Category: Property Law

What is an easement by necessity?

An easement is one  way that a person may be allowed to use the real property of another person for a certain purpose.  There are different types of easements, including the easement by necessity, sometimes called the easement implied by necessity.   For an easement by necessity we need two things (i) severance of title; and (ii) necessity of an easement at the time of severance. Severance of title means that we have a piece of land that was originally owned by one person but then is transferred so one person now has title to a portion of the land and at least one other person has title to another portion of the land. Let’s say O has property next to a road on the east and surrounded by trees on all other sides.  O divides the property and gives A the eastern half of the land next to the road and B gets the west. But now B can’t reach the road without crossing through A’s property.  We can say it is necessary for B to cross through A’s property because he has no alternative but to do so.   We satisfied our two conditions above because at the time there was severance of title – – when O transferred the land to A & B – – it was necessary for B to use A’s property to reach the road. Below is a...

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What is a fee simple determinable?

I am working to get more property law videos up on my YouTube page.  I just loaded a new one on the fee simple determinable.   Property law in law school is mainly focused on real property, rights to land.  An interest in land is called an estate.  There are different types of estate. A fee simple estate means that a person has as many rights as possible with respect to a particular piece of land.  He can do what he wants with the land (subject to applicable zoning laws of course) and can give it to someone else.   A fee simple determinable is just like a fee simple estate except that the person’s interest in the land can end automatically if something occurs. Let’s say O gives land to A: “I convey this land to you and your heirs so long as you use it for educational purposes.”  Our magic words here are “so long as”.  “So long as”; “while”; “during”; and “until” are words that may create a fee simple determinable.  A has the land but as soon as he no longer uses the land for educational purposes, the land automatically reverts back to O....

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