Real estate law involves many processes especially when going through a transaction. Negotiation, sale, and security agreements, mortgages, licenses, escrow, zoning, titles, and ordinances are just some examples of the documentation involved in a transaction. Throughout the buying and selling process an attorney is mandatory; there are many documents which require a lawyer’s approval, advice, or signature.
The Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) states that consumers must receive information multiple times throughout a transaction and forbids payoffs that would increase the settlement service price. New regulations were added to the act on November 17, 2008 but took full effect on January 1, 2010. These regulations stated that loan originators must include a good faith estimate with loan terms and clear closing costs along with a new settlement statement in the settlement transaction.
Real estate disputes are another part of the industry which can get complicated. Litigation may be needed to settle property disputes, in which case you would need an experienced attorney. Situations which may need litigation include landlord-tenant disputes, boundary conflict, property damage, flooding, and property defects. If an issue can not be negotiated it is often taken to court
Commercial real estate law is very different from residential, it has different limitations. One example of this is zoning ordinances; commercial zoning laws are much stricter and more difficult because of the amount of property in a commercial transaction. Land use is another issue which is way more difficult with commercial issues; the property must utilize the land the correct way and with huge property lots comes a lot of paperwork.
Zoning is a large part of real estate transactions. It is a way to regulate land use in municipal areas, including suburbs, cities, towns, and boroughs. Land is used for many different reasons and many lands have permitted uses, meaning the land is designated for specific types of construction. The main zoning districts are residential, commercial, industrial, and special use. Rezoning and zoning exceptions can be made but it is a very legislative process and would require legal help. An example would be a variance, or approval to be exempt from a zoning ordinance.
In Pennsylvania, an act was passed about a year ago making it mandatory that every contractor performing home improvement must register with the Bureau of Customer protection, this was to prevent home improvement fraud. For homeowners, however, this act prevents you from rescinding a contract after three days of signing it without penalty. This simply means that you can be taken to court if you back out on a home improvement contract three days after you’ve signed it.