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LEGAL TERMS

LIQUID ASSETS

Business property that can be quickly and easily converted into cash, such as stock, bank accounts and accounts receivable.

OFFER

A proposal to enter into an agreement with another person. An offer must express the intent of the person making the offer to form a contract, must contain some... (more...)
A proposal to enter into an agreement with another person. An offer must express the intent of the person making the offer to form a contract, must contain some essential terms--including the price and subject matter of the contract--and must be communicated by the person making the offer. A legally valid acceptance of the offer will create a binding contract.

VIEW ORDINANCE

A law adopted by some cities or towns with desirable vistas -- such as those in the mountains or overlooking the ocean -- that protects a property owner from ha... (more...)
A law adopted by some cities or towns with desirable vistas -- such as those in the mountains or overlooking the ocean -- that protects a property owner from having his or her view obstructed by growing trees. View ordinances don't cover buildings or other structures that may block views.

ARBITRATION

A non-court procedure for resolving disputes using one or more neutral third parties -- called the arbitrator or arbitration panel. Arbitration uses rules of ev... (more...)
A non-court procedure for resolving disputes using one or more neutral third parties -- called the arbitrator or arbitration panel. Arbitration uses rules of evidence and procedure that are less formal than those followed in trial courts, which usually leads to a faster, less-expensive resolution. There are many types of arbitration in common use: Binding arbitration is similar to a court proceeding in that the arbitrator has the power to impose a decision, although this is sometimes limited by agreement -- for example, in 'hi-lo arbitration' the parties may agree in advance to a maximum and minimum award. In non-binding arbitration, the arbitrator can recommend but not impose a decision. Many contracts -- including those imposed on customers by many financial and healthcare organizations -- require mandatory arbitration in the event of a dispute. This may be reasonable when the arbitrator really is neutral, but is justifiably criticized when the large company that writes the contract is able to influence the choice of the arbitrator.

LEASE OPTION

A contract in which an owner leases her house (usually for one to five years) to a tenant for a specific monthly rent, and which gives the tenant the right to b... (more...)
A contract in which an owner leases her house (usually for one to five years) to a tenant for a specific monthly rent, and which gives the tenant the right to buy the house at the end of the lease period for a price established in advance. A lease option is often a good arrangement for a potential home buyer because it lets him move into a house he may buy without having to come up with a down payment or financing at that time.

HEIR

One who receives property from someone who has died. While the traditional meaning includes only those who had a legal right to the deceased person's property, ... (more...)
One who receives property from someone who has died. While the traditional meaning includes only those who had a legal right to the deceased person's property, modern usage includes anyone who receives property from the estate of a deceased person.

INCIDENTS OF OWNERSHIP

Any control over property. If you give away property but keep an incident of ownership--for example, you give away an apartment building but retain the right to... (more...)
Any control over property. If you give away property but keep an incident of ownership--for example, you give away an apartment building but retain the right to receive rent--then legally, no gift has been made. This distinction can be important if you're making large gifts to reduce your eventual estate tax.

UNJUST ENRICHMENT

A legal doctrine stating that if a person receives money or other property through no effort of his own, at the expense of another, the recipient should return ... (more...)
A legal doctrine stating that if a person receives money or other property through no effort of his own, at the expense of another, the recipient should return the property to the rightful owner, even if the property was not obtained illegally. Most courts will order that the property be returned if the party who has suffered the loss brings a lawsuit.

RENT CONTROL

Laws that limit the amount of rent landlords may charge, and that state when and by how much the rent can be raised. Most rent control laws also require a landl... (more...)
Laws that limit the amount of rent landlords may charge, and that state when and by how much the rent can be raised. Most rent control laws also require a landlord to provide a good reason, such as repeatedly late rent, for evicting a tenant. Rent control exists in some cities and counties in California, Maryland, New Jersey, New York and Washington, D.C.

SAMPLE LEGAL CASES

PEOPLE'S COUNSEL FOR BALTIMORE CTY. v. Loyola College

... The synthesis of earlier cases threaded 168 through its reasoning supplies a lucid explanation of the legislative calculus for why some land uses, at the time of original adoption or later amendment of the text of a zoning ordinance, are placed in the blessed category of permitted ...

Anderson House v. City of Rockville

... in consolidated cases 266338-V, Petition of Anderson House, LLC for Judicial Review of the Decision of the Mayor and Council of Rockville in the case of Zoning Map Amendment XXXX-XXXXX, and 270350-V, Anderson House, LLC v. Mayor and City Council of Rockville. ...

Trail v. Terrapin Run

... Certiorari: "May a board of appeals deriving zoning authority under Article 66B grant a special exception, in the absence of an affirmative finding that the proposed use conforms to the jurisdiction's comprehensive plan?" [2]. We ...