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Real Estate Lawyer Hazleton, PA

Real Estate Lawyer Hazleton, PA


real estate lawyer in Hazleton, PA with modern office buildingsAt Hoegen & Associates, P.C., a real estate lawyer in Hazleton, PA, the attorneys know how big of a deal zoning issues are to real estate. If you are managing a project, you may run into zoning issues that threaten to delay your progress and throw off your project timeline. Zoning is a system used by cities, counties, and states to categorize areas of private real estate. States, including Pennsylvania, may establish statutes or laws that regulate zoning, and cities may pass ordinances that are like laws but have less power. The main classifications for the property include residential, commercial, industrial, recreational, and agricultural. Issues can arise when property owners disagree with a government’s decisions regarding a particular property. As a real estate lawyer in Hazleton knows, zoning disputes can occur for many reasons, which we have listed below. 

Real estate laws can be highly complex and should not be handled without the assistance of a skilled lawyer who is highly familiar with that area of law. Real estate issues can involve many parties, such as business owners, construction companies, and the local government. Getting a lawyer to protect your rights and interests can help you to increase your chances of success. If you are in need of advice regarding a zoning or other real estate property issue, do not hesitate to call us at Hoegen & Associates, P.C. right now to speak with a Hazleton real estate lawyer.

Common Zoning Disputes

Zoning disputes can entail a disagreement between a local city government and private commercial property. Zoning disputes usually involve a commercial building that sits close to residential neighborhoods. When there is a new property development, there are regulations in place that take into consideration various groups of people that will be affected. City officials may not agree with a property owner’s intended use for an area or they may have objections concerning how development will impact surrounding businesses or residents. When this happens, the dispute can take a long time to resolve because of the opposing opinions. However, sometimes disagreements are based on weak arguments or misunderstandings. If you are facing a zoning dispute, you need a lawyer by your side to fight for you so that you are fairly represented. A real estate lawyer in PA is experienced in handling issues of all kinds. Here are examples of common zoning disputes: 

  • Commercial, agricultural, or industrial properties cause air, noise, and/or water pollution to close-by properties. 
  • Commercial signs are put in areas that clutter or disrupt a neighborhood. 
  • A commercial business parking lot is close to residential homes. 
  • Setback issues

Real Estate Lawyer Hazleton, PA Infographic

Common Zoning Disputes Infographic

Setback Issues

In the above list, setback issues refer to the minimum distance a building can be placed from a property line. Many setback ordinances are intended to prevent disputes over access to ventilation or sunlight, prevent a disturbance to nature, keep people a safe distance away from a roadway, or avoid overcrowding. However, when an area is small or there are other factors that prevent a straightforward solution, the issue can be challenging to resolve. A lawyer can help you come up with alternative solutions or compromises that will allow you to proceed with your project without having to incur additional expenses or delays. They can help you avoid settling on unfair agreements.  A real estate lawyer can speak with you about ways to settle a setback issue dispute promptly. 

How Zoning Issues Are Resolved

The usual remedy for a zoning lawsuit entails the court ordering one of the parties to halt their activity. This is done after the court determines who is at fault. For example, the court may find that a real estate company committed no violations and was within its right to proceed with a project. Additionally, damages may be awarded if the zoning issue caused one of the parties to endure financial loss. Zoning ordinances can impact those who live within the city, so immediate action should be taken to amend the situation. 

Contact Hoegen & Associates, P.C. Now

Zoning issues and other kinds of real estate disputes can be challenging to resolve yourself. There are multiple parties involved, and when the government is one of them there are numerous complications that can arise. There are many parties that must be included in negotiations, so arriving at a conclusion that everyone agrees with can take much longer than expected. We can imagine that you may be unsure how to approach such an issue, and may not be certain what your options are in trying to fix the situation. Let us help you. Call Hoegen & Associates, P.C. now for help from a Pennsylvania real estate lawyer in resolving a serious zoning or another real estate-related dispute. 

Many investors earn a lucrative income from commercial real estate. Whether an investor focuses on buying and selling or holding onto the property for rental income, there is often a high return on their investment as long as there is due diligence done with each transaction. Having a skilled real estate lawyer in Hazelton, PA is a key component of ensuring that due diligence is done.  

Commercial Real Estate Is Complicated

Sometimes, the fast-paced, high-flying world of commercial real estate may seem free-wheeling, especially in an up-market. But whether buying or selling, commercial real estate transactions can be complex and prone to a myriad of concerns. Unlike simpler residential real estate transactions, which are generally subject to various consumer protection laws, the law generally provides parties in a commercial real estate transaction fewer protections, under the rationale that the commercial real estate parties are sophisticated enough to understand the terms of their agreement.

As a Hazleton, PA real estate lawyer can explain, the terms of a commercial real estate agreement, however, are many and varied; they can include, but are not limited to:

  •     Letters of intent
  •     A description of the premises
  •     A specification of the type of deed that will apply to the property
  •     Statement of the purchase price
  •     Mortgage financing
  •     Closing
  •     Title insurance
  •     Property survey
  •     Adjustments for expenses that will be apportioned at closing
  •     Various representations about the state of the property
  •     Conditions precedent to the transaction
  •     Instructions for the escrow agent who will handle the closing
  •     Other miscellaneous provisions

Adding to the complexity, the parties are free to, and usually do, negotiate the exact details within the above terms. And this is just the actual sales contract itself. There is a whole host of requirements that commercial sellers and buyers must meet before they can even proceed to finalize a contract. With all these complex provisions, a buyer or seller, even the most seasoned businessperson, could easily make a mistake.

The consequences of a mistake could unfortunately be dire. A property seller, for example, may not terminate a commercial real estate contract on the basis that the seller mistakenly undervalued the property. And a property buyer may not automatically invalidate a commercial real estate contract on the basis that the buyer forgot to negotiate for a term that would have been advantageous. For these reasons, commercial real estate buyers and sellers need a strong advocate as they negotiate a commercial real estate transaction. A knowledgeable Hazleton, PA real estate lawyer has the requisite skill to ensure an efficient, complete, and fair transaction that represents your best interests.

Pros and Cons of a Triple Net Lease

There are several different types of commercial leases that property owners and tenants can negotiate. The most common types of commercial leases are percentage, gross, and triple net.

With a triple net lease, the tenant is not only responsible for paying rent to the owner but is also responsible for paying the building’s property taxes, insurance, and maintenance. There are both advantages and disadvantages to a triple net lease. For example, rent is usually lower than gross lease properties. This not only benefits the tenant but also the owner since lower rents often mean it is easier to find tenants.

Property Taxes

An advantage of triple net leases for the property owner is that the tenant pays the property taxes. Consider that most municipalities typically raise property taxes each year, not lower them, either because the value of property increases or because the municipality raises the tax rate – or both!

One of the issues that can arise is if the property is appraised at a higher rate and the landlord doesn’t address the issue because they don’t have to worry about the higher tax bill. The consequences of not addressing a potentially incorrect property value are that when the tenant moves, the owner may not be able to find a tenant willing to pay the high tax bill, especially if area properties offer lower tax bills. The property owner is now stuck paying the taxes and/or is left with vacant property. If you are confronted with such an issue, you need a lawyer by your side who will fiercely protect your rights and work to achieve a favorable outcome. This issue should be addressed as soon as possible. Find a real estate lawyer who has the right experience and a proven record of assisting clients who have had real estate disputes and other issues.

Property Insurance

Since the tenant is required to pay for the property insurance under the terms of a triple net lease, they will likely be responsible for any deductibles required under the policy if there are any insurance claims. Insurance companies consider many factors when issuing a policy, such as a client’s credit score and past history. If the tenant’s history results in high insurance rates, there is a risk of the policy lapsing if they cannot afford to pay the premiums. They may also not file any legitimate claims for damage if they are concerned the premiums will increase or they do not have the funds to pay for a high deductible.

Building Maintenance

When it comes to building maintenance, both parties can benefit if the property is in good condition. The tenant benefits because they are not forced to spend thousands on repairs, and they enjoy the lower rent. They don’t need to spend time adding enhancements to the place or figuring out a budget. If the property is not in good shape, the owner benefits because they do not have to invest money in repairs. But this can backfire if the tenant does not keep the property in good repair or fails to report any issues because they are trying to avoid paying for repairs under the lease.

A lawyer can help you resolve a dispute involving building maintenance. They can prepare your case so that you can achieve a fair and suitable outcome.

Why Contact a Real Estate Lawyer

With so many different real estate issues, you want to make sure that you receive the right legal assistance. Disputes involving real estate are especially time-sensitive, and they often potentially impact many people. They can be highly difficult and expensive to resolve, so you need to work with a lawyer who has the skills and knowledge. The language in real estate agreements and contracts should be carefully, and sometimes they are unclear. A lawyer can provide an explanation about certain parts of a document that you have trouble understanding.

Another important reason for hiring a qualified and experienced real estate lawyer is that they can help you avoid running into problems. There are many stipulations that can be written into the lease that can protect property owners from being stuck with high costs because a tenant failed to have appropriate insurance coverage or need building repairs. A lawyer can inform you about steps to take so that you have legal protection. At Hoegen & Associates, P.C., we can go over all the options and show you how a triple net lease is one of the best commercial investments you can make.