Real propertycan be divided into freehold estates1and leaseholds.
Freehold estates are those in which an individual has ownership of land for an indefinite period of time. It is important to note that in property law, the term land refers to real estate(and everything that grows on that real estate), any improvements to the real estate (e.g. buildings) and the right to the minerals underneath the land and the airspace above it. There are generally three types of freehold estate in English-speaking jurisdictions: the fee simple2,the life estateand the estate pur autre vie.A fourth type of freehold estate, the fee tail,is now largely obsolete. The transfer of title in land from one person to another is known as the conveyance.
The most complete, unlimited form of freehold estate is the fee simple, which is inheritableand lasts as long as the owner (or any subsequent heirs)wants to keep it. A life estate is one in which the individual retains possession of the land for the duration of his or her life. Although the ownership of a life estate is technically temporary because it ends when the owner dies, it is
1 The term estate refers to a person's interest in real property. It also refers to a deceased person's real and personal property.
2also fee simple absolute
treated as complete ownership (fee simple) for the duration of the person's life. The
estate pur autre vie is similar to the life estate, but differs in that it is measured by the life of someone other than the grantee(to whom an interest in the real property is conveyed by a grantor).An example of an estate pur autre vie would be a landowner who wishes to leave property to a charity in her will, but to enjoy tax savings during her life. She could formally donate the property but retain possession during her own life (a life estate) and specify that she wants someone, e.g. her husband, to be able to remain in the property should he outlive her (estate pur autre vie).
In common-law jurisdictions, leasehold interests in land are sometimes classified as personal property,along with tangible property such as goods and chattels.Leaseholds are property interestsof limited duration and are generally created through a lease- a contract for exclusive possessionin return for which the tenantpays the landlord or landladya specified rentor compensation. A licence1is like a lease, but is generally for a shorter period of time, usually less than 12 months. Furthermore, if there is no exclusive possession of the property (as in a hotel room), then a licence is created, not a lease. A licenseeis not granted any title interestin the land, merely permission to enter it for a specific purpose that would otherwise constitute a trespass.
The Statute of Fraudsis generally applicable to interests in land, requiring that instrumentssuch as deeds,real-estate sales contracts and certain leases be in writing to be legally enforceable.
1 (US) license
ey terms v. Instruments and people in real roperty law
3 Match the sentence halves to complete these definitions.
1A lease is an instrument which grants
2 A licence is an instrument which gives
3 A deed is an instrument which transfers
4 A tenant is someone who leases or rents
5 A landlord is someone who owns
6 An heir is someone who is entitled to inherit
7 A grantor is someone who conveys
8 A grantee is someone who acquires
9 A licensee is someone who receives
atitle to a property from one owner to another. b temporary possession of a property without
conferring ownership. cthe right to use property for a certain purpose
without conferring either possession or
dpart or all of a deceased person's estate.
ean interest in real property to another.
f property from a landlord.
gpermission to enter another person's property
temporarily. hproperty, and rents it out or leases it to others
for money. ian interest in property from another by deed or
other written instrument.
frth a partner, take turns making sentences that combine the people and the truments.
aple: A tenant signs a. lease when He/she rents property -from a 3rd.
Unit 7 Real property law I 73
Language use i: Forming adjectives with negative prefixes
5 Find two adjectives in Reading 1 with negative prefixes (e.g. un-, in-),
There is no single rule for forming adjectives with negative prefixes. The most common negative prefixes are un- and in~, but there are several others as well. For this reason, you should make a note of the negative prefix used with a word when you come across it; consult a dictionary if you are not sure.
6 Choose the correct prefixes [it-, in-, im-, ir~ or un-) to complete these sentences. Use your dictionary if necessary.
1 Under the__ legal lease doctrine, a lease of_ safe and _sanitary premises
that violate the local housing code is deemed an legal, and thus_
enforceable, contract, allowing the tenant to withhold rent but remain in possession.
2 If the tenant is__ able to pay rent when due, but on or before such due date
he/she gives the landlord written notice that it is__ possible for him/her
to pay said rent on time and the reasons, the landlord shall attempt to work out a procedure for paying such rent.
3 Freehold usually permits the owner to use the land for a particular purpose, allowed by government and planning laws, for an____________________ definite or_ limited period.
4 The term estate at will refers to an estate in which a person holds or
occupies property with the permission of the owner, for a term of specified
or__ certain duration; i.e. there is no fixed term to the tenancy.
Reading 2: Real property investment law
Mychajlo is a graduate student of law enrolled in a Master's degree programme in European Law. In a seminar on Eastern European Real Property Law, he has to give a presentation on the real property law of a specific jurisdiction. He has found an English text explaining the real property investment law of his own country, Ukraine, and is considering using it as a source of information. However, since Mychajlo's native language is not English, he has difficulty understanding the text.
7 Read through the extract from the text on page 75 carefully and match the headings (a-e) with the appropriate sections (1-3). You will not need two of the headings.
a Lease right to land
c Grounds for termination available to the landlord
d Grounds for termination available to the tenant
8 Quickly read the extract again. What features do you think might make it difficult to understand?
Lease agreements for an indefinite term may be terminated at any time by either party on three calendar months' notice. Lease agreements for a definite term may be terminated only in case of mutual agreement of the parties, or by a court of law.
The landlord shall have the right to terminate the lease agreement if:
• the tenant uses the real property in violation of the agreement or the real property's designation;
• the tenant transfers the use of the real property to another person without the landlord's prior consent;
• the tenant, due to his/her negligence, creates a threat of possible damage to the real property;
• the tenant has not commenced any major repairs of the real property where an obligation to do so was imposed on the tenant.
The landlord shall have the right to terminate a lease agreement and claim the return of real property if the tenant does not make lease payments for the use of the real property during three consecutive months. In the event the landlord terminates a lease agreement, the lease agreement shall be deemed terminated from the moment the tenant is notified by the landlord of termination.
Pursuant to the Civil Code of Ukraine, the tenant shall have the right to demand termination of the lease agreement if:
• the landlord transferred the leased real property, and the guality of the leased property contravenes the terms and conditions stipulated by the lease agreement or the designation of the real property;
• the landlord fails to comply with the obligation to make capital repairs of the real property.
According to Ukrainian law, an agreement on lease of the land shall be terminated in certain cases provided by the law, namely:
• compulsory purchase1 of the land for public needs and forced alienation of land on the grounds of public necessity under the procedure set by Ukrainian law
(upon) exercise of the power of eminent domain
Unit 7 Real property law
Language use 2: Formal/informal style: synonyms
One reason why the text might be difficult to understand is the fact that it contains several words which are typical of a more formal style of language and are not common in everyday speech. This style is often found in written legal texts, and sometimes in spoken language as well. In general, more formal English words are often of Latin origin, while less formal words are often of Anglo-Saxon origin (e.g. show (informal) vs. demonstrate (formal)). One example of formal language use can be found in Reading 1:
A life estate is one in which the individual retains possession of the landfor
the duration of his or her life.
The phrase to retain possession of the land is formal in style, while to keep the land would be more informal. The text in Reading 2 contains the following example:
Lease agreements for an indefinite term may be terminatedat any time by either party on three calendar months' notice.
To terminate is a formal way of saying 'to bring to an end' or 'to end' something.
9 Find more formal words and phrases (highlighted in Reading 2 on page 75) which correspond to these words.
1 agreement before 5 following in order 8 in agreement with
2 begun 6 do what is required 9 legal description
3 common 7 goes against 10 state purchase of privately
4 ended owned property
10 Discuss these questions in small groups.
1 When is it appropriate to use a formal language style in legal matters? What factors does it depend on?
2 In which of the following situations do you think it would be appropriate to use formal language?
0 When giving a presentation on a legal topic in a seminar
O When writing a seminar paper
O When speaking to a client
O When writing a letter or email summarising the law to a client
Listening i: Property-law presentation
You are going to hear an excerpt from Mychajlo's seminar presentation (see Reading 2).
11 4ii.± Under what circumstances are foreigners permitted to buy real property in your jurisdiction? Listen to the excerpt. How does the law in Ukraine compare to the law in your jurisdiction?
12 ^c7.i Listen again and decide whether these sentences are true (T) or false (F).
1 Foreigners are not permitted to buy agricultural land in Ukraine under any circumstances.
2 If a foreigner inherits farmland, he/she is allowed to retain it for the purpose of conducting business there.
3 Foreign business entities may not acquire buildings or structures on non-agricultural land.
4 Foreigners can acquire land in Ukraine by founding a company.
Speaking i: Giving emphasis to important points
Listeners can better understand and remember information given in a presentation if the speaker indicates its importance and gives it sufficient emphasis.
13 In his presentation, Mychajlo makes use of several of these techniques for emphasising important ideas. Which techniques does he use? Read through the audio transcript of his talk (page 132) and underline the examples of each technique.
2 Rephrasing an idea in different words
3 Using the voice to stress an idea
4 Using sentence openers that point to an important idea
5 Using intensifying adverbs or adjectives
14 Prepare a short presentation about the real property law in a jurisdiction you are interested in. Discuss the circumstances under which foreigners can buy and lease real property. Observe the guidelines for giving presentations given in Unit 1, making use of various ways of giving emphasis to important points.
LAW IN PRACTICEead-in
y-to-let, the practice of buying a property to rent out to tenants as a source of income, an attractive form of investment for many people. In recent years, EU enlargement and
[the availability of cheap flights from budget airlines have resulted in a growth in so-
kalled fly-to-let - that is, buying to let in other countries.
15 Discuss these questions in small groups.
1 Would you consider investing in property in a foreign country?
2 What are the uncertainties involved in dealing with foreign markets?
3 What advice would you give someone considering such an investment?
ey terms 2: Buying real property
I Choose the correct word to complete each of these five definitions of terms often used when discussing the purchase of property.
1 A deposit / lien / conveyance is the initial payment you make when buying a house.
2 The tenancy agreement / property transfer tax / rental income is the money received from let properties (the money paid by a tenant to a landlord).
3 A(n) mortgage/ escrow/ easement is an agreement which allows you to borrow money, especially in order to buy a house or apartment, or the amount of money itself.
4 The cadastral register / chain of title / capital appreciation is the increase in the value of an asset.
5 The stamp duty / purchase price / notarial deed is the amount you must pay for an asset.
Unit 7 Real property law
XI complete tnis aavertisement using the words from Exercise 16. You will not need to use all of them.