Five Important Duties of a Commercial Landlord

leasing, Wheaton commercial real estate attorneysWhen you own and lease out commercial property, such a venture could be extremely profitable. However, you could also face serious risks, especially if you are not properly prepared to handle the responsibilities associated with being a commercial landlord. Some of these risks include the possibility of financial loss or being sued for failing to meet your obligations as the property owner. It is important to understand what these responsibilities are and how to fulfill them. A qualified commercial leasing attorney can help.

Duty #1: Comply With All Applicable Laws

There many different federal, state, and local laws that apply to all property owners who rent out their properties, including commercial landlords. For example, as a commercial landlord, you are not permitted to discriminate against would-be tenants on the basis of certain criteria, including religion, race, and national origin. You must also follow all zoning laws and building codes. If you fail to comply with any applicable law, you could face serious consequences, including legal action.

Duty #2: Use Clear Language in Your Contracts

If your lease agreements are not clear and concise, your tenants might not understand what is expected of them. Your contracts could also be more difficult to enforce if there is confusion about what they contain. Commercial leasing contracts should clearly address all of the relevant concerns, including matters of rent, repairs, alterations to the property, and communication expectations.

Duty #3: Keep Your End of the Agreement

In addition to using clear language, your leasing contracts should only include provisions that you are willing and able to meet. You should also familiarize yourself with your responsibilities for making certain types of repairs, such as those involving heating and cooling systems, electrical work, and plumbing. This can help ensure that the property is maintained properly and in accordance with applicable laws.

Duty #4: Mitigate Risks and Limit Liability

Proper maintenance will go a long way toward protecting yourself and your property. However, limiting risk means more than fixing a broken water heater. You might also consider installing a security system, additional lighting, or doors and windows that can be locked securely. It is also a good idea to identify and address potential environmental hazards, such as uneven walkways where water could pool or roof overhangs from which snow or ice could fall.

Duty #5: Be Fully Insured

Despite taking all the precautions in the world, you could still suffer losses due to fires, floods, falling trees, or other “acts of God.” Comprehensive insurance coverage is a good way to protect yourself and your property. Similarly, you should also carry insurance policies on any vehicles or equipment that you may own and use in connection with leasing the property.

Call a DuPage County Commercial Real Estate Attorney

At Stock, Carlson, Oldfield & McGrath LLC, our team is dedicated to helping commercial landlords maximize the return on their real estate investments. Our experienced Wheaton commercial leasing lawyers can guide you through the entire leasing process and will assist you in managing any issues that may arise. Call 630-665-2500 to schedule a confidential consultation today.

 

Sources:

https://smallbusiness.chron.com/business-tenants-rights-67257.html

https://www.businessnewsdaily.com/15101-commercial-lease-guide.html

Are You Considering an REO Property?

REO, Wheaton real estate attorneysIf you have shared with friends and family members that you are in the market for a new home, there is a good chance that someone has at least suggested that you look into buying a foreclosure property. In this context, a foreclosure property is a home that is being sold at auction by a bank because the owner of the property could not keep up with his or her mortgage payments. At a foreclosure auction, there is the possibility of getting a fantastic deal, but not all foreclosure auctions are successful. When foreclosure auction does not result in the sale of the foreclosure property, the property remains under the ownership of the lender and becomes a real-estate owned property or REO.

Understanding a Foreclosure Auction

When a home is seized by the lender during foreclosure, the home is typically put up for sale in public auction. As such, the property will be sold to the highest bidder. However, in many foreclosure auctions, the bidders are not given the chance to walk through or inspect the home before making their bids. In most cases, the highest bidder will also be expected to pay cash for the property immediately following the auction. The combination of these factors makes buying a foreclosure property at auction a rather risky proposition. It is also why some foreclosure auctions do not result in the sale of the property.

An unsuccessful foreclosure auction leaves the lender with a home that has already caused the lender to lose money due to the defaulted mortgage loan. Now that the property is considered REO, however, there may be benefits for you as the potential buyer.

REO Sale Basics

While a foreclosure sale is typically a singular event that takes the form of an auction, an REO sale is very much like any other residential real estate deal. The lender will usually list the property and get real estate brokers involved to facilitate the sale. Prospective buyers will also get the chance to inspect the home and arrange private financing without the pressure of bidding in an auction.

You should remember, however, that most REO properties will be sold “as-is.” This means that while inspections can and certainly should be done, the lender is not likely to cover the cost of any repairs. Your broker and your lawyer could try to negotiate with the lender regarding the price of the property if substantial repairs are required, but there is no guarantee that that lender will move on the listed price. With this in mind, you will almost certainly want to include a contingency provision in your offer that allows you to back out if the property needs more work or repairs that you are willing to pay for or do yourself.

It is also important to ensure that a title search is conducted on any REO property that you are considering buying. The home could have liens or other encumbrances on it that might become your problem once the transaction is finalized.

Contact a DuPage County Real Estate Lawyer

If you are thinking about buying a real-estate owned property or a foreclosure property, you could get a good deal, but there are many potential pitfalls. Contact an experienced Wheaton residential real estate attorney to ensure that your best interests are protected at every stage of the home-buying process. Call 630-665-2500 for a confidential consultation at Stock, Carlson, Oldfield & McGrath LLC today.

Sources:

https://www.thebalance.com/buying-post-foreclosures-reos-1798183

https://www.realtor.com/advice/buy/guide-reo-properties/

What You Should Know About Selling Your Marital Home During a Divorce

divorce, DuPage County real estate attorneyFor a dedicated real estate broker, there are few things that as satisfying as helping a client buy a new home or to sell a home at a substantial profit. In many situations, the same broker can help a client with both deals at the same time—selling their current home while buying a bigger and better home for the future. At some point, however, most real estate professionals will eventually find themselves caught in the middle of a contentious divorce—one where the couple is being forced by the circumstances to sell their marital home. To manage such a situation, many real estate agents have developed strategies to help them thrive in what has become known as the “divorce niche” of real estate.

Be Very Patient

If you are going through a divorce, you want the proceedings to move as fast as possible without compromising your best interests. The same holds true for a real estate broker who is trying to help you sell your family home. Selling a house is difficult under the best of circumstances, and the added complications of the divorce can slow things down even more. Your agent might need to get approvals from both you and your soon-to-be ex-spouse, which is often very challenging if the divorce has turned bitter. Therefore, you and your broker will need to be extremely patient as you work on selling your home.

Keeping the Divorce Talk to a Minimum

While your divorce may be the only reason that you are selling your home, your potential buyers do not need to know that. In fact, many agents say that it is a good idea to avoid mentioning your divorce to prospective buyers altogether. If you tell a buyer that you are only selling because of a divorce, it may create the impression that you are desperate to make a deal. In turn, this could lead to lower bids and increased demands from buyers looking to capitalize on a perceived opportunity.

Your agent might also do some things around the house to address evidence of a pending divorce. For example, he or she may rearrange your bedroom furniture or the contents of your closets to make it less obvious that your spouse moved out recently.

Creating Loyalty

A real estate broker who can adeptly handle the sale of a home during a divorce will usually be well-positioned to help you and your spouses as you move forward. There is a good chance that both of you will soon be looking for a new place to live. If your agent was honest, communicative, and easy to work with, you might be inclined to work with him or her again in the future. Your broker could also benefit from you sharing your positive experiences with your friends and family.

A Wheaton Real Estate Lawyer Can Help Too

There is little question that a qualified real estate broker can be a tremendous source of guidance when you are looking to sell your home during your divorce. However, there are many legal concerns that must be dealt with, as well. A real estate agent is not trained or permitted to offer legal advice, which means that you should contact an experienced DuPage County real estate attorney. By adding a legal professional to your sales team, you can ensure that all important aspects of the deal have been addressed. Call Stock, Carlson, Oldfield & McGrath LLC at 630-665-2500 to schedule a confidential consultation.

Sources:

https://realestate.usnews.com/real-estate/articles/real-estate-mistakes-you-dont-want-to-make-in-a-divorce

https://www.npr.org/2011/01/20/133026583/for-sale-by-divorce-a-real-estate-niche