Chapter 1: Real Property and the Law

Sources of Property Law and Rights in the US

*   The US Constitution, particularly:

*   5th Amendment--due process

*   14th Amendment--equal protection

*   Congressional law

*   Administrative law (Federal agencies and commissions)

*   Judicial law

*   State constitutions, legislative and case law

*   Local government charters, ordinances, and case law

Laws Particularly Impacting Real Estate

*   Law of Contracts

*   Law of Agency

*   State and Federal Licensing laws

*   General Property law (subject of this chapter)

Definition of real estate

*   Land and

*   Improvements on and to the land

*   Real property and real estate focus upon rights

Physical Rights in Real Estate

*   Fly-over

*   Air (also solar access rights)

*   Surface

*   Subsurface

*   Riparian

Division of Physical Rights

Lateral Support Obligations

Vertical Support Obligations (coal mines below structures)

Property Interests

*   Real Property--Land and Improvements on and to the Land

*   Personal Property (chattel)

*   Fixtures (Residential)

*   Conversion of Property Types

*   Severance (Real to Personal)

*   Annexation (Personal to Real)

Tests of Residential Fixtures

*   Attachment (Annexation)

*   Adaptation

*   Intent

*   Agreement of Parties

*   Relationship of the Parties

Trade Fixtures (Chattel Fixtures)

Emblements: Crops, Profits

*   Fructus Naturales

*   Fructus Industriales

Mobile Homes

*   Normally personal

*   Real if

*   Sold (or leased) with the land

*   Permanently attached to foundation

*   and, PA Bureau of Motor Vehicles registration is canceled

Bundle of Rights

*   Use

*   Possession

*   Quiet enjoyment

*   Disposition

*   Exclusion

This Bundle May Be Divided Into Other Bundles and Sub-Bundles.

*   Possession: may be constrained by leasing or timesharing

*   Use: may be constrained by conditional estates

*   Enjoyment: may be constrained by adverse possession

*   Disposition: may be constrained by life estates

*   Exclusion: may be constrained by easements or licenses

Rights Are Still Constrained by the Operation of Government Through:

*   Police power such as zoning, health and safety laws, environmental laws -- restricts use -- no compensation

*   Taxation

*   Eminent domain - requires compensation

*   Escheat

Physical Properties of Real Estate

*   Immobility

*   Indestructibility

*   Heterogeneity (non-fungible, uniqueness)

Economic Characteristics

*   Scarcity

*   Situs--the economic manifestation of location

*   Interdependence or modification

*   Improvements

*   Externalities

*   Long life (durability, permanence of investment)

Situs (Location)

*   Linkages

*   Location is a dynamic characteristic, not a static one.

*   Impact of technological change

Linkages to a Property

Situs--Rent Bid Curves