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LEGAL TERMS

CLEANING FEE

A nonrefundable fee charged by a landlord when a tenant moves in. The fee covers the cost of cleaning the rented premises after you move out, even if you leave ... (more...)
A nonrefundable fee charged by a landlord when a tenant moves in. The fee covers the cost of cleaning the rented premises after you move out, even if you leave the place spotless. Cleaning fees are illegal in some states and specifically allowed in others, but most state laws are silent on the issue. Landlords in every state are allowed to use the security deposit to clean a unit that is truly dirty.

NONCOMPETITION AGREEMENT

An agreement, generally included in an employment contract or a contract for the sale of a business, where one party agrees not to compete with the other party ... (more...)
An agreement, generally included in an employment contract or a contract for the sale of a business, where one party agrees not to compete with the other party for a specific period of time and within a particular area. Salespeople, for example, often sign noncompetition agreements that prevent them from using the contacts gained by one employer to benefit another employer. Or a salesperson may sign what is known as a 'noncompete,' agreeing not to sell within a particular area, or even work in the same type of business. In some states, such as California, courts view noncompetition agreements with disfavor and will not enforce them unless the restrictions are very narrow. In other states, courts routinely uphold them.

ASYLUM

A legal status granted to an individual who is in the United States and fears political persecution if he or she is forced to return to their home country.

ACT OF GOD

An extraordinary and unexpected natural event, such as a hurricane, tornado, earthquake or even the sudden death of a person. An act of God may be a defense aga... (more...)
An extraordinary and unexpected natural event, such as a hurricane, tornado, earthquake or even the sudden death of a person. An act of God may be a defense against liability for injuries or damages. Under the law of contracts, an act of God often serves as a valid excuse if one of the parties to the contract is unable to fulfill his or her duties -- for instance, completing a construction project on time.

YELLOW-DOG CONTRACT

An employment contract in which the employer forbids the employee to join a labor union. Yellow-dog contracts are not legally enforceable.

UNIFORM TRANSFERS TO MINORS ACT

A statute, adopted by almost all states, that provides a method for transferring property to minors and arranging for an adult to manage it until the child is o... (more...)
A statute, adopted by almost all states, that provides a method for transferring property to minors and arranging for an adult to manage it until the child is old enough to receive it. See custodian.

INTANGIBLE PROPERTY

Personal property that has no physical existence, such as stocks, bonds, bank notes, trade secrets, patents, copyrights and trademarks. Such 'untouchable' items... (more...)
Personal property that has no physical existence, such as stocks, bonds, bank notes, trade secrets, patents, copyrights and trademarks. Such 'untouchable' items may be represented by a certificate or license that fixes or approximates the value, but others (such as the goodwill or reputation of a business) are not easily valued or embodied in any instrument. Compare tangible property.

USE TAX

A tax imposed by a state to compensate for the sales tax lost when an item is purchased outside of the state, but is used within the state. For example, you buy... (more...)
A tax imposed by a state to compensate for the sales tax lost when an item is purchased outside of the state, but is used within the state. For example, you buy your car in a state that has no sales tax, but you live across the border in a state that does have a sales tax. When you bring your car home and register it in your state, the state taxing authority will bill you for the sales tax it would have collected had you bought the car within the state.

NONDISCLOSURE AGREEMENT

A legally binding contract in which a person or business promises to treat specific information as a trade secret and not disclose it to others without proper a... (more...)
A legally binding contract in which a person or business promises to treat specific information as a trade secret and not disclose it to others without proper authorization. Nondisclosure agreements are often used when a business discloses a trade secret to another person or business for such purposes as development, marketing, evaluation or securing financial backing. Although nondisclosure agreements are usually in the form of written contracts, they may also be implied if the context of a business relationship suggests that the parties intended to make an agreement. For example, a business that conducts patent searches for inventors is expected to keep information about the invention secret, even if no written agreement is signed, because the nature of the business is to deal in confidential information.

SAMPLE LEGAL CASES

Rios v. Carrillo

... In 2000 the plaintiff landlord leased a residential apartment to the defendant tenant for a term of two years. ... Not long thereafter, some courts extended this 113 reasoning to the issue of landlord's [sic] duty to mitigate, concluding that a landlord should indeed have such a duty ... ...

MATTER OF YITZHAK" JAMES" PASTREICH v. NEW YORK STATE DIVISION OF HOUSING AND COMMUNITY RENEWAL

... The August 1991 rent stabilized lease entered into by tenant and landlord recited a monthly rent of $5,747.52, but included a rider, denominated "Rider to Preferential Lease Agreement," providing for a "preferential rent" of $3,000 on condition that tenant accept the apartment in ...

MATTER OF 508 REALTY ASSOCIATES, LLC v. New York State Division of Housing and Community Renewal

... The Rent Stabilization Law (Administrative Code of City of NY § 26-501 et seq.) provides that if the New York State Division of Housing and Community Renewal (hereinafter the DHCR) finds that a landlord, after a reasonable opportunity to be heard, has collected an ...