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LEGAL TERMS

RUNNING WITH THE LAND

A phrase used in property law to describe a right or duty that remains with a piece of property no matter who owns it. For example, the duty to allow a public b... (more...)
A phrase used in property law to describe a right or duty that remains with a piece of property no matter who owns it. For example, the duty to allow a public beach access path across waterfront property would most likely pass from one owner of the property to the next.

MONTH-TO-MONTH TENANCY

A rental agreement that provides for a one-month tenancy that is automatically renewed each month unless either tenant or landlord gives the other the proper am... (more...)
A rental agreement that provides for a one-month tenancy that is automatically renewed each month unless either tenant or landlord gives the other the proper amount of written notice (usually 30 days) to terminate the agreement. Some landlords prefer to use month-to-month tenancies because it gives them the right to raise the rent after giving proper notice. This type of rental also provides a landlord with an easy way to get rid of troublesome tenants, because in most states month-to-month tenancies can be terminated for any reason.

STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS

The legally prescribed time limit in which a lawsuit must be filed. Statutes of limitation differ depending on the type of legal claim, and often the state. For... (more...)
The legally prescribed time limit in which a lawsuit must be filed. Statutes of limitation differ depending on the type of legal claim, and often the state. For example, many states require that a personal injury lawsuit be filed within one year from the date of injury -- or in some instances, from the date when it should reasonably have been discovered -- but some allow two years. Similarly, claims based on a written contract must be filed in court within four years from the date the contract was broken in some states and five years in others. Statute of limitations rules apply to cases filed in all courts, including federal court.

REAL PROPERTY

Another term for real estate. It includes land and things permanently attached to the land, such as trees, buildings, and stationary mobile homes. Anything that... (more...)
Another term for real estate. It includes land and things permanently attached to the land, such as trees, buildings, and stationary mobile homes. Anything that is not real property is termed personal property.

GROSS LEASE

A commercial real estate lease in which the tenant pays a fixed amount of rent per month or year, regardless of the landlord's operating costs, such as maintena... (more...)
A commercial real estate lease in which the tenant pays a fixed amount of rent per month or year, regardless of the landlord's operating costs, such as maintenance, taxes and insurance. A gross lease closely resembles the typical residential lease. The tenant may agree to a 'gross lease with stops,' meaning that the tenant will pitch in if the landlord's operating costs rise above a certain level. In real estate lingo, the point when the tenant starts to contribute is called the 'stop level,' because that's where the landlord's share of the costs stops.

LIMITED EQUITY HOUSING

An arrangement designed to encourage low-and moderate-income families to purchase housing, in which the housing is offered at an extremely favorable price with ... (more...)
An arrangement designed to encourage low-and moderate-income families to purchase housing, in which the housing is offered at an extremely favorable price with a low down payment. The catch is that when the owner sells, she gets none of the profit if the market value of the unit has gone up. Any profit returns to the organization that built the home, which then resells the unit at an affordable price.

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.

QUIET ENJOYMENT

The right of a property owner or tenant to enjoy his or her property without interference. Disruption of quiet enjoyment may constitute a nuisance. Leases and r... (more...)
The right of a property owner or tenant to enjoy his or her property without interference. Disruption of quiet enjoyment may constitute a nuisance. Leases and rental agreements often contain a 'covenant of quiet enjoyment,' expressly obligating the landlord to see that tenants have the opportunity to live undisturbed.

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.

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 ...