Property Law

the set of rights and interests of a person or entity in relation to other persons or entities with reference to a tangible or intangible object
Real property
immovable or attached to immovable land or buildings. includes land, buildings, subsurface rights, plant life and vegation, and fixture
subsurface rights
these are mineral rights to the earth located beneath surface. are often sold seperatly from surface rights. include water rights
plant life and vegetation
these are considered real property until they are harvested. includes both natural and cultivated plants
Personal property that is so closely associated with real property that it cannot be separated without damaging real property (permanent attachment).
Becomes part of the realty.
Trade Fixtures
Specific Fixtures
Included in sale of building
estates in land
Ownership rights in real property.
Bundle of legal rights that the owner has to possess, use, and enjoy the property.The type of estate is determined from the deed, will, lease, or other document that transferred the ownership rights.
freehold estate
An estate where the owner has a present possessory interest in the real property.
Estates in Fee
Fee simple absolute
Fee simple defeasible (Conditional Estate)
Life Estates
Estates in fee
include fee simple absolute which is the highest form of ownership of real property. the ownership is infinite in duration, has no limitation on inheritablity, and does not end upon the occurrence or nonoccurence of an event. the other type is fee simple defeasible which Grants owner all of the incidents of a fee simple absolute except that it may be taken away if a specified condition occurs or does not occur.
life estate
interest in property that lasts for the life of a specified person. called estate pour autre vie. this terminates upon the death of a named person and reverts back to the grantor.
Leasehold Estate
created by an agreement (lease) that transfers possessory interest in a property from the owner(landlord or lessor) to the holder (tenant or lessee) a leasehold is not an ownership interest. it is a possessory interest. you dont own it you only possess it.
landlord-tenant relationship
A relationship created when the owner of a freehold estate (landlord) transfers a right to exclusively and temporarily possess the owner's property to another (tenant).
nonfreehold estate
an estate in which the tenant has a right of posession of the property but not title to the property
a tenants interest in the property
the owner who transfers the leasehold
the party to who the leasehold is transferred.
the lease
A transfer of the right to the possession and use of the real property for a set term in return for certain consideration.
types of tenancy
includes tenancy for years, periodic tenancy, tenancy at will, tenancy at sufferance.
tenancy for years
any lease that has a beginning and ending
periodic tenancy
A leasehold for a recurring period of time, such as month to month or year to year. It continues until either the landlord or tenant gives advance notice to the other party of termination of lease.
tenancy at will
lessee or lessor can leave or be kicked out at any time. no periodic period so you can leave in the middle of the month
tenancy at sufferance
A tenancy which is created when one is in wrongful possession of realty, even though the original possession may have been legal. only happens after the expiration of a tenancy for years.
Duty to deliver possession of the leases premises
a lease grants the tenant exclusive possession of the leased premise (1) for the term of the lease or (2) until the tenant defaults on the obligations under the lease. A landlord may not enter leased premises unless the right is specifically reserved in the lease.
Landlords Duties
the landlord owes the tenant a duty to deliver possession, not to interfere with the tenants right to quiet enjoyment, and maintain the leased premises.
Duty Not to Interfere with the Tenant's Right to Quiet Enjoyment
The law implies a covenant of quiet enjoyment in all leases.The landlord may not interfere with the tenant's quiet and peaceful possession, use, and enjoyment of the leased premises. it is Wrongful eviction if landlord actually evicts tenant.
constructive eviction
action by a landlord that compels a tenant to leave the premises (as by rendering the premises unfit for occupancy)
Landlord's Duty to Maintain the Leased Premises
landlord must keep property in compliance with codes( Statutes that impose specific standards to maintain and repair premises Provide minimum standards for heat, light, water)
Tenants duties
the tenant owes the landlord a duty not to use leased premises for illegal or non-stipulated purposes, not to commit waste, not to disturb other tenants and to pay rent.
tenants duty to pay rent
A commercial or residential tenant owes duty to pay the agree-upon amount of rent for the leased premises to the landlord at the agree-upon time and terms.
Common commercial rental arrangements:Gross lease, Net lease,Double net lease
Net, net, net lease (triple net lease), Unlawful detainer action
implied warranty of habitability
a warranty provides that the leased premises must be fit, safe, and suitable for ordinary residential use.
If landlord's breach affect's tenant's use or enjoyment of premises, tenant may:
Withhold amount from rent reflecting this loss of value.
Repair defect and deduct expenses from rent.
Cancel lease if it constitutes a constructive eviction.
Sue for damages for amount leasehold value reduced
premises liability
the liability of landlords and tenants to persons injured on their premises
tenants duty of reasonable care
a tenant owes a duty of reasonable care to persons who enter upon the leased premises. If a tenant's negligence causes injury to a third person, the tenant is liable in tort for any damages.
landlords duty of reasonable care
Landlords owe a duty to tenants and third parties not to negligently cause them injury.
This duty is based on the foreseeability standard of ordinary negligence actions.
Landlord who breaches duty is liable for tort damages.
transfer of rights to leased property
Landlords may sell, gift, devise, or otherwise transfer their interests in the leased property.
If complete title is transferred, the property is subject to the existing lease.
The tenant's right to transfer possession of the leased premises to another depends on the terms of the lease.
assignment of lease
A transfer by a tenant of his or her rights and duties under a lease to another.
The party who transfers the rights is the assignor.
The party to whom rights have been transferred is the assignee.
The assignor remains responsible for his or her obligations under the lease
Occurs when a tenant transfers only some of his or her rights under the lease.
The sublessor transfers those rights to the sublessee.
No legal relationship is formed between the landlord and the sublessee.
concurrent ownership
When two or more persons own a piece of real property.
Also called co-ownership.
forms of co ownership
joint tenancy, tenancy in common, tenancy by the entirety, community property, condominium, cooperative
JOint tenancy
Words must clearly show intent to create.Co-owners have right of survivorship.Deceased partner's property automatically passes to surviving partner.Contrary provisions in will ineffective.
Tenants in common
Interests of deceased partner passes by will, not by survivorship.May encumber, sell, gift, or devise their interest at any time.
tenants by the entirety
cowonership only use by married couple. created by express wording. surviving spouse has right of survivorship.
Neither spouse may sell, gift, devise, or otherwise transfer property without permission of other spouse.
Community Property
Nine states recognize this form of co-ownership.Applies only to married couples. Each spouse owns one-half of assets acquired by income during marriage. Property received by gift or inheritance or held before marriage belong to that partner alone.
Common form of ownership in a multiple dwelling building. Purchasers of a condominium Have title to their individual units.Own the common areas as a tenant in common with the other condominium owners.
Owners may sell or mortgage their units without the permission of the other owners.
Form of co-ownership of a multiple-dwelling building.
A corporation owns the building
The residents own shares in the corporation
future interests
The interest that the grantor retains for himself or a third party. two different types are reversion and remainder.
a right of possession that returns to the grantor after the expiration of a limited or contingent estate.
Implied by law
Do not have to be express
a right of possession that goes to a third party upon the expiration of a limited or contingent estate.
Voluntary Transfers of Real Property
Sale of real estate property, Gift Will or Inhertiance
Sale of Real Estate or Gift
The passing of title from a seller to a buyer for a price.Also called a conveyance. Closing - the finalization of a real estate sales transaction that passes title to the property from the seller to the buyer or donation if it is a gift.
A writing that describes a person's ownership interest in a piece of real property.
Warranty Deed
grantor has title to the real estate with no exceptions other than those listed. contains certain promises called covenants
Covenant of Seisin
gives the assurance that the grantor has the exact estate in the quantity and quality which is being conveyed. "I own and I have the right to sell it."
Covenant of right to convey
gurantee that the grantor of an interest in land, if not the owner, has the right or authority to make the conveyance to a new owner.
Covenant against Encumbrances
grantor warrants there are no emcumbrances (including easements and liens) unless stated in the deed
covenant of quiet enjoyment
in a deed, the guaranteed right of an owner or lessee legally in possession of property to uninterrupted use without interference from any third party claiming superior title.
covenant of further assurances
A promise made by the grantors that they will perform any acts necessary to correct defects in the title being conveyed and any errors or deficiencies in the deed itself
quitclaim deed
NO covenants involved. is simply a transfer of interest
Recording Statutes
Statutes that allow deeds, mortgages, and other real property transactions to be recorded so as to provide notice to future purchasers or creditors of an existing claim on the property.
Marketable title
Title free and clear of objectionable liens or encumbrances; title which is free from reasonable doubts or defects, which can be readily sold or mortgaged.
Tax Sale
A court ordered sale of real property to raise money to cover delinquent taxes.
A transfer of property from one person to another without exchange of money.
legal expression by which a person directs how his or her property is to be distributed after death
If a person dies without a will, his or her property is distributed to the heirs as stipulated in the state's intestate statute.
Involuntary Transfer of Real Possession
adverse possession and condemnation
Adverse Possession
a method of acquiring title to real property by possession for a statutory period under certain conditions, especially a non-permissive use of the land with a claim of right when that use is continuous, exclusive, hostile, open, and notorious
Eminent Domain
the right of the state to take private property for public use. as long as just compensation is provided.
Nonpossessory Interest
In the context of real property, an interest in land that does not include any right to possess the property. easments, liscenses and profits
a given or required right to make limited use of someone elses land without owning or leasing it.
Easement appurtenant
an easement "created for and beneficial to" the owner of adjoining or attached lands (goes with the land)
Easement in gross
does not benefit a piece of land. It is a personal right to enter the land for a specific purpose (gas company, electric, etc.)
Grants a person the right to enter upon another's property for a specified and usually short period of time.A license does not transfer any interest in the property.A license is a personal privilege that may be revoked by the licensor at any time.Express or implied
Grants a person the right to remove something from another's real property.
Profit in Gross
authorizes someone who does not own adjacent land the right to go onto another's property and remove things from it.
Profit Appurtenant
grants the owner of one piece of land the right to go onto another's adjacent land and remove things from it.
Restrictive covenants
voluntary land use control;, A statement written into a property deed that restricts the use of the land in some way; often used to prohibit certain groups of people from buying property
Local laws that are adopted by municipalities and local governments to regulate land use within their boundaries.
Adopted and enforced to protect the health, safety, morals, and general welfare of the community.
Tangible Property
All movable property with physical form
Intangible Property
rights that cannot be reduced to physical form
Ownership Acquired By Possession or Capture
A person can acquire ownership in unowned personal property by taking possession of it or capturing it.
Acquiring Ownership by Purchase or Production
Purchasing the property from its rightful owner.
Producing a finished product from raw materials and supplies.
Acquiring Ownership by Gift
A voluntary transfer of title to property without payment of consideration by the donee.
Three elements necessary to be a valid gift:
1. Donative Intent
2. Delivery
3. Acceptance
Gifts inter vios
are made during a donor's lifetime that are irrevocable present transfers of ownership.
Gifts causa mortis
are made in anticipation of death
Ownership Acquired by Accession
Occurs when the value of personal property increases because it is added to or improved by natural or manufactured means
Ownership Acquired by Confusion
Occurs when fungible goods are commingled.
The owners share title to the commingled goods in proportion to the amount of goods contributed.
Lost Property
Personal property that an owner leaves somewhere because of negligence, carelessness, or inadvertence.
The finder of lost property obtains title to the found property against everyone except the true owner
Mislaid Property
when its owner voluntarily places the property somewhere and then inadvertently forgets it.
The owner of the premises where the personal property is mislaid is entitled to take possession of the property against all except the rightful owner.
Abandoned Property
An owner discards the property with the intent to relinquish his or her rights in it, or
An owner of mislaid property gives up any further attempts to locate it.
Anyone who finds abandoned property acquires title to it.
o Rightful possession of personal property owned
by some party other than the possessor
o Possession as a bailee imposes obligations
Must care for property as would a reasonable
person under the circumstances
Elements necessary to create a Bailment
Personal Property
Delivery of Possession
Bailment Agreement(Express or Implied)
Special Bailments
include common carriers, warehouse companies and inkeepers
Common Carrier
offer transportation services to public.Mutual benefit of both parties. Goods delivered to them by consignor or shipper.Held to duty of strict liability
Warehouse Company
engaged in storing property for compensation.Owes duty of reasonable care.Liable only for loss from their own negligence.
Documents of Title
include a bill of lading and a warehouse Receipt.