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LEGAL TERMS

TORTIOUS INTERFERENCE

The causing of harm by disrupting something that belongs to someone else -- for example, interfering with a contractual relationship so that one party fails to ... (more...)
The causing of harm by disrupting something that belongs to someone else -- for example, interfering with a contractual relationship so that one party fails to deliver goods on time.

ASSIGNEE

A person to whom a property right is transferred. For example, an assignee may take over a lease from a tenant who wants to permanently move out before the leas... (more...)
A person to whom a property right is transferred. For example, an assignee may take over a lease from a tenant who wants to permanently move out before the lease expires. The assignee takes control of the property and assumes all the legal rights and responsibilities of the tenant, including payment of rent. However, the original tenant remains legally responsible if the assignee fails to pay the rent.

STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS

The legally prescribed time limit in which a lawsuit must be filed. Statutes of limitation differ depending on the type of legal claim, and often the state. For... (more...)
The legally prescribed time limit in which a lawsuit must be filed. Statutes of limitation differ depending on the type of legal claim, and often the state. For example, many states require that a personal injury lawsuit be filed within one year from the date of injury -- or in some instances, from the date when it should reasonably have been discovered -- but some allow two years. Similarly, claims based on a written contract must be filed in court within four years from the date the contract was broken in some states and five years in others. Statute of limitations rules apply to cases filed in all courts, including federal court.

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.

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.

APPRECIATION

An increase in value. Appreciated property is property that has gone up in value since it was acquired.

HOMESTEAD

(1) The house in which a family lives, plus any adjoining land and other buildings on that land. (2) Real estate which is not subject to the claims of creditors... (more...)
(1) The house in which a family lives, plus any adjoining land and other buildings on that land. (2) Real estate which is not subject to the claims of creditors as long as it is occupied as a home by the head of the household. After the head of the family dies, homestead laws often allow the surviving spouse or minor children to live on the property for as long as they choose. (3) Land acquired out of the public lands of the United States. The term 'homesteaders' refers to people who got their land by settling it and making it productive, rather than purchasing it outright.

IMPLIED WARRANTY OF HABITABILITY

A legal doctrine that requires landlords to offer and maintain livable premises for their tenants. If a landlord fails to provide habitable housing, tenants in ... (more...)
A legal doctrine that requires landlords to offer and maintain livable premises for their tenants. If a landlord fails to provide habitable housing, tenants in most states may legally withhold rent or take other measures, including hiring someone to fix the problem or moving out. See constructive eviction.

VESTED REMAINDER

An unconditional right to receive real property at some point in the future. A vested interest may be created by a deed or a will. For example, if Julie's will ... (more...)
An unconditional right to receive real property at some point in the future. A vested interest may be created by a deed or a will. For example, if Julie's will leaves her house to her daughter, but the daughter gains possession only after Julie's husband dies, the daughter has a vested remainder in the house.