The knowledge of property law is not only for property lawyers. Every person with a keen interest in property investment should clearly understand what property law means and how it works in their local community.
The reason is simple. Real estate investment has a few ties with the local government – even state and federal. Hence, several standard rules and laws govern property sales, acquisition, lease, development, or management. Failure to play by the rules may lead to lawsuits or sanctions from the government, leading to the forfeiture of real property.
Have you seen why it is pretty much advisable for members of society to have a complete understanding of property law? That’s what we are talking about!
Of course, it may sound as easy as getting property lawyers to help you handle your tenant, settle every dispute, expose false claims of legal practitioners, read and interpret a legally binding contract, respond to other forms of contracts and represent you in court. Sure, that’s a good idea. But you also need to know the rules of the property law of the land to be safe in your real estate endeavors.
For example, members of society aspire to become owners of real property. But, it takes the knowledge power of property law to become a lawful owner. Though legal practitioners can help you with the process, your knowledge of property law will expose you to the established rules of property sale and teach you how to protect your interest without violating the law’s restrictions.
Meanwhile, you don’t have to study at the university to understand property law. A healthy relationship with property lawyers, real estate agent or other practitioners in the law society can help you learn the basics. More so, a detailed write-up on property law like this can teach you the essentials of legal practice.
Whether you are a residential property owner or you are on the commercial side, this guide you to handle your real property like a pro. More importantly, a sound knowledge of property law will prevent you from courts. Understanding property law will also help you defend your legal rights as regards real estate investment.
So, are you prepared to become a self-made property lawyer? That’s simple. No worries, you don’t have to struggle with decoding legal terms as we have already simplified all the jargon that may seem alien to a layperson. Now, let’s start by defining the subject matter.
What Is Property Law?
Property law is an aspect of the law that explains and instructs who can own real properties like lands and other personal items. It also explains what people can own and need to do to remain the property owner. Property law also governs how to use the acquired properties and the conditions surrounding the usage.
Property law applies to both personal and real properties. It teaches members of society about their respective legal duties to the community, the use of property, and how to build a problem-free society. Property law is also included in the family, estate, and municipal law. It teaches members of society how to respond to environmental issues or start a small business in alignment with government interests.
What is the difference between personal property and real property?
We have two major kinds of property: real and personal properties. Property law refers to lands as real property. Although, the real property also includes everything attached to the land. Hence, you can consider houses, commercial buildings, barns, and trees as real properties.
Whereas personal properties are the movable things, you possess. For instance, a car, desk, computer, and other things that are not buildings or land are personal properties. While some may only own personal properties, others can own both real and personal properties.
Is property law a federal, state, or local government law?
To be precise, property law is primarily a state law. Of course, the federal government can have a few things to say about property law, but states have more control over it.
Every state has its unique legal system for the sale and transfer of both personal and real properties. That is why every sound property lawyer must understand the specific laws and rules of the area where the property is to be used before advising clients.
No doubt, there are significant differences in property laws from one state to another. Hence, it is essential to know the laws of the state and local government regarding property rights and use to be safer.
Types of ownership and transfer of properties
Property law allows owners to own properties and transfer or gift them to other persons. Meanwhile, there are conditions to make the entire process legally acceptable. For instance, it can be easy for someone with sole ownership of a property to transfer or gift the property to other persons. However, people with joint tenancy may not have the right to transfer the shared property to another person, whether when they are alive or dead.
Note that every property owner must have a deed to transfer a property.
What is a deed?
It is a legal document that validates the ownership of real property. Meanwhile, there are different deed types, each determining the property owner’s legal rights. For example, a warranty deed gives the buyer the right to own a property, while a quitclaim deed only signs over the rights a person may have in a property.
A local government can restrict what a property owner does with their property. Those laws that govern the use of property in a particular region are known as zoning laws. For instance, the government can restrict the use of a specific real property to commercial, residential or industrial uses.
In that light, you must know your area’s zoning restrictions if you want to use a property. Know that zoning laws can restrict your property to residential use alone, and breaking that law can attract punishments from the courts,
Private land use laws
It is also good to know that private associations can restrict the use of property in the same way the government can act. The reason is that property laws enable people to create, enforce and challenge private homeowner association laws.
While a government attorney can enforce property violations, property lawyers speak for private associations to enforce property restrictions. But, of course, state laws govern how associations establish themselves as an authority in property law and how they can create enforceable laws.
The law gives members of society the right to own property in some circumstances without paying for it. Claiming ownership of a property by right is what we call adverse possession. This legal system of ownership also has a few rules governing the practice. To claim a property in this regard, you must have occupied the property for a specific number of years.
How long you would live on a real property before you can own it by adverse possession depends on the specifications of the local or state government where the property is in use. Usually, the person claiming adverse possession of a property would have lived more than a decade to be eligible.
Property law is not limited but dynamic. That means it changes from time to time and differs from one locality to another. To understand the demands of property law by the local government, you can check the internet or visit an experienced property lawyer to put you in the light. Understanding property law will help you maintain property ownership and keep you out of trouble.