Why Is Property Law Important?

Posted on December 5, 2022


Property law, or real estate law, is an essential legal field that pertains to the buying and selling of real estate property. If you are preparing to buy a new home, invest in a commercial property for your business, or want to sell your property, you should have some understanding of property law and the legal implications of your pending transaction.

If you are wondering why property law is important, the main focus of property law is to protect property ownership rights. Any real estate transaction can be incredibly complex, and the results of any transaction can potentially affect your life in several ways for years to come. Property ownership rights encourage investment and generate capital, growing the overall economy. When people are sure their investment into a piece of real estate will generate value and that their ownership rights are protected by law, they are more confident in these transactions and seek new opportunities more vigorously.

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 client take full advantage of their property rights and to approach every transaction with peace of mind.

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.

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 to schedule a consultation and learn more about the importance of property law in New York.

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