5 Things You May Not Know About Property Law

“What’s mine is mine,” as the saying goes. From childhood onward, we all have had experiences of owning things. Some things we sell, and some we trade or give away. As we grow older, we own more things on a much larger scale, such as automobiles and real estate. As we know, the law has some ground rules when it comes to this large-scale ownership. Do you know the difference between freehold and non-freehold property? Here are some things you may not have known about property law:

Real estate is governed on a state level – What state are you from? Every state in the USA holds exclusive jurisdiction over every plot of land within state lines. This is because, during the formulation of these laws, different states offered different crops. Propositions in the laws served to guarantee a clear-cut understanding of how crops should be cultivated and shared. Today, the states do not hold these same concerns, but still control how land is owned within their borders.

Do you live on specialty estates? – If a freehold estate is property you own for an indefinite period of time, and non-freehold estate is property you rent according to a contract, what exactly is specialty estate? You may have never heard the term, but specialty estates are just property holding in condominiums! Condos were first introduced in the United States during the early 1960s, and have since become a very popular, residential choice. The law declares that condominium ownership functions on a cooperative basis, meaning that each tenant pays a fixed price to own their share of the multiunit property.

We all have incorporeal interests – What are your incorporeal interests? Everybody has them: they are property on your real estate that are not physically owned. This can include easements, which are the rights to use property for whatever purpose you wish (like planting greenery or building a garage), agreements with additional property owners, and licenses you have acquired.

How does eminent domain work? – Comfortable with your privately owned land? Do not get too comfortable. With the power of eminent domain, the government reserves the right to take privately owned land. Under the Fifth Amendment of the Constitution, private property can be acquired for public use, as long as fair compensation as involved. Local governments, as well as individuals from the government, can exercise this right if they feel the need to due to public concerns, like health or safety.

What about zoning? – The government is also allowed to decide how your real estate is used. So what is zoning? Zoning is the most popular form of land control, sometimes dividing real estate based on the type of land and nearby structures. Real estate owners can petition their local government to allow them to build or remodel parts of their property. The government gets the final call.

Yes, what’s yours is yours. Just be sure to remember that since the signing of the Declaration of Independence, what’s yours is the government’s too! Before you purchase real estate of your own, be sure to check the facts about property law, so you are best prepared for that high-scale ownership.

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