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LEGAL TERMS

ESTATE

Generally, all the property you own when you die.

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.

HOLD HARMLESS

In a contract, a promise by one party not to hold the other party responsible if the other party carries out the contract in a way that causes damage to the fir... (more...)
In a contract, a promise by one party not to hold the other party responsible if the other party carries out the contract in a way that causes damage to the first party. For example, many leases include a hold harmless clause in which the tenant agrees not to sue the landlord if the tenant is injured due to the landlord's failure to maintain the premises. In most states, these clauses are illegal in residential tenancies, but may be upheld in commercial settings.

QUITCLAIM DEED

A deed that transfers whatever ownership interest the transferor has in a particular property. The deed does not guarantee anything about what is being transfer... (more...)
A deed that transfers whatever ownership interest the transferor has in a particular property. The deed does not guarantee anything about what is being transferred, however. For example, a divorcing husband may quitclaim his interest in certain real estate to his ex-wife, officially giving up any legal interest in the property. Compare grant deed.

CONTINGENCY

A provision in a contract stating that some or all of the terms of the contract will be altered or voided by the occurrence of a specific event. For example, a ... (more...)
A provision in a contract stating that some or all of the terms of the contract will be altered or voided by the occurrence of a specific event. For example, a contingency in a contract for the purchase of a house might state that if the buyer does not approve the inspection report of the physical condition of the property, the buyer does not have to complete the purchase.

FINDER'S FEE

A fee charged by real estate brokers and apartment-finding services in exchange for locating a rental property. These fees are permitted by law. Some landlords,... (more...)
A fee charged by real estate brokers and apartment-finding services in exchange for locating a rental property. These fees are permitted by law. Some landlords, however, charge finder's fees merely for renting a place. This type of charge is not legitimate and, in some areas, is specifically declared illegal.

HOMEOWNERS' ASSOCIATION

An organization comprising neighbors concerned with managing the common areas of a subdivision or condominium complex. These associations take on issues such as... (more...)
An organization comprising neighbors concerned with managing the common areas of a subdivision or condominium complex. These associations take on issues such as salting and sanding a subdivision when it snows and collecting dues from residents. The homeowners' association is also responsible for enforcing any covenants, conditions & restrictions that apply to the property.

SECURITY DEPOSIT

A payment required by a landlord to ensure that a tenant pays rent on time and keeps the rental unit in good condition. If the tenant damages the property or le... (more...)
A payment required by a landlord to ensure that a tenant pays rent on time and keeps the rental unit in good condition. If the tenant damages the property or leaves owing rent, the landlord can use the security deposit to cover what the tenant owes.

SERVIENT TENEMENT

Property that is subject to use by another for a specific purpose. For example, a beachfront house that has a public walkway to the beach on its premises would ... (more...)
Property that is subject to use by another for a specific purpose. For example, a beachfront house that has a public walkway to the beach on its premises would be a servient tenement.

SAMPLE LEGAL CASES

Skylake Ins. Agency, Inc. v. NMB PLAZA, LLC

... following opinion. This is an appeal of a summary final judgment in a commercial landlord-tenant dispute. The ... I. The landlord, NMB Plaza, LLC, is the developer of an office building in North Miami Beach, Florida. While the building ...

Lombardo v. Haige

... I. PROCEEDINGS IN THE COUNTY COURT. Mr. Lombardo is Mr. Haige's landlord (Landlord). He brought suit against Mr. Haige, his tenant (Tenant), in county court. ... 1974); DeMartino v. Simat, 948 So.2d 841 (Fla. 2d DCA 2007). The Landlord did not appeal this order. ...

Husky Rose, Inc. v. Allstate Ins. Co.

... WARNER, J. The trial court entered a final summary judgment in a dispute between a landlord and its tenant, concluding that the tenant breached the lease by failing to add the landlord as an additional insured on the tenant's insurance policy. ...