July 23, 2019

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Tennessee Real Estate Law

Memphis Law Firms

Tennessee real estate law is very complex and can affect your life when you least expect it, and in ways you may have never anticipated. Any mistake in a real estate transaction can become very costly and can ruin your credit.

Real Estate Law Matters

Examples of matters which fall under Tennessee real estate law include:

  • Buying and selling residential property
  • Buying and selling commercial property
  • Commercial leasing
  • Landlord/tenant issues
  • Condemnation (eminent domain)
  • Boundary disputes
  • Title disputes
  • Water rights
  • Mineral rights
  • Development
  • Homeowners associations
  • Condominium owners associations
  • Foreclosure
  • Zoning and land use

Purchase Agreement

A purchase agreement, or contract for the sale, is a legally binding document. It is very important that the purchase agreement be carefully drafted and includes all of the contingencies that you need and want.

Contingencies give you the ability to back out of the contract without any kind of penalty, such as losing your earnest money. A purchase agreement with the right contingencies will keep someone else from being able to buy the property you want, while giving you time to obtain financing and do all of the research you need to do to make sure you really want the property.

Common contingencies include:

  • Appraisal
  • Financing
  • Selling property you already own
  • Home inspection
  • Well inspection
  • Homeowners Association Documents
  • Seller disclosures
  • Specific repairs and improvements

Home Owners Associations

A homeowners association (HOA) can be a good thing, but it can also make your life miserable and become very costly for you.

Before purchasing a home or land, you should always find out if it will be governed by a HOA, what their rules are, including any covenants, what their rules are and what the fines are for noncompliance, and what kind of fees you must pay. Also, review the meeting minutes for at least the last year.

Even if the HOA fees are reasonable, the covenants may require you to spend more than you were expecting on landscaping, and the fines for noncompliance can be ridiculous.

Many HOAs have tight restrictions which can affect your daily life including restrictions on pets and vehicles. And the covenants may not paint the true picture of how the rules are interpreted and enforced.

Unfortunately, HOAs are notorious for broad interpretation of the covenants, selective enforcement, or even changing the rules mid-stream, when they choose to target a particular homeowner or item.

Having a Tennessee real estate attorney review the HOA documents before you buy can help you avoid a costly legal battle down the road. If you do find yourself in a dispute with the HOA, talk to an attorney right away.