There are several reasons why someone may hire a real estate attorney in southern Utah, whether it is for business purposes or to get assistance with their personal real estate.
If you are entering the real estate business, it’s vital to know why you should hire a real estate attorney in southern Utah.
What does a real estate attorney do?
Real estate attorneys represent buyers, sellers, realtors, lenders, landowners, brokers, home builders, residential and commercial developers, investment managers, and several other parties. Within one real estate transaction, however, the real estate attorney only represents one party to avoid a conflict of interest.
You will also want to know what a real estate attorney handle.
Draft and review real estate contracts
Real estate contracts protect all parties of a real estate transaction; however, the contract needs to be drafted correctly or the parties could incur substantial costs and time attempting to enforce the terms of the contract.
Perform title searches
Not all real estate transactions require title searches, but it is strongly encouraged whenever property changes hands or whenever an interest in a piece of property transfers from one party to another.
The process of performing a title search consists of analyzing the chain of titles for up to 40-60 years. The chain of title is the list of individuals who have owned or been interested in the property during the time period of the title search
Negotiate real estate deals
An attorney protects the client’s best interest while providing them with legal advice regarding the real estate matter.
Real estate deals may include:
- Lease agreements
- Commercial real estate investing
- Purchase contract and sales agreements
- Investment agreements
- Real estate development and construction agreements
- Setting up a land trust
- Negotiating and eminent domain claim
Prepare real estate closing documents
Real estate attorneys will handle closings, which consist of dozens of documents such as:
- Seller’s affidavit
- Closing statement
- Name affidavit
- Occupancy affidavit
- Flood zone statement
- Title policy documents
- Correction statement and agreement
- Real estate tax affidavit
- Affidavit of title
- Bill of sale for personal property
- Proof of homeowner’s insurance
- Initial escrow statement
- Termite letter
- Property inspection documents
- Notice of right to cancel
Write title insurance policies
Real estate attorneys may even write title insurance policies (which cover title defects and problems) as agents for a title insurance company. Before an attorney or title insurance agent can issue a title insurance policy, a title search must be completed.
Represent parties in foreclosure actions
A lender can foreclose on a mortgage if the borrower does not pay the required payments, in which a real estate attorney can represent either party.
File quiet title actions
A real estate attorney may find a defect in a title during a title search, and if they cannot resolve the matter by correcting the title in the public records, the attorney may need to file a quiet title action. This action is a lawsuit that names all the parties that might have an interest in the property. It then requires the parties to argue their claims, or their rights may be voided by the courts.
Handle zoning and land use issues
Each county and city have specific zoning ordinances that govern land use, and sometimes a property owner or prospective buyer may want to change how the land is used. The party must file a petition to change the zoning ordinance governing the property.
A real estate attorney can assist the property owner in petitioning for the changes. Attorneys may also represent nearby property owners who want to prevent a property from being used for specific purposes.
Construction loans and contracts
A real estate attorney may represent the builder, property owner, or lender in a contraction loan or contract. It is generally more complicated than a residential loan and contract because they require terms and conditions that a typical sales or purchase agreement does not require.
The attorney will assist in the negotiation and drafting of the contract and handle the closing of the loan. Four common types of construction contracts include:
- Unit pricing contracts
- Cost plus contracts
- Lump sum/fixed price contracts
- Time and materials contracts
Draft and review leases and subleases
Real estate attorneys assist landlords in drafting leases and subleases for residential and commercial properties.
Handle adverse possession claims
Adverse possession allows a party who possesses a home or land for a specific period to claim legal ownership of the property. These claims generally involve a neighboring property owner using a portion of the property due to a fence or building encroaching on their property for many years. As long as the parties don’t have a dispute, it doesn’t typically become an issue until the property owner prepares to sell the property and a title search reveals the property being used by someone else.
If you hire a real estate attorney in southern Utah, you can expect them to provide their legal counsel, while carefully reviewing all documents involved in the matter and analyzing applicable laws, ordinances, and regulations.
Ruesch & Reeve has attorneys who specialize in real estate law in southern Utah. Their experience allows quality service, prompt attention, and quick responses to your questions. Ruesch & Reeve’s real estate practices go beyond traditional areas of transactions, leasing, title review, and closings. They also provide expertise in zoning and entitlements, community development, land use, and redevelopment law.
Ruesch & Reeve’s real estate clients range from commercial developers, residential developers, contractors, purchasers, sellers, lessors, lessees, homeowner’s associations, municipalities, special districts, and water companies. Having a broad ranch of representation gives the attorneys a unique insight into the varying interests in real estate transactions.
What is a rental agreement?
One aspect of the job of a real estate attorney in southern Utah is drafting rental agreements.
What does a rental agreement contain?
Rental agreements are usually provided by the landlord or the property owner, and they can choose to customize the agreement to suit an individual renter’s needs. Property owners, such as apartment associations, may provide a standardized rental agreement form.
Rental agreements focus on the terms of the rental payments, but the agreement can address other matters as well such as:
- Duration of the rental term (one month, month-to-month, year-to-year, etc.)
- Price of monthly rent payments
- Names and background information on the renters
- Terms of utility costs
- Provisions regarding deposits (landlord deposits, security deposits, etc.)
- Instructions regarding liability for property damage
- Any additional special instructions
Once the parties sign a rental agreement, the terms are binding under property and contract laws.
Why should you hire a lawyer to assist with rental agreements?
Rental agreements are vital to any property owner seeking to lease or rent their property. A real estate attorney in southern Utah can give excellent assistance with drafting and reviewing your rental agreement to ensure it suits your business needs. If any disputes should arise over your rental agreement, your attorney will help you cover damages in court.
Real estate lease review
From the tenant side of the lease, hiring a lawyer to conduct a real estate lease review can be beneficial because they have expert knowledge about the subject. The attorney can examine the document and bring up any issues or risks that may have gone unnoticed in the agreement.
Commercial real estate leases
It is important that you get commercial leases thoroughly vetted as well. If you are the tenant, you want to ensure that your business is protected. An attorney can be helpful in negotiating issues like maintenance, fees, or building repairs. If you are the landlord, you want to ensure the lease covers all the necessary requirements. A real estate attorney can assist you in creating the lease, negotiating terms, and informing you of your rights and responsibilities of the building.
Attorneys at Ruesch & Reeve have experience in real estate law and want their clients are protected – both landlords and tenants. Before signing a contract, speak with a real estate attorney in southern Utah.
They regularly assist in the following areas of real estate law
The attorneys help from the beginning of negotiations through the closing including drafting of agreements and documents and title issues.
They represent both landlords and tenants in all commercial and residential aspects of leasing.
Their attorneys are experienced in all aspects of land development including land use planning, review and negotiation of construction contracts, governmental approvals, and preparation of restrictive covenants. They also assist clients in resolving construction project disputes, defective work claims, and mechanics liens disputes.
Real estate litigation
Their attorneys litigate real estate matters such as easements, eviction, foreclosure, liens, title insurance claims, quiet title, partition, real estate purchase contract disputes, and replevin.