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Property Rights: Avoid Landslides and Subsidence

One landowner’s use of her property may involve excavating and altering the earth on the surface or underground. A landowner may want to level her sloped property to make it more useable for certain purposes [more…]

Property Rights: What Constitutes a Trespass

A landowner has the general property right to exclude others from her land. Some say the right to exclude others is what makes something private property. An invasion of the right to exclude is called [more…]

Property Rights: Remedying Trespasses

A landowner has the general property right to exclude others from her land. An invasion of the right to exclude is called a trespass. A landowner or other possessor of the land is entitled to recover actual [more…]

What Is Needed to Make a Deed Effective

Delivering a deed means taking some action intended to make the deed effective presently. What that action is doesn’t really matter, but one obvious action is for the grantor to hand the deed to the grantee [more…]

When A Deed Is Delivered by Escrow

A grantor may effectively deliver a deed in the future by an escrow. An escrow is a deed (or other thing) given to a third party, called an escrow agent [more…]

When a Deed is Delivered by Escrow at Death

Through a death escrow, the grantor may give a deed to an escrow agent to deliver to the grantee on the condition that the grantor dies. A death escrow is effective as long as two things are true: [more…]

The Various Covenants of a Deed

Grantors typically make broad promises about the quality of title — warranties — and then customize those promises by making exceptions for title defects that they anticipate or already know about. All [more…]

Distinguish Present and Future Covenants in a Deed

A deed always conveys title to a grantee; that’s what makes it a deed. But a deed also often includes covenants, or warranties, about the title it conveys. These covenants promise the grantee that if the [more…]

Distinguishing Types of Deeds

A deed may include all, some, or none of the deed covenants. It also may qualify and customize those covenants as the parties agree in their purchase agreement. The purchase agreement may specify exactly [more…]

Remedying Breaches of Title Covenants

Damages are the grantee’s remedy for breach of a deed covenant. The grantee can also specifically enforce the grantor’s covenant to provide further assurances. [more…]

Title Covenant Claims

Future covenants run with the land, meaning they may be enforced against a grantor even by successive grantees, whereas present covenants don’t run with the land. [more…]

Granting Title without Warranties

A deed doesn’t have to make any deed covenants. Some authorities use different labels to distinguish between two types of deeds that make no covenants of title: [more…]

Property Sold by Judicial Order

In certain circumstances, property law allows a court or public officer to effectively transfer one person’s title to another person — without having the former owner sign a deed or take any other action [more…]

Land-Related Covenants

Property owners can customize their rights and reconcile them with other owners by private agreement. One way to do that is by using covenants. In general, a [more…]

Enforcing a Running Covenant at Law

In property law, covenants that are related to the land can run with the land. That means the covenant attaches to the land so that subsequent owners of the benefited land can enforce the covenant against [more…]

Determining Intent for a Covenant to Run with the Land

In property law, a covenant can run with the land only if the original parties who create the covenant intend for it to run with that land. If they don’t intend the benefit or the burden to run with the [more…]

Deciding Whether a Covenant Touches and Concerns the Relevant Land

A covenant can run with land only if it touches and concerns that land. That’s true both for the benefit to run with benefited land and for the burden of the covenant to run with burdened land. Property [more…]

Establishing Vertical Privity

Vertical privity, in property law, generally refers to the relationship between an original party, whether covenantor or covenantee, and the successor to that party, who wants to enforce the covenant or [more…]

Satisfying the Horizontal Privity Requirement

Whereas vertical privity, in property law, refers to the relationship between an original party and a successor, horizontal privity refers only to the relationship between the original parties who created [more…]

Enforcing a Covenant in Equity

A person may enforce a covenant at law or in equity. The only significant difference today is that if someone enforces a covenant in equity, she probably can’t get an award of damages for breach of the [more…]

Enforcing Covenants without Privity

In property law, the benefited party doesn’t have to prove vertical privity or horizontal privity in order to enforce a covenant in equity. That’s the biggest difference in the requirements for enforcing [more…]

Inferring Covenants from a Common Development Plan

Covenants, in property law, generally must satisfy the statute of frauds, meaning there must be signed, written evidence of a covenant in order to enforce it. However, when a developer of land creates [more…]

Implying Reciprocal Covenants by the Common Owner

A deed to a lot in a subdivision may expressly say that the purchased lot is subject to covenants but not say that the rest of the lots are subject to the covenants for the benefit of that buyer. [more…]

Implying Both the Buyer’s Covenant and the Reciprocal Covenant

In property law, the implied covenant theory can imply covenants benefiting and burdening a lot even when the original deed to that lot says nothing about a covenant. [more…]

Implying Intent to Run

For a covenant to run with land, at law or in equity, the original parties must have intended the covenant to run. Not only may a common plan imply the existence of covenants, but it also may imply the [more…]

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