Development Real Estate Law

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Development Real Estate Law

If you’re planning on building, buying, or investing in a new residential or commercial property, you’ll want to work with a professional attorney that can advise you on development real estate law.  A lot is involved in every development project, so there’s a lot that can go wrong.  Don’t get stuck in a lawsuit or held liable because you weren’t aware of the laws.

What is Development Real Estate Law?

Development real estate law is a branch of law that deals with the legal aspects of the real estate development process.  Development projects are bound by a complex web of federal, state, and local laws that govern everything from buying and selling property, getting permits and correct zoning for land use, to a variety of environmental and financial regulations related to development, contract negotiation, and construction work.

Development real estate law attorneys can advise developers on the legal issues that arise during the development process and help ensure that the project is in compliance with all applicable laws and regulations.  Our real estate attorneys at Stryker Slev Law Group are well-versed in development real estate law and can help you craft contracts that protect your interests, spot risks before they become major issues, fight for you during litigation, and advise you on all legal aspects of the project.  The best way to protect your investment is to work with an attorney to ensure that you’re following the laws and that your contracts protect you from liability.

What Kind of Laws Should Developers Be Aware of?

There are so many different laws involved in development that it’s impossible to go over them all here.  However, we’ll explain a couple of development real estate laws that developers and investors should pay attention to.

Land Use

Land use laws regulate the types of uses that are allowed on a particular piece of land.  It is a process of organizing the use of the land to meet the needs of the occupant while respecting the capabilities of the land.  There are many different land uses including agricultural, recreational, residential, industrial, transportation, and commercial.  These development real estate laws can have a significant impact on the feasibility and profitability of a development project.


Zoning laws are what governments use to divide a community into different pieces of land for different purposes.  There are three major types of zoning which include performance zoning, intensity zoning, and incentive zoning.  Zoning laws tell us how tall our houses can be and how far away they must be located from the street and other regulatory information that helps preserve the use of our land.  Zoning can affect the size and location of a development project and can require special approval or permits.

Building Codes

Building codes set standards for the construction of buildings and other structures. These codes typically cover issues such as building materials, structural design, fire safety, and accessibility.  Developers must ensure that their projects comply with these strict codes to avoid delays and costly fines.  Building code violations can lead to major injuries if not addressed.

Environmental Regulations

People often forget that environmental regulations play a significant role in development real estate law.  These regulations can include laws that protect air quality, water quality, and natural habitats.  They also establish criteria for what substances you can use in your construction process.

Financing Regulations

Financing a development project can be complex, and there are a variety of laws that can affect the financing process. These laws can include regulations related to mortgage lending, securities, and bankruptcy.  Developers should be familiar with the various financing options available to them.  A development real estate lawyer can advise you on possible financing opportunities.

Landlord-Tenant Laws

If you are developing rental properties, you will need to be familiar with laws that regulate the landlord-tenant relationship. These laws can cover issues such as rent control, tenant rights, and eviction procedures.  Not following these regulations can result in a major lawsuit.

Contract Laws

Real estate development projects often involve contracts with a variety of professionals including contractors, architects, electricians, designers, and more.  It is important to understand the legal principles that apply to contracts and to ensure that your contracts are enforceable and effective at protecting you from liability.  Never sign something without having a development real estate lawyer look over it first.

Disclosure Laws

If you’re selling property, especially commercial property, there are several disclosure laws you must know about.  Disclosure laws deal with the location, condition, and restrictions of a property.  If you fail to disclose something important, the buyer could take legal action.  If a property you purchased has a condition that was not disclosed to you, you can file a claim against them.

There’s a lot involved in development real estate law so make sure you consult with an experienced attorney before you make any important decisions.  If you’re considering a new development project, schedule a consultation with our experts at Stryker Slev Law Group.