Why Is Property Law Important?

Posted on July 7, 2023


Property law, also known as real estate law, plays a crucial role in the buying and selling of real estate properties. Whether you’re in the process of purchasing a new home, considering investing in a commercial property for your business, or planning to sell your property, having a basic understanding of the types of property law and its legal implications is vital.

One of the key reasons why property law is significant is its focus on safeguarding property ownership rights. Real estate transactions can be highly intricate, and their outcomes can have long-lasting impacts on your life. By upholding property ownership rights, property law encourages investments and generates capital, thereby contributing to the overall growth of the economy. When individuals have confidence that their investment in real estate will yield value and that their ownership rights are protected by legal measures, they are more inclined to engage in such transactions and actively pursue new opportunities.

In this context, a New York real estate attorney can play a crucial role in assisting you throughout your property-related endeavors. At Avenue Law Firm, our team of skilled New York real estate lawyers may be able to help you navigate the complexities of the legal system, review contracts and agreements, conduct due diligence on properties, handle negotiations, and address any legal issues that may arise during the process. Contact us today at (212) 729-4090 to schedule a consultation.

How Can an Attorney Can Protect Your Investment

An experienced property law attorney can be a great asset for anyone considering an investment in real estate or who wants to sell real estate they already own. Avenue Law Firm routinely assists clients throughout New York City with complex property law cases. Our goal in every case we accept is to help our clients take full advantage of their property rights and to approach every transaction with peace of mind.

What is Property Law

Property law encompasses the regulations governing ownership and occupancy of both real property, personal property, and intellectual property. It distinguishes between these three types and establishes the rights and obligations associated with ownership.

Real property primarily includes land and its attached structures like buildings and houses. On the other hand, personal property encompasses movable possessions such as cars, furniture, and jewelry. Intellectual property encompasses various forms of creative output from the human mind. Whether it’s composing a musical composition, crafting a piece of art, or designing a video game, all such creations have the potential to be classified as intellectual property..

The fundamental aspects of property rights comprise possession, control, exclusion, enjoyment, and disposition. Possession refers to physically controlling the property, while control denotes the ability to utilize the property as desired within legal boundaries. Exclusion empowers owners to prevent unauthorized use or trespassing, and enjoyment entails the right to benefit from and utilize the property. Disposition grants owners the authority to transfer ownership to others through sales, gifts, or bequests.

Property law encompasses additional legal concepts like easements, allowing specific usage of one’s property by others, and liens, which grant creditors claim to a debtor’s property until a debt is settled.

Furthermore, property law governs the procedures for property transactions, including buying, selling, and renting. It also establishes mechanisms for resolving property disputes such as boundary conflicts or disagreements between landlords and tenants.

What Does Property Law Include?

Property law is essential for preserving property ownership rights in the US and for resolving disputes regarding certain types of properties and real estate transactions. Every property owner has several rights protected by US property law:

  • The right of possession means that the party who purchases property legally owns the property. If you pay cash for a piece of real estate, that piece of real estate is now your possession. If you take out a mortgage, the mortgage lender is the property owner until you repay the mortgage, at which time the right of possession would transfer to you.
  • The right of control means that a property owner has the right to use their property as they see fit, as long as they do not violate any laws or regulations while doing so. For example, if you purchase a home, you cannot operate a bar out of your garage as a business. However, you could purchase a property zoned as a bar and use it as a business property.
  • The right of exclusion means that a property owner has the right to exclude certain people from visiting or entering the property. If you own a piece of residential real estate or a commercial property, you have the right to grant permission for others to enter the property, and you also have the right to exclude others from entering.
  • The right to derive income means that a property owner has the right to generate income from their property. This could include renting out a piece of residential real estate or operating a business from a commercial property.
  • The right of disposition means that the property owner has the right to transfer ownership of their property as they deem fit. For example, if you paid off your mortgage and own your home, you could leave the home to your children in your will, and ownership of the home would transfer to your children after your death.

These property ownership rights are the foundation of property law. The attorneys who specialize in this area of law strive to ensure their clients can take full advantage of these rights and engage in real estate transactions with confidence and peace of mind.

Rights in Property Law Description Examples
Right of Possession Legal ownership and possession of property Purchasing real estate, repaying a mortgage
Right of Control Authority to use the property within legal boundaries Zoning restrictions, property usage
Right of Exclusion Ability to control access and grant permission Allowing or excluding visitors from property
Right to Derive Income Permission to generate income from the property Renting out real estate, operating a business
Right of Disposition Authority to transfer ownership of the property Leaving property in a will, transferring ownership upon death

What to Expect From a Property Law Attorney

If you are planning to participate in any kind of real estate transaction, whether you are buying or selling a property, you should understand the value of legal counsel you can trust during the process. An experienced property law attorney can provide several valuable legal services in any real estate transaction, limiting uncertainty and ensuring you will be able to exercise your property rights as you see fit.

property lawyer in New York

When it comes to buying real estate, your property law attorney can assist you in several ways. They can help you perform background research on the property you wish to purchase. This includes tracking the ownership records to ensure no liens or other debts are leveraged against the property that could interfere with your transaction. Your attorney can also help verify the credentials of the seller, ensuring you do not become victim of a real estate scam.

When you’re preparing to sell real estate that you own, your attorney can provide several valuable services during this process as well. They can assist you in gathering any documentation you need to produce for your transaction, and they can also help with contract development and drafting. An experienced property law attorney will know the unique legal considerations you must address to proceed with the transaction confidently and secure a fair price for your property.

Property law attorneys also play crucial roles in cases involving the violation of a property owner’s rights. These cases can include tenant and landlord disputes, subletting disputes, and zoning discrepancies. Your property law attorney can help you ensure your rights remain protected and that you are legally able to use your property in the manner you prefer.

New York Property Law: Property Condition Disclosure Act (PCDA)

New York property law requires that the seller must disclose to the buyer any known home defects in the property they are selling. A New York home seller could be held liable under real estate law for failing to disclose certain property conditions or defects during the sale.

According to the Property Condition Disclosure Act (PCDA), the seller must disclose the property condition to the buyer. Otherwise, the seller will be subject to a $500.00 penalty to be paid to the buyer at closing. Although the PCDA requires that it is important to complete a standard disclosure statement and give it to the buyer prior to signing the final purchase contract for the home or the property, most New York home sellers opt to not complete the statement and just pay the penalty instead. 

Even if the seller opts to pay the $500.00 penalty, it does not mean that they will not be held liable to the buyer for not disclosing the defects beforehand. If the buyer suffers a loss because of the non-disclosure, they may be able to hold the seller responsible. 

Before signing the contract, it is important to speak with an experienced real estate lawyer to help ensure mistakes can be avoided. Whether you are a seller or a buyer, a real estate attorney may be able to help you make the most out of your transaction.

Find the Right Property Law Attorney for Your Case

Avenue Law Firm has extensive experience navigating complex property law cases on behalf of our clients throughout New York. We understand that any real estate transaction can be just as exciting as it is tedious. Our goal is to help you fully exercise your property ownership rights to the fullest extent possible. Whether you’re buying or selling commercial or residential property in New York or simply weighing investment options in this incredibly fast-paced market, our skills and experience can help at every stage. Contact Avenue Law Firm today at (212) 729-4090 to schedule a consultation and learn more about the importance of property law in New York.

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