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Let Our Commercial Real Estate Attorneys Answer Your Questions

At LGA Law, our commercial real estate attorneys have experience in all aspects of real estate law. We have provided answers to questions we often hear about commercial real estate transactions and other matters. To arrange a consultation regarding your specific concerns, please call us at 724-271-8300 or 850-374-8549, or contact us by email.

Our real estate lawyers have offices in Canonsburg, Pennsylvania, and Fort Walton Beach, Florida, and our attorneys are licensed to practice in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Virginia, West Virginia, Texas, New Mexico, Alabama and Florida.

What are the most important legal aspects to consider when buying commercial real estate?

When purchasing commercial real estate, it’s important to consider zoning laws, environmental regulations, the physical condition of the property, existing leases and the due diligence process, which includes title searches, property appraisals and inspections. Additionally, you should review any covenants, conditions and restrictions (CC&Rs) that may apply to the property.

The potential for disputes is also something to consider. If a dispute does arise, it’s important to have an experienced attorney on your side as soon as possible. Please see our overview of commercial real estate disputes to learn more.

What’s the difference between a commercial lease and a residential lease?

A commercial lease is a contract for a business to rent commercial property from a landlord. These leases are often longer in term, more negotiable, and subject to different laws than residential leases, which are for living purposes. Commercial leases typically include terms regarding rent increases, maintenance responsibilities, lease renewals and modifications to the property.

How can I protect my interests when leasing commercial property?

To protect your interests, ensure that the lease agreement is clear on all terms, including rent, lease duration, renewal options, subleasing policies and termination clauses. In general, it is also wise to have a commercial real estate lawyer review the lease before you sign it to ensure that it is fair and that you understand all of the legal implications. See our overview of commercial property leases to learn more.

What are common zoning issues with commercial real estate?

Common zoning issues include restrictions on the type of business activity that can be conducted on the property, building height and density limitations, parking requirements, signage regulations, and accessibility provisions. These can affect the usability of the property for certain types of businesses or expansions you may have planned.

What is a 1031 exchange, and how does it work?

A 1031 exchange, also known as a like-kind exchange, is a swap of one investment property for another that allows for the deferral of capital gains taxes. The properties involved must be held for productive use in a trade or business or for investment, and they must be of like-kind. There are strict timelines and rules to follow, which a qualified commercial real estate attorney can help navigate.

What should I know about environmental assessments in commercial real estate?

Environmental assessments, such as Phase I and Phase II Environmental Site Assessments (ESAs), are important to identify potential contamination issues that could affect the property. These assessments can help you understand any environmental liabilities associated with the property, such as the presence of hazardous chemicals.

What are the implications of signing a personal guarantee on a commercial lease?

Signing a personal guarantee means that you, as an individual, are personally responsible for the lease obligations if the business cannot fulfill them. This can include paying rent, property damages or other costs stipulated in the lease. It’s important to understand the full extent of this liability and consider the potential personal financial risks before agreeing to a personal guarantee.

How do local and state laws impact commercial real estate transactions?

Local and state laws can significantly impact commercial real estate transactions through land use regulations, building codes, property taxes and more. Compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), fire and safety codes, and specific state statutes governing commercial transactions is mandatory. It is crucial to work with a knowledgeable real estate attorney who is familiar with the local and state legal landscape to navigate these complexities successfully.

Contact LGA Law To Set Up A Consultation

Call us in Canonsburg at 724-271-8300 or Fort Walton Beach at 850-374-8549. You can also contact us by email to schedule a meeting. Our commercial real estate attorneys are licensed to practice in multiple states.