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LEGAL TERMS

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.

EVICTION

Removal of a tenant from rental property by a law enforcement officer. First, the landlord must file and win an eviction lawsuit, also known as an 'unlawful det... (more...)
Removal of a tenant from rental property by a law enforcement officer. First, the landlord must file and win an eviction lawsuit, also known as an 'unlawful detainer.'

REFUGEE

In the context of U.S. immigration law, people who have been allowed to live in the United States indefinitely to protect them from persecution in their home co... (more...)
In the context of U.S. immigration law, people who have been allowed to live in the United States indefinitely to protect them from persecution in their home countries. Refugees get their status before coming to the U.S., while asylum seekers obtain their status after arrival. Refugees may eventually get green cards.

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.

APPRAISER

A person who is hired to determine the current value of real estate or other property.

MEMORANDUM

(1) An informal written document. A memorandum may be used in any number of circumstances, but most lawyers are best acquainted with the interoffice memorandum-... (more...)
(1) An informal written document. A memorandum may be used in any number of circumstances, but most lawyers are best acquainted with the interoffice memorandum--a document prepared by a junior associate in a law office or a judge's law clerk outlining the facts, procedural elements and legal arguments involved in a particular legal matter. These memos are reviewed by senior lawyers and judges who use them to decide how to proceed with the case. (2) Any written record, including a letter or note, that proves that a contract exists between two parties. This type of memo may be enough to validate an oral (spoken) contract that would otherwise be unenforceable because of the statute of frauds. (Under the statute of frauds, an oral contract is invalid if it can't be completed within one year from the date the contract is made.)

LOAN BROKER

A person who specializes in matching home buyers with appropriate mortgage lenders. For a fee--often paid by the lender--a loan broker provides any easy and eff... (more...)
A person who specializes in matching home buyers with appropriate mortgage lenders. For a fee--often paid by the lender--a loan broker provides any easy and effective way to find the cheapest mortgage rates.

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.

LEASE

An oral or written agreement (a contract) between two people concerning the use by one of the property of the other. A person can lease real estate (such as an ... (more...)
An oral or written agreement (a contract) between two people concerning the use by one of the property of the other. A person can lease real estate (such as an apartment or business property) or personal property (such as a car or a boat). A lease should cover basic issues such as when the lease will begin and end, the rent or other costs, how payments should be made, and any restrictions on the use of the property. The property owner is often called the 'lessor,' and the person using the property is called the 'lessee.'