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LEGAL TERMS

INHERITORS

Persons or organizations who receive property from someone who dies.

LANDLORD

The owner of any real estate, such as a house, apartment building or land, that is leased or rented to another person, called the tenant.

TESTAMENTARY DISPOSITION

Leaving property in a will.

EXPRESS WARRANTY

A guarantee about the quality of goods or services made by a seller, such as 'This item is guaranteed against defects in construction for one year.' Most expres... (more...)
A guarantee about the quality of goods or services made by a seller, such as 'This item is guaranteed against defects in construction for one year.' Most express warranties come directly from the manufacturer or are included in the sales contract. If you want to hold the seller to an oral guarantee, it's best to get it in writing or have witnesses to the guarantee so that it doesn't come down to your word against the seller's if a problem arises.

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.

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.

FORFEITURE

The loss of property or a privilege due to breaking a law. For example, a landlord may forfeit his or her property to the federal or state government if the lan... (more...)
The loss of property or a privilege due to breaking a law. For example, a landlord may forfeit his or her property to the federal or state government if the landlord knows it is a drug-dealing site but fails to stop the illegal activity. Or, you may have to forfeit your driver's license if you commit too many moving violations or are convicted of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

LEASE OPTION

A contract in which an owner leases her house (usually for one to five years) to a tenant for a specific monthly rent, and which gives the tenant the right to b... (more...)
A contract in which an owner leases her house (usually for one to five years) to a tenant for a specific monthly rent, and which gives the tenant the right to buy the house at the end of the lease period for a price established in advance. A lease option is often a good arrangement for a potential home buyer because it lets him move into a house he may buy without having to come up with a down payment or financing at that time.

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.

SAMPLE LEGAL CASES

COLUMBUS MARKET v. Zoning Bd. of Galveston

Property owners appeal the district court's order affirming the decision of a municipal zoning board to uphold a decision by a city administrative agency to deny the property owners' application for a city permit to demolish property in a historical area of the city. The property owners ...

Barr v. City of Sinton

... In response, the city passed a zoning ordinance that not only precluded the use of the homes for that purpose but effectively banned the ministry from the city. ... When Barr began his ministry, the City imposed no zoning or other restrictions on his use of the homes. ...

City of Sherman v. Wayne

... In this regulatory takings case, we determine whether James Wayne's claims are ripe for adjudication and, if so, whether the evidence supports the trial court's judgment that application of the City of 39 Sherman's residential zoning ordinance to Wayne's property deprived him of ...