REAL PROPERTY AND
LAND USE REGULATION
What do I really own?
Students find it important to learn how to plan their personal affairs through the law.
The laws of
contracts, property, and torts play significant roles in business and vital roles in how one arranges his or
her personal affairs.
Personal property is one such key area.
The study of personal property revolves around being able to answer three key questions:
How is this property classified?
How is this property acquired or transferred?
What are the legal consequences of the answers to questions 1 and 2?
All personal property falls into one classification or another.
The type of classification used will
determine how property will be treated in the eyes of the law.
For example, consider the basic distinction
between real and personal property.
Sales of real property transactions generally come under the purview
of the common law of contracts.
Sales of goods, however, are generally covered by the UCC.
If you are
selling trees on the land, that property is classified as real, and the common law of contract controls.
the trees have been cut and are being sold to a mill, the UCC will now call the shots.
If that lumber
becomes part of a house, the common law of contracts again controls because the house is treated as real
In addition to classification, the acquisition and transfer of rights and duties to property are of key
personal and business importance.
Most property is transferred by way of contract with some sort of
reciprocal exchange of consideration.
You work, get paid, and that money is exchanged for property.
You may be lucky, however, and find it,
inherit it, or just have it given to you.
In all these events, the
acquisition or transfer must be made in compliance with the elements required by law.
Once you have
acquired the property, what are the rights and duties that arise out of that ownership?
What if you found
What if others have claims against it?
These issues are of key importance in both business and private
This chapter is in part, designed to introduce students to the law of real property from two key
first, ownership and the rights and duties that arise out of the ownership of real property,
and second, use of real property and the respective rights and duties that can arise out of that use.
Real property represents the largest single outlay most people make in the course of their earning
Even if they choose to rent, the price of keeping a roof over one's head will still probably be their
Real estate is not only necessary as a matter of physical survival, it is critically
important to our economic system because of this large dollar outlay.
One of the most basic terms used in
the law of real estate is "fee simple absolute."
It connotes the highest form of recognized ownership in
The term is originally derived from the words
meaning a fee
held by tenure of a knight's service to the lord of the manor.
It is infinite, with no limitation on