Real estate law is an aspect of property ownership that everyone should be aware of.
These laws outline the rules and regulations governing the purchase, sale and use of real estate property.
Contracts and agreements
Contracts and agreements, which specify purchase prices and both parties’ responsibilities, are fundamental aspects of real estate law. When buying or selling a property, you need a legally binding contract that outlines the terms and conditions.
Property rights govern the legal authority to possess, use and dispose of a property. They determine what a property owner can do with their land, including building structures on it, leasing it or selling it. They also govern what property owners cannot do, with restrictions such as zoning laws, which can vary by jurisdiction. For example, if you want to buy property in Los Angeles, familiarize yourself with local zoning laws.
Title and ownership
A title refers to the legal ownership of a property. Make sure the title is clear and free from any issues, such as liens or disputes. Conduct a thorough title search to confirm rightful ownership before selling or purchasing a property.
Deeds and transfers
A deed is a legal document that transfers ownership of a property from one party to another. Different types of deeds exist, including warranty deeds that certify clear title and quitclaim deeds that transfer whatever interest the grantor may have. Work with an appropriate government agency to execute and record your deed.
Financing and mortgages
Real estate transactions often involve financing, which requires additional legal considerations. Mortgages, for example, are binding agreements between a borrower and a lender. They outline the terms of the loan, including its interest rate and repayment schedule.
Landlord-tenant laws relate to rental properties. They govern the rights and responsibilities of landlords and renters, including issues related to maintenance, tenant privacy and disclosures. For example, the Residential Lead-Based Paint Hazard Reduction Act of 1992 requires the owners of properties that pre-date 1978 to disclose lead-based hazards to potential renters or buyers.
Whether you are a homeowner or are looking to invest in real estate, having a basic understanding of these laws can help you avoid or mitigate potential legal complications.