Commercial property, or commercial real estate, refers to real estate that is owned or used by a business entity.  Commercial property is often different from residential property in its design, function, layout, and aesthetics.  Most state laws have very specific laws which deal with commercial property.  These are separate and distinct from residential property laws. 

For instance, commercial property often has different insurance rules than residential property.  Also, commercial property may be associated with different allowable conduct than residential property.  Some conduct may be allowed only in residential areas, while some conduct is only allowed in commercially zoned areas (such as business activities).

What are Some Commercial Property Legal Issues?

Due to the differences in commercial property laws, commercial property is often associated with distinct legal issues.  These can involve:

  • Zoning and Land use–  As mentioned, commercial activities can typically only occur in commercial zones on commercial property
  • Property taxes- these can sometimes be higher than residential property taxes, and may be different according to the type of business in place on the property
  • Insurance- Commercial property insurance disputes are a common source of legal issues for many businesses
  • Ownership disputes-  Many businesses deal constantly with title, ownership, and leasing disputes over commercial property
  • Boundary disputes- Some commercial property may cause disputes due to the physical boundaries of the property, or if the property is protruding onto another neighboring zone

In addition, commercial property can involve legal issues when it comes to the sale and purchase of commercial buildings.  Such disputes can involve contractual breaches, business-related disputes, and issues with the usage of the property. 

What if I Have a Commercial Property Legal Issue?

Commercial property legal issues can often involve a large amount of documentation and paperwork.  This is due to the nature of commercial property, which is often tied in with business usage and business contracts.  Thus, if you have an issue or dispute, you should do your best to collect any documents or forms that are related to the property.  You may also wish to do some background research of the business, real estate, and property laws in your area, as these can be different from each region to the next.

Do I Need a Lawyer for Help With Commercial Property Legal Issues?

Commercial property is a very specific subset of real estate law.  You may wish to hire a property lawyer if you need help understanding the property laws in your area.  Your attorney can assist you with any legal issues that need clarification.  Also, your lawyer will be able to represent you in court if you have a legal conflict and need to file a lawsuit.  You may be able to recover legal damages if you have suffered losses due to a property dispute.