Real Estate

Thinking about getting into real estate? You’re not alone. Real estate is a popular, lucrative investment field. If you know what you are doing, you can make a lot of money with these types of investments. However, it’s important to understand the legalities before you begin.

Landlord-Tenant Law
If you’re planning to earn income by renting out property, it’s important to contact your attorney about landlord-tenant laws. You’ll need some information about your rights and responsibilities as a landlord so that you don’t end up getting sued or having to put up with problem tenants. You’ll also want information about leases and contracts so that you can run your business appropriately from the beginning.

Landlords have to consider a whole host of legal issues. In addition to the basics of being a landlord, you’ll need to understand state and federal anti-discrimination laws and how to comply, laws related to buying and selling and laws about security deposits, eviction procedures and other things that come up when renting out property.

Be Careful When Dealing With Brokers
If you’re planning on buying or selling real estate through a broker, you’ll definitely want to consult an attorney. Brokers often use complicated agreements that may or may not be fair to you. Your attorney can help you understand what your brokerage agreement entitles you to and obligates you to before you sign it. He or she can also explain your rights and check over agreements to make sure that you are not signing away rights you ought to retain.

Make Sure to Get Agreements in Writing
Some people start out in real estate by buying property from a friend or family member. This is fine–as long as you treat it like any other business opportunity and get the agreement in writing. Don’t make the mistake of assuming that because you’re doing business with someone you care about you don’t need a contract.

Written contracts are vital in any real estate transaction for several reasons.

  • They help prevent misunderstandings. When you and your realtor just talk casually, there’s the risk that the two of you are miscommunicating; as a result, you may think you’re agreeing to something totally different from what he or she thinks you are agreeing to.
  • It gives you legal protection. The court can’t decide who’s right in a “he said/she said” situation. There’s no proof that what you agreed to is actually what you agreed to. When it’s in writing, however, the court can examine the contract and determine whose interpretation is correct.
  • In some cases, it’s required. You may get into legal trouble if you don’t put leases or other contracts in writing.

Contact your attorney if you have questions about real estate law.

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