Boundary disputes involve a disagreement between neighbors about the location of the division between their properties. Boundary disputes often arise when it is discovered that the boundaries in each property’s legal description are incompatible with the historically observed boundaries. Boundary disputes may also arise due to surveying mistakes.
Commercial Leases are agreements for the rental of property for business purposes, such as for office or retail uses. Generally, the term “commercial leases” refers to creating a tenancy in real property. However, leases may also be created for other commercial purposes, such as mining rights or equipment rentals.
Construction law is a broad area of law that pertains to improvements made to real property. It is a mix of a variety of legal areas including contract law, planning and zoning, lien law, insurance law, administrative law, and unintentional torts.
An easement is a right to use real property owned by somebody else, such as the right to cross another’s property, or to restrain the owner’s usage of the real property. An easement may be either appurtenant, meaning the easement runs with the dominant tenement (the land that holds the right to use the easement on the other property), or in gross, meaning it belongs to a specific person. Easements are often created by contract but can be created by law due to public policy.
Eminent domain, or condemnation, is the legal term that describes the taking of private property for use by the government. Eminent domain raises constitutional issues and must be done properly. The government is obligated to purchase the land it is taking, even though the citizen who is losing their property cannot generally stop the sale from taking place.
Land use and zoning laws deal with the right of government entities to control how private property is used. The state empowers county and city governments to pass zoning ordinances and prescribe where different types of land use may occur, such as building housing, shopping, and commercial offices. The general idea is to protect the health safety and welfare of the citizenry as a whole. However, since the proper way to accomplish that goal can and is debated, and the government decisions concerning land use and zoning can have a substantial impact on the finances of individuals and companies alike, these issues can be hotly contested.
Liens are rights in specific property that exist to secure an unpaid debt. Liens can exist on either personal or real property, and they are usually tied to improving the property at issue. Some common liens include mechanic’s liens, repairman’s liens, tax liens, lessors’ liens, and oil, gas, and mining liens.
A homeowners association (or “HOA”) is an organization of owners of real property that work together to achieve certain common ends. In Utah, a homeowners association is commonly a corporation and the proper documents must be filed with the state. The owners of real property in a homeowners association, whether they have town homes, twin homes, condominiums or single family residences, contribute monthly dues to the association to pay for common expenses such as insurance, grounds keeping and to maintain amenities such as swimming pools. A community’s Covenants, Conditions & Restrictions (or “CC&R;’s”) will generally outline the manner in which the homeowners association will operate.
Quieting title refers to the process of removing competing claims to the same piece of real property, so the property can be peacefully enjoyed. The competing claims may be ownership claims, but they could also be other types of claimed interests such as liens or easements. If a competing claim is invalid, a party with a legitimate interest in the property may quiet the invalid claim.
Sale and purchase agreements are contracts in which the parties agree to the transfer of real property. Since real estate parcels are unique, each sale or purchase agreement must reflect not only the terms on which the transfer will take place but should also include language dealing with the special aspects of the property and any other rights that are being transferred with the ownership of the real property.