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LEGAL TERMS

BEQUEST

The legal term for personal property (anything but real estate) left in a will.

CO-TENANTS

Two or more tenants who rent the same property under the same lease or rental agreement. Each co-tenant is 100% responsible for carrying out the rental agreemen... (more...)
Two or more tenants who rent the same property under the same lease or rental agreement. Each co-tenant is 100% responsible for carrying out the rental agreement, which includes paying the entire rent if the other tenant skips town and paying for damage caused by the other tenant.

GOODS & CHATTELS

See personal property.

APPRAISAL

A determination of the value of something, such as a house, jewelry or stock. A professional appraiser -- a qualified, disinterested expert -- makes an estimate... (more...)
A determination of the value of something, such as a house, jewelry or stock. A professional appraiser -- a qualified, disinterested expert -- makes an estimate by examining the property, and looking at the initial purchase price and comparing it with recent sales of similar property. Courts commonly order appraisals in probate, condemnation, bankruptcy or foreclosure proceedings in order to determine the fair market value of property. Banks and real estate companies use appraisals to ascertain the worth of real estate for lending purposes. And insurance companies require appraisals to determine the amount of damage done to covered property before settling insurance claims.

PRIVATE MORTGAGE INSURANCE (PMI)

Insurance that reimburses a mortgage lender if the buyer defaults on the loan and the foreclosure sale price is less than the amount owed the lender (the mortga... (more...)
Insurance that reimburses a mortgage lender if the buyer defaults on the loan and the foreclosure sale price is less than the amount owed the lender (the mortgage plus the costs of the sale). A home buyer who makes less than a 20% down payment may have to purchase PMI.

CONTRACT

A legally binding agreement involving two or more people or businesses (called parties) that sets forth what the parties will or will not do. Most contracts tha... (more...)
A legally binding agreement involving two or more people or businesses (called parties) that sets forth what the parties will or will not do. Most contracts that can be carried out within one year can be either oral or written. Major exceptions include contracts involving the ownership of real estate and commercial contracts for goods worth $500 or more, which must be in writing to be enforceable. (See statute of frauds.) A contract is formed when competent parties -- usually adults of sound mind or business entities -- mutually agree to provide each other some benefit (called consideration), such as a promise to pay money in exchange for a promise to deliver specified goods or services or the actual delivery of those goods and services. A contract normally requires one party to make a reasonably detailed offer to do something -- including, typically, the price, time for performance and other essential terms and conditions -- and the other to accept without significant change. For example, if I offer to sell you ten roses for $5 to be delivered next Thursday and you say 'It's a deal,' we've made a valid contract. On the other hand, if one party fails to offer something of benefit to the other, there is no contract. For example, if Maria promises to fix Josh's car, there is no contract unless Josh promises something in return for Maria's services.

TENANT

Anyone, including a corporation, who rents real property, with or without a house or structure, from the owner (called the landlord). The tenant may also be cal... (more...)
Anyone, including a corporation, who rents real property, with or without a house or structure, from the owner (called the landlord). The tenant may also be called the 'lessee.'

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.

HOMESTEAD DECLARATION

A form filed with the county recorder's office to put on record your right to a homestead exemption. In most states, the homestead exemption is automatic--that ... (more...)
A form filed with the county recorder's office to put on record your right to a homestead exemption. In most states, the homestead exemption is automatic--that is, you are not required to record a homestead declaration in order to claim the homestead exemption. A few states do require such a recording, however.

SAMPLE LEGAL CASES

City of Claremont v. Kruse

... Kruse also stated that the City had six weeks to amend its zoning code to accommodate his proposed use. ... At that meeting, Schultz explained that by operating CANNABIS without a business permit or license, Kruse was violating the City's zoning requirements. ...

City of Corona v. Naulls

... a medical marijuana establishment. At their meeting two days later, Temple informed Naulls that marijuana dispensaries were not, and never have been, a permitted land use under the City's zoning laws. Temple also then informed ...

Golden Gate Water Ski Club v. County of Contra Costa

... Parcels in A-2 districts must have a minimum of five acres. The zoning generally allows no more than one detached single-family residence per parcel plus such accessory structures and uses consistent with a single-family 254 residence. ...