You’ve been saving for a down payment for your own place…or the family’s growing and you need more room…or the kids are on their own and it’s time to downscale. When you are looking to buy, sell or rent real property, the more you know about the law, your rights and your options, the better you can protect your investment.
Our real estate law center offers helpful information on a wide range of topics, from the essential elements of a contract to buy or sell real property to the laws governing mortgages and real estate loans, from the ways you can protect yourself as a landlord or tenant to zoning and land use principles.
Real estate transactions, such as buying a house, are governed by state contract law, as well as a variety of federal laws, including the Federal Fair Housing Act.
The sale or purchase of real property requires specific legal steps to transfer all right, title and interest from the seller to the buyer.
A real estate closing allows the parties to address all issues necessary to effectively transfer ownership, and to deal with any contingencies. Title insurance gives the purchaser protection against any unknown liens or encumbrances on the property.
A mortgage involves the transfer of a security interest in land as collateral for a loan or other obligation. Mortgages are mainly governed by state statutory and common law.
Landlord–tenant law governs of all parties related to the rental of commercial and residential property and is composed primarily of state statutory and common law.
Zoning and land use laws regulate how land may be developed and used, typically establishing different zones for different types of use, such as commercial, residential or industrial.
Contracts setting forth the duties and responsibilities of both parties in the construction of a residential or commercial structure address unique issues for everyone involved.
The rights to exploit oil, gas and mineral rights in real property can be agreed upon by the parties, or may be subject to state laws.
As water becomes more of a scarce resource, the body of law governing use of and access to water becomes more complex.