Abstract of title A concise statement of the substance of documents or facts appearing on the public land records that affect the title to a particular tract.
Abstractor's certificate A summary by the abstractors of what was and was not examined in the title review.
Acceleration clause Provision in note, mortgage, or deed of trust that provides for the acceleration of the due date of the loan; generally results in the full amount of the loan being due upon default such as nonpayment.
Acceptance Action of offeree in agreeing to terms of an offer that results in a binding contract.
Accounting In probate, process of providing a report on the collection and distribution of the estate; in partnerships, an equitable proceeding in which the use and distribution of partnership funds are examined to determine whether each partner has received his or her appropriate share.
Accredited investor Under federal securities law, an investor who meets certain financial standards and can qualify for purchases of certain types of securities exempt from registration.
Acid rain An environmental hazard that results from sulfur dioxide pollution from factories and coal-fired utility plants; the pollution is carried long distances and appears in rain and snow in areas far removed from the pollution sources.
Acknowledgment Notary signature and seal; appears on deeds and some contracts as well as on wills.
Acquisition indebtedness For tax purposes, determination of qualified residential interest; the amount of debt entered into for purchase of a primary or secondary residence.
Act Statute enacted by a legislative body.
Action for dispossession Court proceeding by landlord to have tenant removed from property; generally brought for nonpayment of rent or destruction of landlord's premises.
Active income For income tax purposes, income earned as wages or other forms of compensation for work/services performed.
Ad valorem tax Tax based on value that increases as value increases. Property taxes are ad valorem taxes.
Ademption In testate distribution, the failure of a gift if the property is no longer owned by the testator at the time of death.
Adjustable rate mortgage (ARM) A type of mortgage with a rate that changes according to some interest-rate index.
Administrator Male party responsible for the probate of an intestate estate.
Administratrix Female party responsible for the probate of an intestate estate.
Advancement Common law doctrine that subtracts amounts of inter vivos gifts from an heir's share of decedent's estate (still followed in some states).
Adverse possession Method of acquiring title to land by openly taking possession of and using another's property for a certain period of time.
Advertisement Under Regulation Z, public disclosure of credit terms.
Aesthetic zoning Zoning that regulates the appearance of property and exists for beautification purposes or architectural uniformity.
Affirmative easement An easement that involves the use of another's property; e.g., a right of access.
After-acquired property clause Mortgage, note, or security interest provision that provides that the security for the loan includes the existing property and any property added after the note; mortgage security interest is attached to newly acquired property.
Agent One who acts on another's behalf. In real estate, the agent is the party who works to bring the buyers and sellers of real estate together in exchange for payment (generally a commission).
Air lot That portion of the airspace from 23 feet above the earth's surface to the heavens.
Air Pollution Control Act The original federal act relating to air pollution; provided for studies but did little to control air pollution (1955).
Air Quality Act 1967 federal act that provided HEW with the authority to oversee state air pollution control plans and implementation.
Air rights Property ownership rights in the air above the surface.
All-adult covenant Deed restriction that limits residency in a particular area to certain ages andprohibits residency of children less than a certain age.
Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) 1990 federal law prohibiting discrimination on the basis of disability and requiring reasonable accommodation by employers and landowners.
Anaconda mortgage Mortgage covering all debt owed by the mortgagor to the mortgagee.
Anchor tenant The tenant in a shopping center that has the largest store and will draw the greatest amount of traffic; e.g., grocery store in a plaza or a major department store in a mall.
Annexation Taking in an area of land as part of agovernmental unit (city, town, or county). Many subdivisions are annexed before they are developed.
Antenuptial agreements Premarital contracts in which the spouses-to-be waive their interests in each other's properties that will be accumulated during the course of the marriage.
Architect Participant in the construction process; may oversee quality of subcontractors' work and issue lien waivers.
Article 9 Section of the Uniform Commercial Code that governs the taking of security interests in personal property and fixtures.
Articles of incorporation Document used to create a corporation.
Articles of limited partnership The limited partnership agreement.
Articles of partnership Document used to create a partnership.
As is Clause in contract that waives any warranty protection.
Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response Act (AHERA) Federal law that mandates inspection of facilities receiving federal funds to determine presence of asbestos and asbestos fibers.
Assessment Process whereby a tax amount is assigned to a parcel of real estate on the basis of the value of the parcel.
Assessor Public official responsible for the valuation and assessment of real property and the subsequent collection of taxes.
Asset Conservation, Lender Liability and Deposit Insurance Protection Act Federal law that clarifies the liability of lenders on real property pledged as security for a loan.
Assignment Process of transferring contract rights to another; e.g., assignment of a mortgage or lease.
Assumption Process whereby a buyer of real property agrees to assume responsibility for payments on an existing mortgage on the property.
At-risk rules Under the Internal Revenue Code, a restriction on taking losses that requires those taking the loss to have funds at the risk of the operation of the business.
Attached home A form of multiunit housing; it generally has common walls with other homes.
Balloon payment Provision in a mortgage or mortgage note that calls for the payment of a large lump sum at the end of the mortgage period.
Balloon payment clause Clause in mortgage that requires a large payment at one time to satisfy the debt obligation.
Baselines In the United States Government Survey, the major east-sw legal guide lines.
Basis Property owner's cost of property; used for computing gain or loss on the sale of property.
Bequest A gift of personal property by will.
Best available treatment (BAT) The highest standard the EPA can impose for the control of water pollution.
Best conventional treatment (BCT) A standard for water pollution control that requires a firm to follow the best commonly used treatment methods; a standard that is lower than best available treatment.
Bid bond Guarantor of bid submitted on construction project that guarantees bidder will do work at price bid.
Bid notice Call for bids on a project by a contractor.
Blind pool partnership A partnership in which the general partner is selling units in the partnership to raise money, but no specific real estate is as yet involved.
Blockbusting Illegal racial discrimination practice wherein real estate brokers attempt (by encouraging listings and sales in a neighborhood) to change the racial composition of a neighborhood.
Board of adjustment Governmental entity (usually at city or county level) that is responsible for approving variances and adjustments.
Bona fide purchaser (BFP) Good faith purchaser.
Bounds See Metes and bounds.
Broker Party who is licensed to handle property listings.
Brundage clause Provision in a mortgage that calls for the mortgagor to pay all taxes on the property.
Bubble concept EPA concept of examining all air pollutants in an area as if they came from a single source; this concept is used in making a decision regarding the possibility of a new plant in the area.
Builder See General contractor.
Business judgement rule Standard for imposing liability on directors of corporation; they must give time and thought to decisions.
Bylaws In multiunit housing, the document governing the details of operation; voting rights of members, meetings, notices, etc.
Capital gains The amount of a net gain made on the sale of property; carries a special lower tax rate.
Caption The legal description in an abstract.
Case precedent Doctrine of stare decisis; examining prior decisions to reach decisions in present cases.
Cash-to-mortgage sale Sale of real property in which the buyer pays the difference between the sales price and the mortgage balance and then takes over the mortgage (assumption).
Centerline rule Rule that provides landowners adjoining streams and rivers ownership of the land beneath these waters to the centerline of the river or stream.
Change order In construction contracts, a change in work, design, or materials.
Citation Legal shorthand referring to cases, statutes, regulations, and ordinances.
Cite See Citation.
Clean Air Act One of the original air pollution statutes that gave HEW authority to monitor interstate pollution problems.
Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990 First major revisions to Clean Air Act with coverage of acid rain and vehicle emissions and provision of new deadlines for SIPs.
Clean Water Act Major federal statute on water pollution that gave the federal government authority and control.
Cleaning deposit The amount set forth in a lease that a tenant is required to pay prior to commencement of the lease to cover the cleaning of the premises when the tenant has gone; under URLTA, the lease must state if it is nonrefundable.
Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Compilation of regulations of federal agencies.
Codicil An addendum to a will.
Column lots Portion of air rights from the surface of the Earth to 23 feet above the surface.
Commercial mortgage Mortgage on non-residential property.
Common area maintenance (CAM) Fee charged to tenant in commercial leases to pay costs of maintenance of sidewalks in shopping and other commercial centers; fee is often a pro rata share of expenses based on that paid in other commercial projects.
Common law Uncodified law found in cases or in the history of real property.
Community property Method of married persons' co-ownership of property; limited to certain states.
Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) Federal law establishing record-keeping requirements for lenders' investments in inner-city area.
Community-Right-to-Know substance Federal disclosure law requiring notification of presence of toxic substance on property, including items such as asbestos.
Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA) The Superfund; program for private payment by polluting industries for cleanup of toxic waste.
Condition precedent In a contract, a requirement before the contract can be performed; e.g., delivering marketable title or qualifying for financing.
Condominium Form of multiunit housing in which the owner owns the area between the walls and ceiling.
Consent statutes Statutes that permit the attachment of a lien if the property owner consented to the work done by the lienor even though there was no direct contract with the owner.
Conservation easement A negative easement given by a property owner that provides that the property will not be used in such a way as to destroy a historic site on the property.
Consideration The detriment given by each party to the contract; e.g., the land by the seller and the money by the buyer.
Construction lender Party serving as financier for a project during construction.
Constructive delivery Delivery other than direct delivery to the person; delivering by precluding access by all others.
Constructive eviction Process whereby a tenant is forced to leave leased premises because the premises are in a state of disrepair and uninhabitable.
Consumer Price Index (CPI) adjustment clause Clause that allows for rent increases when the CPI changes.
Contingent remainder Future interest that follows a life estate and that is not certain to follow or has unknown takers.
Contract for deed Another name for an installment contract; financing transaction in which seller carries the buyer and holds onto title until the buyer has paid in full.
Contract statutes With references to liens, statutes that require lienors to have a direct contractual agreement with property owners to be able to place lien on property on which work was performed.
Contractual lien Liens that arise because of a contractual agreement between the lienor and the owner of the liened property.
Conventional mortgage Mortgage not insured by a government agency.
Conventional pollutant One of the categories of water pollutants of the EPA; subject to the least amount of restriction and regulation.
Conversion restrictions Laws that regulate the conversion of leased premises into multiunit houses to afford protection for the existing tenants.
Cooperative Form of multiunit housing in which a corporation owns the property and owners of the shares in the corporation live in each of the units.
Co-ownership Label given to ownership of property by more than one person.
Cost approach Tax appraisal method that bases value of the property on its original cost plus costs of improvement.
Cost-plus formula In construction, a method of pricing in which the contractor charges all costs plus a profit margin.
Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) Established in 1966 by the National Environment Protection Act as part of the executive branch of government and given the responsibility of formulating national policies on the quality of the environment and making recommendations to lawmakers based on its policies.
Counteroffer Offer made in response to offeror by the offeree; can occur by a change in the offeror's terms.
Covenant Promise in a deed that affects or limits the use of the conveyed property.
Cumulative classification Zoning system that permits higher uses in lower-use areas; e.g., residential uses in commercially zoned areas.
Curtesy rights Right of husband to a life estate in all real property owned by his wife during their marriage provided they had children.
Declaration of condominium Master deed for condominium project; the document recorded to reflect the units involved on the real property. See also Declaration of horizontal property regime and covenants.
Declaration of covenants, conditions, and restrictions (CCRs) The restrictions and limitations on the use and construction of land.
Declaration of horizontal property regime and covenants Another name for the declaration of condominium; multiunit housing is often referred to as horizontal housing regimes; the master deed recorded to reflect the existence of the multiunit housing and the location and number of units on the property.
Deed Instrument used to convey title to real property.
Deed in lieu of foreclosure Process of borrower/property owner/mortgagor surrendering title to property to prevent lender's foreclosure.
Deed of bargain and sale A deed with warranty protection limited to the time of the grantor's ownership.
Deed of trust Security interest in real property in which title is held by a trustee until the borrower and occupant of the land repays the beneficiary (lender) the amount of the loan.
Deed restrictions Provisions usually recorded for subdivisions; the CCRs; restrictions of the use, development, and construction of the premises.
Default Failure to comply with mortgage or promissory note requirements; generally a failure to pay or obtain insurance.
Deficiency judgment Judgment against the mortgagor or borrower after foreclosure sale, requiring payment of the amount due on the loan that was not obtained through sale of the mortgaged property.
Delivery Requirement for gifts and transfers of property by deed that mandates some form of actual or constructive possession by the grantee.
Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Federal agency responsible for regulation of interstate land sales and other federal acts affecting real property.
Depreciation Wear and tear on property; can be deducted each year and used to offset income earned on income-producing property; greatly limited under Tax Reform Act.
Designated agency Agency relationship in which seller names agent to act on his/her behalf in closing transaction.
Devise Gift of real property by will.
Devisee Recipient of real property gift by will.
Disinheritance Process of leaving an heir out of a will; not giving anything to someone who would ordinarily receive a share of the estate if there were an intestate distribution.
Doctrine of Ancient Lights Theory that originated in England that provides right to light if so used for 20 years or more; this prescriptive form of rights is no longer followed in the United States.
Doctrine of Correlative Rights Term in oil and gas law that limits recovery of oil and gas in situations where others' rights or deposits would be destroyed.
Doctrine of Emblements In landlord/tenant relationship, the right of the tenant to remove crops from the leased premises even after the lease expires if the tenant is responsible for their production.
Doctrine of Worthier Title Theory that gives a grantee the full fee simple title when the grant is made "to grantee with remainder to the heirs of the grantee"; the two estates are merged into a fee simple estate for the grantee.
Dominant estate A property owner who holds an appurtenant easement in another's property; the land enjoying the benefit of an easement through another's property.
Dominant tenement See Dominant estate.
Donee Recipient of a gift.
Donor One who makes a gift.
Dower rights Rights of widow in husband's estate; not applicable in all states.
Dual agency Agency relationship in which broker represents both the buyer and the seller.
Due-on-sale clause Clause in mortgage or mortgage note that requires full payment of the loan when the property is sold; in effect, a prohibition on assumptions.
Earnest money Deposit given by buyer on signing a contract for the purchase of property.
Easement Right to use another's property for access, light, and so on.
Easement appurtenant Easement that benefits a particular tract of land; generally an access easement or right of way.
Easement by express grant Easement given in a deed by the original landowner to provide a means of access for the purchaser of one part of the land.
Easement by express reservation Easement reserved in a deed by the original landowner to provide a means of access across a purchaser's land.
Easement by implication Easement that arises based on need because of previous use of the property in the same manner when the property was owned in a single tract.
Easement by necessity Easement given by circumstances that require it; the property is inaccessible or unusable without it.
Easement in gross An easement that does not benefit a particular tract of land; e.g., utility easements that run through all parcels of land in an area.
Effluent guidelines EPA standards for release of materials into waterways.
Emblements With regard to leases, the right of the tenant to harvest growing crops even after the lease has terminated if the tenant was responsible for growing the crops.
Eminent domain Process of governmental entity taking title to private property for public purposes.
Emissions Offset Policy EPA policy of requiring a reduction of other pollution sources in the area to allow the operation of a new plant and source of emissions.
Endangered Species Act (ESA) Federal law that affords protection for habitats of species designated as endangered; requires biological evaluation of impact of development and projects on species population.
Environmental contingency clause Provision in contract that provides buyer with the right to rescind the contract if environmental hazards that cannot be cleared arise during the course of a due diligence search.
Environmental impact statement (EIS) Report required to be filed when a governmental agency is taking action that will have an effect on the environment; e.g., construction of a dam by the Army Corps of Engineers.
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Governmental agency responsible for the enforcement of environmental laws.
Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA) Federal law prohibiting discrimination in credit decisions.
Equal Protection clause Part of the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments to the Constitution; requires that laws apply equally to all.
Equitable liens Liens created as a result of a mortgage arrangement; also referred to as contractual liens.
Equitable relief Court remedies that require parties to perform certain acts or specifically perform a contract.
Equitable servitude Restriction on land use arising because an area has a common scheme or development that puts buyers on notice that particular uses and construction are required or prohibited.
Equity participation financing Creative financing technique in which the lender will share in the appreciation of the property and will be entitled to a portion of the equity on sale of the mortgaged property.
Equity trust Method of syndication in which investors have an interest in the equity in real estate and will earn an investment through equity appreciation.
Errors and omissions insurance Professional liability insurance for brokers and agents.
Escalation clause Clause generally in a lease, providing for increasing rent.
Escheat Process whereby property of a decedent is given to the state because no heirs are available.
Escrow Process whereby details of property transfer, payments, and deed conveyance are handled by a third party.
Escrow instructions Contract between buyer, seller, and escrow agent for the closing of escrow on a property transfer.
Exclusionary zoning Zoning that prohibits certain types of businesses, activities, or housing in certain areas.
Exclusive agency listing Listing agreement that requires the seller to pay the commission to the broker only if the listing broker sells the property; the seller may sell the property independently and not be required to pay a commission.
Exclusive right (or listing) to sell Listing that requires the seller to pay the broker-agent a commission regardless of who obtains a buyer for the property.
Executor Male party responsible for the probate of a decedent's estate pursuant to the decedent's will.
Executory interest Future interest that is not a remainder and not an interest in the grantor.
Executrix Female party responsible for the probate of a decedent's estate pursuant to the decedent's will.
Federal Consumer Credit Protection Act Federal law requiring disclosures, billing practices, and rights in consumer credit transactions.
Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) Federal agency that regulates savings and loan institutions.
Federal Environmental Pesticide Control Act Federal law regulating the manufacture, containment, labeling, transportation, and use of pesticides.
Federal Home Loan Bank Board (FHLBB) Federal agency that regulates VA/FHA loans and lending practices.
Federal implementation plan (FIP) Part of the 1990 amendments to the Clean Air Act that requires the imposition of federal standards in the event states fail to meet deadlines and requirements for their SIPs.
Federal National Mortgage Association (FNMA) or Fannie Mae Government corporation that purchases mortgages on the market.
Federal Water Pollution Control Act of 1972 Federal law that was the first anti-water pollution law with enforcement and details.
Federal Water Pollution Control Administration (FWPCA) Originally the agency responsible for developing and enforcing water pollution control; merged into EPA in 1975.
Fee An inheritable interest in land.
Fee interest In oil and gas ownership, owner owns both the surface and subsurface rights.
Fee simple Highest land interest; full title; right to convey or transfer by will or mortgage without restriction.
Fee simple absolute Another term for a fee simple.
Fee simple defeasible A fee simple estate that can be lost by violation of a condition or use restriction placed in the transfer by the grantor.
Fee simple determinable Full title to land so long as certain conduct is avoided; e.g., "To A so long as the premises are never used for a bar."
Fee simple subject to a condition subsequent Full title provided that there is compliance with a condition; e.g., "To A upon the condition that the property is used for school purposes."
Fee tail Full title restricted in its passage to direct descendants of the owner.
Fifth Amendment Provision in United States Constitution that provides guarantee of due process.
Financial Institutions Reform Recovery and Enforcement Act (FIRREA) Federal law that followed the savings and loan debacle; implements controls on bank lending practices on real estate, including appraisals.
Financing statement Document filed to protect a security interest; must contain information about the parties and a description of the collateral.
Fixed rent In shopping center and commercial leases, rental standard of paying net rent (after utility costs or other fees specific in lease).
Fixtures Personal property that becomes attached to and is so closely associated with real property that it becomes a part of the real property.
Flow-down clause Clause in a construction contract that does not require the general contractor to pay subcontractors and suppliers until the owner has paid the general contractor.
Forcible detainer Action by landlord for rent; requires tenant to pay or be evicted by court order.
Foreclosure Process of selling mortgaged property to satisfy the debt owed by the defaulting mortgagor.
Foreclosure by advertisement (notice of sale) Creditor's remedy of sale by providing public notice; used in deeds of trust.
Forfeiture Loss of rights; in a contract for deed, the loss of all interest in the property for nonpayment.
Fourteenth Amendment Application of due process rights to the states (including the Equal Protection Clause), which requires uniform application of laws and nondiscrimination; applied in cases in which land conveyances attempt to include racial restrictions.
Fructus industriales Vegetation that grows on property as result of work of owner or tenant; i.e., crops.
Fructus naturales Vegetation that grows naturally on property; not the result of efforts of the owner or tenant.
FWPCA See Federal Water Pollution Control Administration (FWPCA).
Garden homes Form of multiunit housing; usually a townhome that includes a small enclosed yard or patio.
General contractor In a construction project, the party responsible for the construction; can hire subcontractors and suppliers but bears ultimate responsibility; has direct contractual relationship with owner, construction lender, or both.
General partner Investor with full personal liability for partnership debt.
General partnership Voluntary association of two or more persons as co-owners in a business for profit.
General plan Development plan and zoning areas as developed by city or county; provides zoning designations for all areas within the municipality or county.
Geothermal energy Form of energy that is the result of naturally formed pockets of hot steam; can be a mineral right.
Good-faith purchaser Buyer who buys property with no knowledge (constructive or actual) of any title defects, liens, or other problems other than those specifically disclosed by the seller; also called bfp or bona fide purchaser.
Government National Mortgage Association (GNMA) or Ginnie Mae Government agency that insures loans sold on the market.
Grantor/grantee index system Method of record-keeping for land transactions; all transactions are recorded under the name of both the grantor and grantee to permit title to be traced according to the transfers among parties.
Grid The 24-mile square created between each guide meridian and parallel in the United States Government survey.
Gross rent Flat rent in commercial lease; no percentage of profits.
Guaranteed Mortgage Package (GMP) Proposed HUD reforms to RESPA disclosures that would require upfront commitment on closing costs and loan rents; whether the proposals are pro-consumer or detrimental in terms of increased costs is debatable.
Guarantors Parties who agree to stand liable if a debtor defaults.
Guide meridians Vertical lines placed every 24 miles on the United States Government Survey; intersect with parallels to create 24-miles squares used for describing land parcels.
Habendum clause Clause in deed indicating the type of land interest being conveyed; in mineral lease, a clause that establishes the length of the lease,the grounds for termination, and drilling delay penalties.
Hazardous Substance Response Trust Fund Fund created under federal environmental laws; known as the Superfund for use in cleanup of toxic waste.
Hold zoning Interim zoning adopted prior to the time of the finalized general plan.
Holographic will Will entirely in the handwriting of the testator and signed by the testator (valid in some states).
Home equity indebtedness Consumer debt secured by residence of debtor; includes mortgage, other loans, and lines of credit.
Home Mortgage Disclosure Act Federal law mandating disclosure on consumer loans for second mortgages on residential property.
Homestead exemption Debtor protection that entitles the debtor to a certain amount in real property that is exempt from attachment by creditors.
Horizontal property acts or regimes Multiunit housing such as condominiums, cooperatives, and townhouses .
Impact fees Fees paid by developers for schoolsand other public facilities needed because of additional population developer brings in with project.
Implied warranty of habitability One-year implied warranty given by contractors of new homes to buyers; between landlord and tenant, the landlord's guaranty that the premises are fit for habitation and, if not, will be put into that condition.
Incentives for Self-Policing, Disclosure, Correction, and Prevention of Violations EPA guidelines for company's voluntary audit for and disclosure of environmental violations.
Income approach Tax appraisal method that bases value of the property on the income generated by the property.
Installment land contract A contract for deed; method of selling property in which the seller serves as the financier for the buyer and the purchase; seller holds onto title until there has been payment in full under an installment payment plan.
Insurer Party who indemnifies for loss.
Integration SEC practice of combining back-to-back exempt offerings with result being offerer is in noncompliance with restrictions for exemption.
Inter vivos During the life of; while alive; e.g., an inter vivos gift.
Inter vivos gift Gift made while grantor is alive.
Interest Acceleration clause Clause in note that increases interest in the event of a default.
Interim zoning Hold zoning; temporary zoning before general plan is developed.
Internal Revenue Code (IRC) Federal law governing income taxation.
Interstate Land Sales Full Disclosure Act (ILSFDA) Federal law regulating the sale of property across state lines; requires advance filing of sales materials, mandatory disclosure of certain information, and prohibitions on promises about the land's future development.
Interval-ownership grant Form of time-sharing interest ownership.
Intestate Death without a will.
Intestate succession Statutory method for distributing the property of those who die without a will (intestate).
Intrastate offering exemption Under the 1933 Securities Act, an exemption from SEC registration requirements for certain securities offered in one state by a corporation primarily operating in that state.
Invitee Party who has a specific invitation to enter another's property or is a member of the public in a public place.
Involuntary lien Lien that does not result from a contractual arrangement; e.g., a tax lien or a judicial lien.
Joint tenancy Method of co-ownership that gives title to the property to the last survivor.
Joint will Will made in conjunction with another's will; requires distribution of property in a certain way regardless of who dies first.
Judicial deed Deed given by court after litigation of rights in the subject property.
Judicial foreclosure Foreclosure accomplished by filing a petition with the proper court; not a power of sale.
Judicial lien Lien on property that is the result of a judgment; lien to collect a court judgment.
Just compensation In eminent domain, the requirement that landowners whose property is taken for public purposes be adequately paid for the loss of that property.
Lapse In probate of a will, what happens when beneficiary dies prior to testator; the gift ends.
Laughing heir statute Statute that limits the degree of relationship of relatives who can inherit property from an intestate; causes property to escheat to the state before a remote relative would inherit an intestate's estate.
Lease-purchase Financing method that permits potential buyers to lease property for a period with an option to buy.
Legacy Gift of money by will.
Legatee Beneficiary/donee of gift of money by will.
Lender See Permanent lender.
Lender liability Doctrine that makes lenders liable for the lack of timely approval or withdrawal of an approval for financing already issued.
License Revocable right to enter another's property.
Licensee Party who enters another's land with express or implied permission; i.e., a social guest.
Lien Interest in real property that serves as security for repayment of a debt.
Lien theory One theory of mortgages that gives the mortgagor title to the property and the mortgagee a lien on the property as security for debt repayment.
Lienee Person whose property is subject to a lien.
Lienor Party who places a lien on real property.
Life estate Interest in land that lasts for the life of the grantee.
Life estate pur autre vie Life estate that lasts for the length of some measuring life other than that of the grantee.
Life tenants Those who hold a life estate in property.
Limited agent Agent whose authority is limited in time or scope.
Limited Liability Company (LLC) Business entity that is a cross between a corporation and a partnership.
Limited Liability Partnership (LLP) Business entity that has limited liability for all partners (except for professional negligence of each).
Limited partner Investor in limited partnership whose maximum liability is his capital investment.
Limited partnership A partnership with at least one general partner in which limited partners can purchase interest and be liable only to the extent of their interests and not risk personal liability.
Liquidated damages Damages that are specified in formula or in amount in the written and signed agreement of the parties; must be reasonable.
Lis pendens "Suit or action pending"; document recorded with the land records to indicate a suit involving the land is pending; filed in mortgage foreclosures and quiet title actions.
Listing agreement Contract between a broker and landowner for the broker's services in helping to sell the owner's property.
Livery of seisin English ceremony for passage of title; involved a physical transfer of a clod of earth between grantor and grantee.
Living trust Trust created by settlor who is alive.
Living will Term for authorization to take testator off life-support equipment; authorized in many states but must use appropriate or required language and be formally executed.
Long-term land contract See Contract for deed.
Low income housing Under Tax Reform Act of 1986, special housing category affording investors special tax treatment.
Market approach Tax appraisal method that bases value of the property on prices of similar properties.
Marketable title Form of title generally required to be delivered in the sale of property; property is free from liens and there are no defects in title other than those noted or agreed to.
Massachusetts business trust A trust originated by Massachusetts as a business form for dealing in real estate because state statutes prohibited corporations from doing so; the initial form of real estate syndication.
Master deed In a condominium development, the document recorded to reflect the location of the project and the individual units.
Master mortgage Single mortgage document recorded for all loans and referenced to save recording fees.
Master plan General plan for zoning.
Master-planned community Large development project that involves construction of all facilities as well as housing.
Materials lien Lien on property for the amount due for materials furnished to the owner or to others performing work on the land.
Maximum Accelerated Cost Recovery System (MACRS) Under federal tax law, a method of depreciation.
Maximum Achievable Control Technology (MACT) Term under Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990; establishes standards for pollution control on utilities and other targeted industries for scrubbers and other antipollution devices.
Mechanic's liens Liens placed on real property to secure amount due to those who performed work or supplied materials for improvements or other projects on the land.
Metes See Metes and bounds.
Metes and bounds Method of land description that begins with a permanent object and then through distances and directions describes the parcel of land.
Mineral interest Ownership right to minerals on property; could also be a lease.
Mineral rights Subsurface rights in property; the rights to mine minerals; also known as mineral interest.
Mineral servitude Easement across the surface of the land for access to the land.
Misrepresentation Giving incorrect or misleading information to a party in contract negotiations or failing to disclose relevant information; inaccurate information that would affect the buying or selling decision.
Mixed trust Real estate investment trust that owns both property and mortgages.
Model Business Corporation Act (MBCA) Uniform law on corporations adopted in approximately one-third of the states.
Model Real Estate Cooperative Act Model act on co-ops.
Model Real Estate Time-Share Act Model act on time-share real property interests.
Monetary relief Form of remedy for contract or trespass which awards money damages for breach.
Mortgage Lien on real property used to secure a debt.
Mortgage broker Agent who matches borrowers with mortgage companies.
Mortgage investment trusts (MITs) Real estate syndication method that provides investment opportunity in pool of mortgages.
Mortgage trust Real estate syndication trust that invests in real estate mortgages.
Mortgagee Lender or party who holds the mortgage lien.
Mortgagor Borrower or party occupying land that is mortgaged.
Multiple listing A listing that appears on more than one broker's inventory of homes.
Multiple listing service (MLS) A specific multiple listing service that is nationwide and to which most brokers subscribe.
Mutual will Wills of parties that are reciprocal in their distribution; usually based on a contract to make a will; generally enforceable.
National Association of Realtors (NAR) Professional organization of brokers and agents; has standards for admission and maintenance of membership.
National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) of 1969 Act that requires federal agencies to do an EIS before they approve a project.
National Pollution Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Permit system that requires EPA approval for water discharges.
Negative easement An easement that prohibits a property owner from doing something that affects the property of another; e.g., a solar easement is a negative easement.
Net listing Type of listing that allows the broker to collect as a commission any amount received that is above the figure set as the seller's net take on the sale of the property.
Net-net-net See Triple net.
No deal, no commission clause Provision in listing agreement that requires a sale of property to close before any commission is due and owing to the broker.
Noise Control Act of 1972 Environmental statute regulating noise levels, disclosure requirements, and precautions.
Nonagent broker Broker who sells property via multi-listing but is not the listing broker.
Nonattainment area In environmental regulation, those areas that have not reached acceptable levels of pollution; highly regulated.
Nonconforming use In zoned areas, a use that does not comply with the area's zoning but that existed prior to the time the zoning was effective.
Nonconventional pollutant Second in line in terms of water pollution dangers; EPA can require higher pretreatment standards for nonconventional pollutants.
Noncumulative classification Method of zoning in which use in a particular area is limited to the zoned use; e.g., industrial zones cannot include residential buildings and apartment areas cannot include single-family dwellings.
Nonownership states Method for oil and gas ownership that disallows ownership of oil and gas until they have been captured through drilling.
Notice statute Form of recording statute that gives later bona fide purchasers priority in the case of multiple purchases if the previous purchasers fail to give notice by recording their transactions.
Novation Original parties to a contract and a new third party agree to substitute the third party for the performance of the agreement.
Nuisance Use of property so as to interfere with another's use and enjoyment of property; e.g., bad smells and loud noises.
Nuncupative will Oral will; not valid in all states.
Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Federal agency responsible for assuring safety in the workplace.
Offer Initial communication in contract formation that, if accepted, results in the formation of a contract.
Oil and gas interest Form of ownership in which a portion of a mineral interest is assigned.
Open listing Listing that pays a commission to whichever broker or salesperson sells the property; permits the owner to list with more than one broker and be liable for only one commission.
Operating expenses In commercial leases, the costs of running the property; variable and defined by lease.
Option Right (which has been paid for) to purchase property during a certain period of time.
Ordinances Laws passed on a local level of country, state, or city governments.
Ownership states Method for oil and gas ownership right determination that states mineral rights can be lost only if someone first captures the oil and gas by drilling.
Paid outside closing (POC) Costs not paid through escrow or closing.
Parallels Horizontal guidelines in the United States Government Survey.
Passive income Income from investments for income tax purposes.
Passive loss Loss resulting from passive activity; under the Tax Reform Act, there are limitations on taking passive losses, i.e., passive losses can be taken only from passive income and not from wages and other income as many taxpayers had done in the past to maximize the benefits of real estate ownership.
Patio home Form of multiunit housing that generally includes a closed-in yard or patio area.
Patriot Act Federal law with many aspects designed to curb terrorist activities; impacts real estatetransactions because of disclosure requirements imposed on escrow agents regarding transfer of title and deposits of cash; imposes new disclosure and signature requirements for buyers and sellers.
Payment bond In construction, a bond on the general contractor to ensure payment to subcontractors and suppliers; i.e., if the general contractor does not pay, the surety will pay.
Penal sum Sum bonding company must pay to have project completed if contractor fails to perform.
Per capita Method of allocation of intestate property among heirs; basic principle is that each heir gets an equal share.
Per Stirpes Method of distributing property to heirs whereby those closer in relation to the decedent get greater shares.
Percentage rent Rent for commercial properties expressed as a percentage of net or gross income.
Perfection Process of gaining priority on an Article 9 security interest; requires a filing of a financing statement to give public notice of the creditor's interest.
Performance bond Bond on general contractor that guarantees performance; if the general contractor does not perform, the surety will provide performance or payment for damages resulting from noncompletion of the work.
Periodic tenancy Temporary possessory interest in land that runs on a period-to-period basis such as a month-to-month lease.
Permanent lender Once construction is complete, the lender who will carry the permanent financing on the project; pays the construction lender and assumes priority.
Personal holding company tax Under the IRC, a doctrine that permits taxation of certain corporations as though they were not formed and the individuals are personally liable for the tax.
Personal representative Party responsible for the probate of a will under the Uniform Probate Code; formerly referred to as an executor.
Planned unit development (PUD) Subdivision that includes a development of a full community.
Plat map Method of land description that relies on a recorded map of a subdivision, with each deed making reference to the map and the particular lot being transferred.
Point source Discharge point where water leaves land and runs into streams, rivers, and so on.
Possibility of reverter Future interest in the grantor that follows a fee simple determinable.
Posthumous heirs Heirs born after the death of the decedent.
Power of sale In a deed-of-trust financing arrangement, the right of the trustee to sell the property on default by the trustor-borrower.
Power of termination Future interest in the grantor that follows a fee simple subject to a condition subsequent.
Premarital agreements Contracts that serve to waive marital property rights of the spouses; must be voluntary and carefully drafted.
Premises The words of conveyance in a deed; e.g., "do hereby grant and convey."
Prenuptial agreements Agreements in advance of marriage that alter statutory marital property rights.
Prepayment penalty clause Clause in mortgage or promissory note that requires the mortgagor to pay an additional charge for paying off the loan early.
Prescription Process of acquiring an easement through adverse use of the easement over a required period of time.
Pretermitted A testator's child conceived prior to testator's death but born after testator dies.
Prevention of significant deterioration (PSD) areas Part of 1977 Clean Air Act amendments establishing emission standards for clean areas to prevent pollution.
Prime contractor General contractor on a project.
Prime meridians The key vertical lines in the United States Government Survey.
Principal meridians See Prime meridians.
Prior Appropriation Doctrine Water allocation policy of first to use the water gets the rights to that water.
Private law Laws between individual parties; e.g., landlord's rules and regulations or the terms of acontract.
Probate Process of collecting the assets of a decedent; paying the decedent's debts, determining the decedent's heirs, and distributing property to the heirs.
Procuring cause of the sale standard Standard of determining commission among brokers under an open listing agreement.
Profit Rights of removal in another's property; shorthand for profit a prendre.
Profit a prendre Right to enter another's land for the purpose of removing soil, water, minerals, or another resource.
Promissory note Two-party debt instrument that,in real estate, is generally secured by a mortgageor deed of trust or some other interest in real estate.
Property report Summary of facts about undeveloped land required to be given to purchasers (part of ILSFDA).
Property tax roll Assessor's formal records of parcels of land; the valuation and assessment.
Proprietary lease Interest of cooperative owner in a dwelling unit.
Prorated Allocation of prepaid insurance, taxes, and rent; generally done at close of escrow between buyer and seller.
Prorationing rules Rules that limit oil and gas production at the well site.
Protective covenants In development, covenants regarding nature and/or use of structures.
Psychological disclosure statutes Statutes that require disclosure regarding property that creates psychological reaction in buyers and affects market value; e.g., the fact that a home has been the site of a murder or that those who lived there were infected with the AIDS virus.
Purchase money mortgage A mortgage used to secure a debt for the funds used to buy the mortgaged property.
Purchase money security interest (PMSI) Under Article 9 of the UCC, a security interest given to a lender who financed the purchase of the property that is the collateral.
Pure race statute Recording priority statute that awards title (in the event of multiple conveyances) to the first purchaser to record.
Qualified residential interest Under the Tax Reform Act of 1986, the interest that qualifies as a deduction on individual tax returns as home interest paid.
Quasi-easement A right-of-way as it existed when there was unity of ownership in a parcel of land.
Quiet title action Court action brought to determine the true owner of a piece of land.
Quitclaim deed Deed that serves to transfer title if the grantor has any such title; there are no guarantees that the grantor has any title or good title.
Race/notice system State recording statutes that award title to the first bona fide purchaser to record his or her title when there are conflicting claims of ownership in the property.
Range In the United States Government Survey, the lines placed vertically every six miles between the guide meridians.
Real estate investment trust (REIT) Form of real estate syndication in which investors hold trust interests and enjoy profits of trust's real estate holdings.
Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) Federal statute regulating disclosure of closing costs in advance and prohibiting kickbacks for referring customers to title companies.
Real estate syndication Group investment in real estate in the forms of trusts, partnerships, and corporations.
Realtor Trademark/name used by the National Association of Realtors (NAR) to refer to one of its members.
Recording Process of placing a deed or other document on the public records to give notice of a transaction or interest in the land.
Recreational lease In multiunit housing, a lease that runs for a short period of time during each year; sometimes called time sharing.
Redlining Practice of targeting certain areas or neighborhood as high-risk areas for loans or insurance or requiring lower valuation.
Refinancing Negotiating a new loan for real estate; generally done to obtain a lower rate or in the case of a sale, to allow a buyer to be able to purchase a property.
Regulation D Under the 1933 Securities Act, an SEC regulation that provides three different small offering exemptions from registration according to limitations on size of the offering or the number of investors; includes Rules 504, 505, and 506.
Regulation Z (Truth-in-Lending Act) The Federal Reserve Board's regulations on disclosures in all types of credit transactions.
Remainder Future interest in someone other than the grantor; a remainder follows a life estate.
Rent controls Statutory maximums for rents on residential property.
Repair and deduct A tenant's right to repair leased premises when the landlord fails to do so and to deduct the cost of the repairs from his or her rent.
Rescission Right to treat a contract as if it never existed; rescind contract rights; generally appropriate in cases of fraud and misrepresentation.
Residential mortgage transactions Mortgages for the purchase of property to be used primarily as a residence for the buyer.
Resolution Trust Corporation (RTC) Defunct federal agency that handled savings and loan cleanup.
Resource Conservation and Recovery Act of 1976 (RCRA) Federal law regulating hazardous waste and garbage that requires record keeping and controls amounts of garbage.
Reverse mortgage A form of mortgage that enables retired individuals to draw the equity from their homes in the form of a monthly payment. No payments or finance charges are due on the loan underlying the mortgage until the owner dies.
Reversion Future interest in grantor that results after life estate terminates and no remainder interest was given.
Revised Model Business Corporation Act (RMBCA) Model act on corporations; adopted in about one-third of states.
Revised Uniform Limited Partnership Act (RULPA) New statute updating ULPA.
Right of entry Future interest in grantor that results when the grantee fails to honor the condition placed on the grant of a fee simple subject to a condition subsequent.
Riparian Doctrine In water rights, governs the landowner who adjoins water; a theory that entitles all riparians to use of their water; does not allow one riparian to use all of the water.
Rivers and Harbors Act of 1899 A federal statute that attempted to regulate dumping in rivers and harbors; a predecessor to today's environmental statutes.
Royalty interest Interest landowner retains upon leasing of oil well.
Rules 504-506 exemptions Regulation D; the rules of the SEC on small-offering exemptions in securities sales.
Rule Against Perpetuities Rule that prohibits the control of estates from the grave; provides a duration cap on contingent remainders and executory interests.
Rule in Dumpor's Case English rule that provides that if a landlord consents to one assignment of the lease by the tenant, the landlord consents to all subsequent assignments; most statutes have abolished by statute the effects of this rule.
Rule in Shelley's Case Common law rule that merges future and present interests in A when grant is "To A for life, remainder to A's heirs"; has been abolished in many states.
Rule of Capture In mineral rights, a first-in-time-is-first-in-right philosophy in which the first to take subsurface minerals has title regardless of property boundary lines.
Rule of reason In easements, the standard followed in making decisions regarding the expansion of easement use; in antitrust, a standard for determining non per se violations.
Safe Drinking Water Act 1986 amendment to Clean Water Act that establishes minimum standards for drinking water purity; states must adopt federal minimums or their own higher standards.
Satisfaction of mortgage Payment of full loan amount by mortgagor.
Saving clause Provision for alternative distribution of property being purchased; can be a defense to liability.
Section In the United States Government Survey, one-mile squares in townships.
Securities Act of 1933 Federal law governing the initial sale of securities on the public markets.
Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) The federal agency responsible for overseeing and policing the sales of securities on the primary and secondary markets.
Security agreement Under Article 9, the contract that gives the creditor a lien in the personal property or fixture; makes it the collateral for the loan.
Security deposit In the lease, the amount of money prepaid by the tenant to secure performance of the lease and often provide the amount of liquidated damages if the tenant does not perform.
Security interest Creditor's right in collateral under Article 9; the lien on the personal property or fixture.
Self-help Remedy for tenants with premises in disrepair; the right to repair defects on the property and then seek reimbursement.
Self-proving will A will that is acknowledged or notarized and thereby enjoys presumption of validity.
Servient estate Land through which an easement runs or that is subject to the easement.
Servient tenement Land through which an easement runs or that is subject to the easement.
Shared-appreciation mortgages Method of creative financing in which the lender charges a lower interest rate in exchange for the right to a return of a portion of the equity, including the increased value, of the home.
Sheriff's deed Form of title given to a buyer at a mortgage foreclosure sale; carries no warranties.
Sick building syndrome Conditions in building that cause respiratory and other ailments in occupants; causes vary from lack of ventilation to use of various materials; EPA and OSHA are developing guidelines and standards for ventilation and remediation.
Small offering exemption Exception to SEC registration requirements based on limited amount of the offering or limited numbers of purchasers.
Social issue zoning Use of zoning to control influences in the community; e.g., the prohibition of adult theaters near residential districts.
Solar easement law A negative easement that prevents the servient estate from doing anything that would block the sunlight access of the dominant estate.
Soldiers and Sailors Relief Act Federal law that provides time limitations on foreclosures involving those in active military service.
Solid Waste Disposal Act Initial federal act on waste disposal that provided states with money for research on solid-waste disposal.
Special permit Exception to zoning uses provided by a board of adjustment.
Special warranty deed Deed that provides warranty of title only for the period during which the grantor owned the property.
Specialty trust A trust created for a specific purpose; e.g., a corporate trust created to expand the firm's real estate holdings.
Specific happenings increase provisions In commercial leases; provisions that result in increase in rental fees.
Specific performance Equitable remedy that requires a party to a contract to perform the contract promise or promises.
Squatters's rights A lay term for adverse possession or prescription.
Standard State Zoning Enabling Act Standard act adopted by most jurisdictions to govern the development and enforcement of a zoning plan.
State implementation plans (SIP) All state and local laws and ordinances that make up the state's air pollution control plan.
Statement of record Under ILSFDA, the disclosure document filed with HUD before any sales of underdeveloped land can occur.
Statute of Frauds Statute dictating what types of contracts must be in writing to be enforceable.
Statutory lien Right in land created by statute as a means of ensuring payment for work, materials, or other obligations.
Statutory right of redemption Specified period of time after foreclosure sale for buyer to redeem property by paying full amount of debt, interest, and costs associated with foreclosure.
Steering Form of racial discrimination in which brokers or salespeople direct interested purchasers away from and toward certain neighborhoods to control racial composition.
Straight term mortgage Mortgage with fixed interest rate for a set number of years.
Strawman transaction Transaction that is artificial and nonpermanent; generally used to satisfy the unities required for creating a joint tenancy.
Subchapter S corporation A special form of corporation under the IRC that allows the protection of limited liability but direct flow-through of profits and losses.
Subcontractor A worker hired by the general contractor on a project to complete certain portions of the project.
Subdivision trust Form of financing in which seller and buyer are trust beneficiaries, and a third party acts as trustee. Seller and buyer will share in the profits of land development after the seller has paid for the property.
Subject to sale A transfer of real property in which the buyer takes the property subject to an existing mortgage but does not agree to assume responsibility for the mortgage payments.
Sublease Arrangement in which a tenant leases rental property to another, and the tenant becomes landlord to the subtenant.
Subordinate mortgage Mortgage with a lesser priority than a preexisting mortgage.
Substantial performance Construction doctrine that requires good faith completion of a project but not necessarily perfection.
Superfund The fund created by the federal government to sponsor cleanup of toxic waste disposal sites.
Superfund Amendment and Reauthorization Act Federal law establishing cleanup funding, policies, and liability for toxic wastes.
Surety One who stands as a guarantor for an obligation, as in a payment or performance bond.
Surface Mining and Reclamation Act of 1977 Federal law that regulates surface mining and the required cleanup afterwards.
Suspended losses For tax purposes, losses that exceed passive income and are carried forward to future years' passive income.
Taking Term used to describe the government action of using private property for public purposes.
Taking Issues Under Fifth Amendment, constitutional protections in eminent domain.
Tax deed Form of title given in the event property is sold to satisfy taxes; carries no warranties.
Tax lien Lien placed on property for amount of unpaid taxes.
Tax Reform Act (TRA) Federal law (1986) that substantially changed real estate income tax issues. Tax sale Foreclosure sale on property for nonpayment of taxes.
Telecommunications Act of 1996 Federal law that includes regulation of local zoning for location of cellular phone towers; section of this federal law was passed to limit the local resistance to placement of the towers because the local objections were impeding the progress of the cellular network.
Tenancy at sufferance Tenancy wherein the tenant is on the property of the landlord but has no right to be and may be evicted at any time.
Tenancy at will Tenancy wherein the tenant remains as long as both parties agree; either party may terminate at any time and without notice.
Tenancy by the entirety Method of co-ownership that is a joint tenancy between husband and wife.
Tenancy for years Tenancy for a stated period of time.
Tenancy in common Simplest form of co-ownership; unless otherwise stated, the presumed method of ownership for multiple landowners.
Tenancy in partnership Form of co-ownership in which the parties are partners; similar to joint tenancy in that the partners have a right of survivorship.
Testamentary Disposition by will.
Testamentary capacity The requisite mental capacity needed to make a valid will; a person's need to understand who his or her relatives are and how the property will be distributed by his or her will.
Time-sharing Form of multiunit housing in which owners own the unit for a limited period of time during each year.
Title insurance Insurance that pays the buyer of property in the event certain title defects arise.
Title theory Theory of mortgage law that puts title in the mortgagee and possession in the mortgagor.
Torrens system System for recording land titles designed to prevent the selling of the same parcel of land to more than one person.
Townhouse Form of multiunit housing in which the owner owns the area in the unit and also owns the land on which the unit is located.
Township Term in the United States Government Survey for the six-mile squares formed between the guide meridians and the parallels.
Toxic pollutant EPA classification for the worst form of water pollutants.
Toxic Substances Control Act (TOSCA) Federal law regulating the manufacture, labeling, and distribution of toxic substances.
Tract index system Form of land record that keeps history of title through identification of transactions with the particular tract.
Trade fixture Personal property that is attached to real property but is used in the operation of a business; remains the tenant's property.
Transaction broker Broker used for a sale but not listing broker.
Transfer development rights In areas in which building heights are limited, the right to sell air rights for purposes of business expansion and construction; i.e., a company not using all of its height expansion allowance can transfer the right to build in the air space to another company.
Transfer disclosure statement (TDS) In some states a form that provides information about the residential property being transferred: length of ownership; date of construction; construction and improvements, etc.
Trespass Invasion of the property of another by a person or object.
Trespassers One who is on the property of another without permission.
Triggering language In credit advertisements, language describing credit terms that will require full and complete disclosure of all credit terms under Regulation Z.
Triple net Form of commercial lease rental formula; tenant pays taxes, insurance, and maintenance and fixed rent above these amounts.
Trust certificate In a real estate trust, the evidence of ownership given to each trust holder.
Truth-in-Lending Act Name given to federal statutes and regulations concerning credit terms and their disclosure .
Undue influence The use of a confidential relationship to gain benefits under a will or contract.
Uniform Commercial Code (UCC) Uniform statute adopted in most states that governs commercial transactions; Article 9 deals with security interests in fixtures.
Uniform Common Interest Ownership Act Uniform law on multiple ownership issues.
Uniform Condominium Act (UCA) Uniform law adopted in some states governing ownership, rights, and obligations in condominium interests.
Uniform Land Transactions Act (ULTA) Uniform act with provisions governing land contracts.
Uniform Limited Partnership Act (ULPA) Uniform act governing formation, operation, and dissolution of limited partnerships.
Uniform Marital Property Act Uniform law that provides for ownership of property by married persons and means of division of property in the event of divorce or death.
Uniform Marketable Title Act Uniform law on what is required to deliver marketable title in sale.
Uniform Partnership Act (UPA) Uniform statute adopted in most states governing the creation, operation, and dissolution of partnerships.
Uniform Premarital Agreement Act Uniform law adopted in some states that governs the drafting and execution of premarital agreements.
Uniform Probate Code (UPC) Uniform law adopted in about one-third of the states governing the distribution of intestate property, the making of wills and probate, and administration of estates.
Uniform Residential Landlord Tenant Act (URLTA) Uniform law governing residential leases.
Uniform Rights of the Terminally Ill Act Proposed uniform law on the rights of the terminally ill to refuse treatment; would establish rules for electing refusal of treatment.
Uniform Settlement Statement (USS) Under RESPA, the required form for showing how money was paid and distributed at close of escrow.
Uniform Simultaneous Death Act (USDA) Uniform law designed to allow direct distribution to heirs next in line when husband and wife die simultaneously (or within five days of each other).
Unit pricing Means of costing in construction that divides contract into units for prices and payment.
United States Code (U.S.C.) Compilation of all federal laws.
United States Constitution Framework for federal government.
United States Government Survey National survey of land.
Unities In co-ownership, the presence of requirements on creation; i.e., whether the interests must have been created at the same time as in a joint tenancy.
Usury Charging interest rates in excess of the statutorily allowed maximums .
VA Veteran's Administration.
Vacation license Form of time-sharing interest ownership.
Variances Approved uses of land outside the scope of an area's zoning.
Vested remainder A remainder that will automatically take effect when the life estate ends.
Vested remainder subject to complete divestment A remainder that can be completely lost if the terms of vesting are not met; not automatic on termination of the life estate.
Vested remainder subject to partial divestment A remainder that can be partially lost as other remaindermen develop, i.e., more children are born during the life estate.
Voluntary lien A lien created because of a contract as opposed to a tax lien, which is involuntary .
Waiver agreement In liens, a document that waives the right of a supplier or laborer to lien the property; generally given in exchange for payment.
Warranty deed Deed that conveys title and carries warranties that the title is good, the transfer is proper, and there are no liens and encumbrances other than the ones noted.
Water Quality Act One of the predecessors to today's federal water pollution control statutory scheme.
Water rights System of priority for water use.
Wetlands Protected areas near water; formerly known as swamps.
Will Legal document that transfers property rights from testator to named beneficiaries.
Workout In commercial real estate loans, the process of adjusting loan repayment because of borrower's financial difficulties.
Zoning Process of regulating land use by designating areas of a community for certain uses.
Zoning commission Governmental agency responsible for developing the zoning plan .