The Legal Side of Commercial Real Estate: Tips from Experienced Lawyers

Legal Side of Commercial Real Estate

Commercial deals in Canada are rising, and deal sizes are becoming bigger. RE/MAX found 9.55% of commercial real estate transactions are valued at over $2 million, which has nearly doubled from this time last year. As commercial real estate becomes more of a significant investment for businesses, the need for careful planning and risk mitigation grows as well.

In this article, our St. Catharines real estate lawyers share some of their top tips for anyone looking to enter into a commercial real estate transaction.

Top Tips from St. Catharines Real Estate Lawyers for Your Transaction

Are There Any Restrictions on Land Use?

Local and provincial governments set strict rules about how land can be used through zoning laws and nuisance regulations. They can even be very specific to a particular property.

Make sure to check the land’s title and government records to see what rules apply to your property. Ideally, you should work with estate lawyers in St. Catharines to ensure a thorough search and to provide on-the-ground insight. For instance, if you are planning to repurpose the land or building, knowing use-case restrictions is vitally important.

Make the Transaction Contingent on Key Findings

The goal of purchasing property is for it to deliver value for your business, not be burdened by a building that doesn’t meet your requirements.

Ensure the purchase agreement is contingent on specific findings being completed favourably, such as property inspections, land use findings, engineering reports, and environmental studies. Experienced realtor lawyers can draft clauses that mitigate risks for you.

Get an Environmental Report

Getting a soil assessment is vitally important to avoid becoming liable for contaminated soil. Proving the previous owner’s liability for contamination can be an expensive process and unnecessarily distract you from your own business.

How does soil get contaminated? Oil spills, such as from a gas station or garage, run-off from an industrial site, or hazardous building materials are all common ways. An environmental consultation will allow you to unearth these issues before you finalize the sale. Ensure you work with a reputed local St. Catharines real estate lawyer for knowledgeable advice and real-world insight about the land.

Check the Building’s Lease Payment History

Are you making a sound financial decision? To check the potential of your building’s income production, review the lease payment history. It will tell you about the flow of rental income. Also, check the seller’s financial documents and operating income statements to find issues in lease payments and other trends, if you have access to them.

Work with Leading Realtor Lawyers

St. Catharines real estate lawyers do much more than provide legal counsel; they are your valuable partners throughout any transaction. An experienced local team can provide real-world insight into the deal, provide up-to-date legal advice, and protect your interests throughout the transaction.

At Lancaster Chown & Welch LLP, we bring over 140 years of experience in real estate transactions and have helped shape Niagara’s skyline. Book a complimentary consultation to discuss your needs with one of our estate lawyers in St. Catharines.