Land ownership and property rights are one of the basic foundations that define America. From the time of the pilgrims to the present, the American Dream of home ownership is what motivates many of the world’s citizens to apply for immigration.
Real estate law has become very complex in modern times covering issues beyond simple possession of land and structures. To add to the complexity, the laws of each state and city are not consistent nor are the regulations that govern issues such as zoning and landlord tenant relationships.
At Meyers & Flowers in Illinois, we maintain a large real estate lawyer division staffed by a professional team of Chicago real estate attorneys, regulation monitors, and researchers. The demands of this branch of the law require a completely focused approach on all matters concerning real estate law in Chicago. Whether it is a simple transfer of title, or a highly complex eminent domain issue, our team is organized and fully current on all aspects relating to real estate law.
Real Estate Finance Law
The scope of real estate finance law is extensive, with related areas that can be categorized as follows:
- Land ownership including structures on the land
- Right to occupy the property
- Right to purchase property
- Mineral rights, oil rights and right to procure
- Right to air space over the property
Our real estate law department handles cases with one or more of these components on a regular basis and as such is completely current on all regulations and laws that affect these issues.
Real estate finance law is intertwined with all litigation or negotiation concerning property. Illinois has a robust legal field that deals exclusively with real estate law and Meyers & Flowers is proud of providing among the best knowledge in real estate law Chicago can offer.
From Routine to Rare – Comprehensive
Chicago Real Estate Lawyers
Many of the real estate and property cases handled by Meyers & Flowers are routine and are a necessary part of buying, selling, leasing or occupying property. Overseeing the purchase of real estate, negotiating lease terms, transferring title, and handling insurance claims make up much of the daily work of real estate law. Chicago business owners have also come to rely on Meyers & Flowers when purchasing complex commercial holdings or settling landlord tenant disputes including evictions.
Meyers & Flowers also assists clients in real estate issues that are not so common such as:
- Boundary disputes
- Nuisance neighbors
- Municipality regulations
- Eminent domain issues
- Fraud in disclosing property defects
- Environmental clean up issues
Commercial Real Estate Law
Business owners seeking new premises are faced with many decisions during the process of finding and leasing property. Once a suitable location has been located, the owner is vulnerable to the lease terms set out by the landlord.
Net vs. Gross Leases
There is no standard business lease, although many ‘boiler plate’ leases exist and are often used by landlords. Meyers & Flowers recommend that any commercial lease be reviewed by an Chicago real estate attorney to disclose anything that could be detrimental going forward.
Commercial leases are confusing to many people. There are two main types of lease; gross leases and net leases. A gross lease is similar to leasing an apartment. There is a monthly rental amount that stays constant through the term of the lease with a proportion of utilities being the only variable.
Net leases are based on the square footage of the space and include a portion of the operating expenses of the building. There will be a provision requiring payment for the use of common areas like the bathrooms, the lobby, elevators and parking.
Another difference between net and gross leases is the way in which square footage is calculated. Landlords are legally permitted to measure the square footage of the space from interior walls and can include common areas like bathrooms and elevators. This may represent a significant portion of the square footage a business needs to carry out its operations.
Other issues that an experienced Chicago real estate attorney can prevent concern increases in rent and whether or not it is tied in to a percentage of the businesses profits. If the space is in a shopping center, the lease may include a provision for a percentage increase once certain income levels have been met. Ideally rental increases are negotiated to begin after the first year and are always tied in to a benefit for the tenant. Usually this is based on capping the amount rent can be increased yearly.
Tenant improvements are often a tough point of negotiation. Ideally the landlord will complete the improvements to meet the tenant’s needs with no upfront money from the tenant; however this will usually need to be negotiated vigorously. The length of term of the lease will dictate what the landlord is willing to do.
Consult a Real Estate Law Attorney in Chicago
Investing in a few hours of legal help concerning negotiating commercial leases can save tens of thousands of dollars and keep the relationship from disintegrating when terms are later found to be detrimental to the tenant. Remember, the lease proposed by the landlord is designed to protect only the landlord’s interests. Smart business owners will always have an experienced commercial real estate law attorney in Chicago review a lease and make recommendations.
Real estate law in Chicago can be a complex and difficult transaction to negotiate without the support of a top-notch law firm with the resources necessary to successful real estate deals. Contact us today to speak to one of our Chicago real estate attorneys for a no charge consultation concerning your unique situation.