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You can avoid property rights disputes by doing due diligence

If you're considering buying commercial real estate, then you've likely discovered that doing so is very different from buying a home. Many of the regulations and procedures that exist to help protect homeowners from being taken advantage of don't exist in the commercial real estate world. This is why it's important that you do your due diligence when buying a commercial building.

The first step that you should take in the due diligence process is to verify property information. You should confirm that the building and lot size and parking options are accurately reflected on any documents that you're provided with. You should also make sure that the correct number of units and floors are also listed there. You'll also want to confirm that the property is properly zoned for the type of business you're looking to operate.

It's important that you bring in an inspector and/or contractor who is familiar with the latest Utah building codes to take a look at the property that you're planning to purchase. You'll want to have them inspect all of the systems including the heating and cooling, drainage, electrical and plumbing ones. You'll also want them to make sure that elevators, sprinkler systems, windows and the roof are all in good order.

The seller should also disclose any rental agreements they have with tenants. You should find out what their rent schedule is, who's responsible for utilities and whether any security deposits are being held.

You should review your seller disclosure to see if building permits have previously been applied for. You should review any existing service agreements to gain a better perspective on operation costs. Checking for any past or pending lawsuits is important as well.

It's also important that you look at your budget and business plan and that you update them both to cover the new expenses associated with buying an office.

Before you buy any commercial real estate, it's important that you draft a due diligence checklist. By doing so, it minimizes the chance that you'll be caught off guard by surprises. It also gives you better insight into the opportunity that you're pursuing and minimizes your risk. A real estate law attorney can aid you in sorting out property rights, and if necessary, help you litigate any disputes here in St. George.

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