Real Estate Definitions-Section 3-2

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Section 3

Accretion

A natural and gradual addition of land through deposits left from rivers or streams. An owner that borders a body of water could be entitled to any new land that's created.

Alluvion

Extra material (sand, mud) that increases a land mass as a result of water that recedes leaving the material behind.

Appurtenant Easement

An easement that allows an adjoining neighbor to use their neighbors land. This type of easement is normally transferred automatically to any new owners. (runs with the land)

Avulsion

sudden removal or washing away of land due to mother nature's wrath. (i.e. mudslide)

Condemnation

The procedure by which a government entity takes control/ownership of a "blighted" or underutilized piece of real estate through the powers of eminent domain.

Curtesy

Upon her death, the legal right of a husband to part of his wife's estate. Some states do not recognize "curtesy" rights

Doctrine of Prior Appropriation

Current water usage from a body of water is strictly controlled (appropriated) by the state, but may be heavily weighted towards prior usage.

Dominant Tenement

In an appurtenant easement, the legal name for the parcel that "benefits" with the use of an easement. The use "dominates" the "servient tenement."

Dower

Upon his death, a legal right of a wife to part of her husbands estate. Some states do not recognize "dower" rights.

Easement

A right to use (not own) someone else's property

Easement by Necessity

Court ordered right of entry and exit because the property is currently "landlocked."

Easement by Prescription

Right to keep using someone's land by using the land without permission for a period of time prescribed by state law so that a court "prescribes" the ongoing use legal

Easement in Gross

Right of a person or entity to use another persons land when they are not the adjoining neighbor. Utility easements are common examples of "easements in gross."

Eminent Domain

The right of a governmental entity to take property from its current owner (paying just compensation) so long as the property is needed for "public use." What constitutes public use has been expanded over the past few years to include almost any use that would raise the tax base.

Encroachment

An intrusion on or over another property. An example would be a detached garage that was partially built on a neighbors property. The garage "encroaches" on the neighbor's property.

Encumbrance

Any claim, lien, liability or easement against a property that would limit a persons bundle of rights.

Erosion

Gradual loss of land due to naturally occurring events.

Escheat

Process by which the state regains title to a property is a person dies without a will and if no heirs can be located.

Fee Simple

The most secure-least limiting ownership one can have in real property.

Fee Simple Defeasible

An interest in land/estate that has limitations. Examples include: So long as it's used as a church, No alcoholic beverages can be sold on the property, etc.

Freehold

An ownership estate that's duration is currently unknown and undefined.

Homestead

In certain states, an estate/home that is protected from certain types of creditors when one co-owner dies.

Legal Life Estate

A type of life estate created by law. Examples include dower, curtesy, and homestead.

License

Temporary revocable privilege to use land for a specific purpose.

Life Estate

An interest in a property that's limited to the lifetime of someone.

Littoral

Rights governing water/beach usage of owners whose properties border (navigable) non-flowing bodies of water like lakes or oceans.

PETE

Acronym for governmental regulations on property. Police Power, Eminent Domain, Taxation, and Escheat.

Police Power

Governmental authority to regulate land uses for the public good.

Proprietary Lease

In a cooperative, the written document that gives a stockholder the right to occupy a particular apartment.

Pur Autre Vie

"For the life of another." A life estate for a life tenant based on another persons lifetime.

Reliction

Water gradually receding from a body of water with the result being an increase in the land mass.

Remainderman

Man, women, or child who's given an interest in property upon the death of the life tenant.

Riparian

Rights governing water usage of owners whose properties border flowing (non navigable) bodies of waters such as streams or small rivers.

Servient Tenement

In an appurtenant easement, the legal name for the property over which the easement runs.

Severalty

Real property ownership by only one person or by one company. While the term seems backwards, it's implying sole ownership now which may have resulted because (at some point) interests were "severed" from all other previous owners.

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