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  • Joseph Marriott

5 Areas of Real Estate Law Owners of Commercial and Residential Property Should Be Familiar With

Updated: Oct 11, 2023

The following is a list of areas of the law that owners of commercial and residential real estate should become familiar with, or at the very least have a relationship with a real estate attorney they can call on to answer questions when they arise.

1.Contract Law

Contracts include acts of documents that affect real estate and include sales and leases. Contracts govern the relationships between the parties to the contract. The law merely supplements when the contract lacks clarification of an issue that has arisen. Moreover, contracts are a creature of state statute, and the laws of each state will govern. It is crucial to have the language as the basis of the contract be clear and correct in setting forth the agreement and the parties' rights and obligations.

2. Land and Use Laws

As an owner, you must understand the limitations that are placed on your property. In addition to federal and state law, local ordinances are often the most complex and difficult laws to maneuver around. It is important to know whether or not your property can be used for retail or whatever purpose you bought it for or are leasing it for.

3. Landlord-Tenant Laws

Landlord-tenant law is governed by state law and varies greatly, including municipal and local ordinances. The laws are intended to protect the rights of both parties in any rental or lease agreement. Common clauses included in rental or lease agreements include: payment of rental fees, taxation, rights of privacy, disclosures, duration, and rights of termination, to name a few.

Understanding Landlord-Tennant law is important for issues that include eviction, termination, and liability for damages. Therefore, if you are to rent or lease your property, it is advisable you become familiar with the laws so you are properly able to negotiate the terms of any rental or lease.

4. Disclosure Laws

Disclosures are the way in which sellers and lessors protect themselves from potential claims from buyers and lessees. Written disclosures effectively put the party being informed on notice of any defect, hazard, or risk that may exist or has existed on the property prior to the relationship. Therefore, it is through proper disclosures that a seller or lessor can effectively reduce their exposure to potential claims, while still being able to utilize their property for revenue or for sale.

5. Insurance Law

Insurance is the way in which one protects themselves against an event of loss. One can acquire a policy of insurance for many things, including real estate. Due to the lack of federal law, the state government generally regulates insurance law where the property is situated. Thus, understanding your state insurance law is imperative to protecting your property.

Additionally, as the lessor of property, commercial or residential, it is advisable that you require the lessee to carry their own insurance policy on their property to protect their interests. This is because your insurance may protect some of the lessee’s property, but it does not cover all of their property, such as equipment. Thus, insurance is pivotal to protecting both your the lessee’s property, and not having insurance is effectively not protecting yourself.

If you have any questions regarding any of the topics covered here, please contact Joseph Marriott at or by telephone at (504)834-7171.

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