If you are in commercial real estate, you probably are learning first-hand how important it is to have an expert in commercial real estate law on hand to advise you at every step along the way. Hiring a lawyer before acquiring commercial real estate, building on a piece of property, or acquiring tenants is a great way to protect your investment. Here is some information on four important aspects of commercial real estate law that you need to be familiar with.
- You need to understand disclosure laws. One important aspect of commercial real estate laws are the disclosure laws that explain how much about the condition, restrictions, and locations of any property must be disclosed to renters. These laws will vary by state and municipality. Examples of things that must be declared to tenants include aspects of a property’s energy usage statistics, anything the owner may know about the presence of lead paint or other similar substances, or the necessity or frequency of required of state inspections. It’s important to know what’s required in the area where you wish to put your commercial real estate.
- You need to be expert in contract law. Whether you talking about contracts between you and your contractor, between you and garbage services or cleaning services, or between you and potential renters, these legally binding documents can make or break your investment in commercial real estate. If they are done right, they are fair for you as well as for others and protect your investment. If they are not done properly and cannot stand up to challenges, they may fall apart and leave you vulnerable. Contract law is an extremely important branch of commercial real estate law. No venture into commercial real estate is safe without a lawyer for business owners on hand to make sure contracts are done right from the outset.
- You must understand your options and vulnerability when it comes to insurance. as a commercial real estate owner, you will certainly want to have your property protected with insurance. In most places, this will also be a legal requirement; yet there are no real federal laws on this matter. Every state has different requirements, making it difficult to navigate insurance issues if you are working in a new area. A business tenant will need to have business insurance of their own, in addition to the insurance you have, and it is important that your tenants take out the right kind of insurance. This is necessary not only to protect them but also to protect you. The laws about insurance can be extremely complicated. As a result, it’s absolutely essential to have legal advice from an expert in commercial real estate law to help you understand the requirements in your state and what is needed to keep you, your property, and your tenants safe and secure.
- You need to follow tenant and rental laws. Once again, every state will have its own regulations and codes when it comes to regulating the tenant and landlord relationship. These laws are generally written out of a desire to protect the rights of both parties in the agreement, but different states and municipalities will see different ways of protecting those rights. This important aspect of commercial real estate law will involve regulations about rights to privacy, payments, taxation issues, legal duration of the tenancy, and your rights to cancel the contract as well as the tenant’s rights to cancel. It’s very important to draft rental agreements that do not violate these regulations, which protect you, and which are fair to your tenants. A violation of your tenant’s legal rights may not become apparent until an issue arises, but at that point, it will be too late. Having an expert in commercial real estate law on your side from the beginning to make sure you’re in compliance with all relevant landlord and tenant laws is essential to protecting your investment.
You’ve made a significant investment in commercial real estate and protecting that investment should be high on your list of priorities. The right lawyers can help you make the right choices for contracts, disclosures, and insurance choices.