Real estate is a lot more complex than most people realize. In a very simple nutshell, it is about land possession, include possession of anything that is permanently attached to the land, like buildings. Anything found beneath the land, like minerals, oil, and gas, are also permanently attached. However, things like tool sheds and mobile homes, which aren’t permanently attached, are not classed as “real property”. Unsurprisingly, with so many complexities, various laws have had to be created to manage it properly. This is something that Pedro Martin specializes in, and he can now focus on those laws as part of the company he founded with his father, David, called Terra Group.
Real estate law is actually one of the oldest types of law. Because of that concepts and terms included in them are often archaic. The result of this is that many people are confused by the jargon. Pedro Martin has played a key role in updating this, so that it becomes easier to understand by individuals.
Owning Real Property
Under real estate law, when you own a piece of real estate, you can do anything with it, unless other real estate laws say you can’t. In all cases, you can use it, lease it, rent it, transfer it, use it as collateral, bequeath it, sell it, or even give it away. You may even do absolutely nothing with it, although some state laws may say this isn’t allowed.
There are restrictions, however. So, while you can do anything you want on paper, the reality is that you do have to stick to local, county, state, and federal laws. If you violate any of those laws, it can cost you dearly. Some of the most often seen restrictions are:
- Zoning, which means that your property can only be used for a certain purpose, such as a home, a factory, or agriculture. Zoning laws also include heights and sizes of buildings.
- Environmental hazards, which state which materials can and cannot be stored and what you must do to remove these hazards such as toxic waste, radon, petrochemicals, lead paint, and asbestos.
- Public easement and right of way, which means that some of your property must be allowed to use by others, specifically to allow them access to roads and so that sewer, telephone, gas, and electric lines can be maintained.
There are a number of other restrictions as well, which tend to be non-governmental. For instance, there may be restrictions on vehicle parking, architectural design, and lot size. If you violate this, the violated party will receive damages and injunctive relief.
Whenever you have rights, you also have responsibilities. Owning real estate brings with it some of the following responsibilities:
- You have the right to have a mortgage on your property. You are responsible for paying it back, or the lender has the right to seize your property.
- Others have a right to place liens against your property, particularly tax liens and mechanical liens.
- You may be liable for any injuries that happen on your property.