Annapolis Land Use & Zoning Lawyer, Maryland, page 2

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LEGAL TERMS

UNCONSCIONABILITY

A seller's taking advantage of a buyer due to their unequal bargaining positions, perhaps because of the buyer's recent trauma, physical infirmity, ignorance, i... (more...)
A seller's taking advantage of a buyer due to their unequal bargaining positions, perhaps because of the buyer's recent trauma, physical infirmity, ignorance, inability to read or inability to understand the language. The unfairness must be so severe that it is shocking to the average person. It usually includes the absence of any meaningful choice on the part of the buyer and contract terms so one-sided that they unreasonably favor the seller. A contract will be terminated if the buyer can prove unconscionability.

ILLUSORY PROMISE

A promise that pledges nothing, because it is vague or because the promisor can choose whether or not to honor it. Such promises are not legally binding. For ex... (more...)
A promise that pledges nothing, because it is vague or because the promisor can choose whether or not to honor it. Such promises are not legally binding. For example, if you get a new job and promise to work for three years, unless you resign sooner, you haven't made a valid contract and can resign or be fired at any time.

EASEMENT

A right to use another person's real estate for a specific purpose. The most common type of easement is the right to travel over another person's land, known as... (more...)
A right to use another person's real estate for a specific purpose. The most common type of easement is the right to travel over another person's land, known as a right of way. In addition, property owners commonly grant easements for the placement of utility poles, utility trenches, water lines or sewer lines. The owner of property that is subject to an easement is said to be 'burdened' with the easement, because he or she is not allowed to interfere with its use. For example, if the deed to John's property permits Sue to travel across John's main road to reach her own home, John cannot do anything to block the road. On the other hand, Sue cannot do anything that exceeds the scope of her easement, such as widening the roadway.

MARITAL DEDUCTION

A deduction allowed by the federal estate tax laws for all property passed to a surviving spouse who is a U.S. citizen. This deduction (which really functions a... (more...)
A deduction allowed by the federal estate tax laws for all property passed to a surviving spouse who is a U.S. citizen. This deduction (which really functions as an exemption) allows anyone, even a billionaire, to pass his or her entire estate to a surviving spouse without any tax at all.

LOAN BROKER

A person who specializes in matching home buyers with appropriate mortgage lenders. For a fee--often paid by the lender--a loan broker provides any easy and eff... (more...)
A person who specializes in matching home buyers with appropriate mortgage lenders. For a fee--often paid by the lender--a loan broker provides any easy and effective way to find the cheapest mortgage rates.

EASEMENT BY PRESCRIPTION

A right to use property, acquired by a long tradition of open and obvious use. For example, if hikers have been using a trail through your backyard for ten year... (more...)
A right to use property, acquired by a long tradition of open and obvious use. For example, if hikers have been using a trail through your backyard for ten years and you've never complained, they probably have an easement by prescription through your yard to the trail.

MECHANIC'S LIEN

A legal claim placed on real estate by someone who is owed money for labor, services or supplies contributed to the property for the purpose of improving it. Ty... (more...)
A legal claim placed on real estate by someone who is owed money for labor, services or supplies contributed to the property for the purpose of improving it. Typical lien claimants are general contractors, subcontractors and suppliers of building materials. A mechanics' lien claimant can sue to have the real estate sold at auction and recover the debt from the proceeds. Because property with a lien on it cannot be easily sold until the lien is satisfied (paid off), owners have a great incentive to pay their bills.

VESTED REMAINDER

An unconditional right to receive real property at some point in the future. A vested interest may be created by a deed or a will. For example, if Julie's will ... (more...)
An unconditional right to receive real property at some point in the future. A vested interest may be created by a deed or a will. For example, if Julie's will leaves her house to her daughter, but the daughter gains possession only after Julie's husband dies, the daughter has a vested remainder in the house.

IMPLIED WARRANTY OF HABITABILITY

A legal doctrine that requires landlords to offer and maintain livable premises for their tenants. If a landlord fails to provide habitable housing, tenants in ... (more...)
A legal doctrine that requires landlords to offer and maintain livable premises for their tenants. If a landlord fails to provide habitable housing, tenants in most states may legally withhold rent or take other measures, including hiring someone to fix the problem or moving out. See constructive eviction.

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 ...