Real Estate Law

It is a legal term in some jurisdictions, such as the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, United States of America, Dubai, Trinidad and Tobago and The Bahamas. "Real Estate Law" is the body of regulations and legal codes which pertain to such matters under a particular jurisdiction and include things such as commercial and residential property ownership, development and transactions. Real estate is often considered synonymous with real property (sometimes called realty), in contrast with personal property (sometimes called chattels or personality under chattel law or personal property law). The terms real estate and real property are used primarily in common law, while civil law jurisdictions refer instead to immovable property. However, in some situations the term "real estate" refers to the land and fixtures thereon together, as distinguished from "real property", referring to the ownership of land and its appurtenances, including anything of a permanent nature such as structures, trees, minerals, and the interest, benefits, and inherent rights thereof. Real property is typically considered to be immovable property



A giving up, a total desertion, an absolute relinquishment


The leaving behind of property;

An indifference as to the fate of a chattel

Abstract of Title

A statement of the conveyances and charges appearing of record and affecting the title to real property

Adverse Possession

The possession of land, without legal title, for a period of time sufficient to become recognized as legal owner

Ancient Lights

An opening through which light has flowed uninterrupted for twenty years and which can, in some circumstances, support a claim for nuisance if blocked


The informed and objective inspection and estimation of a thing's worth


An improvement put upon a property which enhances its value more than mere replacement, maintenance, or repairs

Boarding House

Residential premises where both shelter and food are provided

Call for Tenders

A property owner's invitation, sometimes at large, sometimes to a select group, for bids to complete a particular project

Calvo Clause

Mexican real estate law that requires that any action challenging the title of real property situated in Mexico must be litigated in Mexico and exclusively governed by Mexican law


Let him beware

A formal warning

Certificate of Pending Litigation

A registration or/of a notice or warning that litigation is ongoing as to ownership of a particular piece of land or other real property

Common Area

Those areas of multi-owner real property which are for the exclusive use of all individual owners

Concurrent Estates

Property owned by two or more persons at the same time.


A unit or defined portion of ownership in real property, similar to an apartment

Constructive Eviction

An implied eviction where the landlord's act or omission justifies the immediate departure of the tenant


An agreement between persons which obliges each party to do or not to do a certain thing

Contract Law

That body of law which regulates the formation and enforcement of contracts.


A generic legal term that refers to various forms of ownership over one asset by more than one person


A written document in which signatories either commit themselves to do a certain thing, to not do a certain thing or in which they agree on a certain set of facts

Dance Hall

A public hall devoted to dancing and for which admission is not based on personal selection or invitation


A written and signed document which sets out the things that have to be done or recognitions of the parties towards a certain object

Defence of Habitation

The right to use lethal force to prevent a felony committed within a person's home


The right of a landlord to seize the property of a tenant which is in the premises being rented, as collateral against a tenant that has not paid the rent or has otherwise defaulted on the lease, such as wanton disrepair or destruction of the premises


A common law remedy available to landlords to hold the tenant's belongings while the tenant is behind on rent but continues to occupy the premises

Domestic Animal

A pet; dogs, cats or other tame animals or birds and which serve some purpose for its owner or others

Dominant Tenement

Used when referring to easements to specify that property (i.e. tenement) or piece of land that benefits from, or has the advantage of, an easement

Dominion Utile

Latin: the property rights of a tenant; exclusive right to use a thing

Dominium Directum

Latin: qualified ownership of a land: not having possession or use of property but retaining ownership


A house which has separate but complete facilities to accommodate two families as either adjacent units or one on top of the other

Eminent Domain

The legal power to expropriate private land for the sake of public necessity


Civil law: a long-term lease of land or buildings; 99 years or such similar long term, or even in perpetuity


Limited rights granted to a tenant of land to certain product of the land, mostly wood


Some permanent act by landlord, or by person or thing under his control, which deprives a tenant of enjoyment of the rented premises


The forced purchase of land by a public authority from a private owner


The termination of legal rights

Fair Market Value

The hypothetical most probable price that could be obtained for a property by average, informed purchasers

Flood Waters

Waters which escape from a watercourse in great volume and flow over adjoining lands in no regular channel


A form of limited land ownership in England pre-Conquest (1066) which vested to all sons equally


A person who pledges payment or performance of a contract of another, but separately, as part of an independently contract with the obligee of the original contract


A right in ancient common law of a land lord, upon the death of his tenant, to pick any beast belonging to the estate of the deceased tenant


Scot law: real property


A charge on property upon which an unpaid creditor may enforce payment of the debt


Land and fixtures thereto, civil law term

Incorporeal Hereditament

An intangible right which is attached to property and which is inheritable

Joint Tenancy

When two or more persons are equally owners of some property

Jus Spatiandi Et Manendi

The right to stray and remain


A land or building owner who has leased the land, the building or a part of the land or building, to another person


A special kind of contract between a property owner and a person wanting temporary enjoyment and exclusive use of the property, in exchange for rent paid to the property owner


Real property held under a lease


The tenant, the person to whom is granted exclusive possession of a thing under the terms of a lease


The landlord; a person who grants a lease, usually the owner of the thing being leased

Lex Situs

A conflict of law rule that selects the applicable law based on the venue or location of something


A special permission to do something on, or with, somebody else’s property which, were it not for the license, could be legally prevented or give rise to legal action in tort or trespass

Lis Pendens

A dispute or matter which is the subject of ongoing or pending litigation


The absorption of one corporation by another


An interest given on a piece of land, in writing, to guarantee the payment of a debt or the execution of some action


The person who borrows money secured by conceding a mortgage against his interest in real property


Civil law: things not attached to land and which may be carried from place to place

Occupiers' Liability

Liability of a person who controls land or building(s) in regards to damages caused to others who enter thereon.


An area of land set aside for passive common use, where certain types of activities are restricted, to permit individuals to escape the intensity of urban life.

Party Wall

A partition wall; a dividing wall which separates two adjoining real properties

Personal Property

Chattels, goods, property other than real property


Personal property


A subdivision map prepared for approval by a governmental authority

Premises Liability

The liability of an occupier of real property towards injury to others

Profit à Prendre

A servitude which resembles an easement and which allows the holder to enter the land of another and to take some natural produce such as mineral deposits, fish or game, timber, crops or pasture


A comprehensive collection of legal rights over a thing

Quick Take

A formal process of the exercise of eminent domain in which the government takes possession before the adjudication of compensation

Quicquid Plantatur Solo, Solo Cedit

Latin: whatever is planted in the ground, belongs to the ground

Quiet Enjoyment

A landlord's obligation to provide the tenant with reasonable privacy and freedom from any interference with the tenant's exclusive use and enjoyment of the rented premises

Real Estate

Same as real property; land and rights attached to land

Real Obligation

A legal obligation associated with real property

Real Property

A property interest in land


Latin: that part of a lease which sets out the amount of rent and when it is payable.


Money or other consideration paid by a tenant to a landlord in exchange for the exclusive use and enjoyment of land, a building or a part of a building.


A legal action taken to reclaim goods which have been detrained

Residential Tenancy

The lease of residential premises for residential purposes

Restrictive Covenant

A contract in which a party agrees to be restricted in some regards as to future conduct.

Reversionary Interest

Any interest, vested or contingent, the enjoyment of which is postponed

Rooming House

Rented residential premises where an individual shares a kitchen and bathroom with others

Security Deposit

Money paid to another to be held as security for the occurrence of a specified event


The legal possession of property

Semayne's Case

A 1604 English case that established the right of a home-owner to defend his premises against intrusion ("every man's house is his castle") yields to those seeking to enter with lawful authority such as to make an arrest

Servient Tenement

The land which suffers or has the burden of an easement


From Roman law and now a feature of civil law; equivalent to their common law's easement: access rights over the property of another.

Slander of Title

Intentionally casting aspersion on someone’s property including real property, a business or goods (the latter might also be called slander of goods)

Spite Fence

A fence built not to any beneficial purpose but, rather, to annoy a neighbor

Statute of Frauds

A statute that set a minimum standard for enforceable contracts, usually requiring at a minimum something in writing or the actual exchange of reciprocal obligations, at least in part

Straight Condemnation

A formal process for the exercise of eminent domain in which a price is adjudicated and then the property bought by the government


A watercourse having banks and channel through which waters flow, at least periodically.

Sub file Order

A declaration of rights as regards waterways for the interim regulation of those rights pending a final determination of those rights either by contract or judicially


The process whereby, under the feudal system of tenure, a person receiving a grant of land from a lord, could himself become a landlord by subdividing and subletting that land to others


The subsequent lease of property that is itself leased; with the primary tenant retaining an interest in the original lease

Surface Waters

Waters falling on the land by precipitation or rising from springs


A contract by which the owner of real property (the landlord), grants exclusive possession of that real property to another person (tenant), in exchange for the tenant's periodic payment of some sum of money (rent)

Tenancy By The Entireties

A form of common law co-ownership where, when real property was transferred to a husband and a wife, the property could not be seized or sold unless both spouses agreed or by ending the marriage


A person to whom a landlord grants temporary and exclusive use of land or a part of a building, usually in exchange for rent

Tenants In Common

Share a specified proportion of ownership rights in real property and upon the death of a tenant in common, that share is transferred to the estate of the deceased tenant


Property that could be subject to easements


To be held

In law, that part of a contract in which an interest in real property is created that sets out the extent or limitations of that interest

Time of the Essence

A contractual term requiring performance within a specified time


Delivery from one person to another of property


A person who receives property being transferred


The person from whom title or ownership to property moves


Unlawful interference with another’s person, property or rights

Trinoda Necessitas

Latin: three necessities owed all common law landowners to the kingdom


The rights to the product of another's property


A stream usually flowing in a particular direction, in a definite channel, having a bed or banks, though it need not flow continually

Words of Limitation

Words in a conveyance or in a will which set the duration of an estate




Mediation can be a timely process given...

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Kenetic Legal Dictionary Now Available Online

Kenetic Legal Dictionary Now Available Online

The legal dictionary is now available...

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