering with it. Obviously, if a buyer doesn't know about an encumbrance on a piece of land, he might find that he's unable to make the use of the land that he was expecting.
Can a Wheeling, West Virginia Attorney Help?
Because of the complexity and importance of many of the issues concerning commercial real estate, it is almost always essential to consult with a Wheeling, West Virginia attorney before buying or selling commercial real estate.