housing code- A group of state or local laws that compels a landlord to maintain his property in a certain condition.
homestead- The family residence. A part or even all of the equity in the homestead is exempt property.
HUD- The federal Department of Housing & Urban Development. HUD's main office is in Washington, D.C., but HUD also has "regional" offices in several major cities and "area" offices in many other cities. HUD oversees the public housing program, and HUD also enforces federal laws against discrimination in housing.
public housing- Housing owned by a local government agency (usually called a "housing authority") and rented out to low-income people at rents below market rates. This program is subsidized by the federal government, through HUD.
premise liability- An area of law defining the liability of an owner or operator of their property.
easement- The legal right to cross or use another persons real property with the expressed permission of the owner to do so. If the use is without permission, the person using the easment may still have legal rights under the the law of adverse possession.
year-to-year agreement- An agreement between a landlord and tenant that permits either party to terminate the agreement or change the terms (including rent) by giving the other party prior written notice at least one year before the date of termination or change of terms.
property rights- The legal basis to claim ownership of certain real property through devise, transfer, gift, bequest, or other legal right.
title - Ownership of property as shown by the name on an appropriate document. Title to property may be held by either spouse, by both spouses, or by a spouse and other individuals. Titled property can be both real (land, a house) or personal (stock certificates, bank accounts, etc.).
eminent domain- The right of a government to seize private real property when and if it chooses so long as reasonable compensation has been made to the owner of that property and legal due process is followed.
eviction- A judicial and legal order to remove a person or persons from their home or apartment usually because they have not paid the rent or violated some material element of the lease.
lease- A legal contract, usually for a term of years or months, between an owner of real property and the party who wishes to take occupancy of the real property in exchange for monetary consideration.
trespasser- A person who enters upon property without the permission of the person who is entitled to possession. (A landlord who enters a tenant's apartment without permission of the tenant or authority of state law is a trespasser.)
wrongful eviction lawsuit- A lawsuit filed by a tenant against a former landlord who used self-help or other illegal methods to evict a tenant.
dispossess lawsuit- A special lawsuit filed by a landlord to evict the tenant. This lawsuit is designed to give the landlord a speedy remedy. In some states, it is called an "unlawful detainer" suit.
implied warranty of habitability- A doctrine adopted by the courts that permits tenants to withhold rent or sue landlords if they fail to comply with housing codes.
nuisance- A wrongful use of property that hurts the ability of neighbors to use their properties peacefully. Loud noises and noxious smells and sometimes nuisances.
tenant at sufferance- A person who entered into occupancy of property with the landlord's permission but now occupies it illegally (e.g., because the lease has expired).
week-to-week agreement- An agreement between a landlord and tenant that permits either party to terminate the agreement or change the terms (including rent) by giving the other party prior written notice at least one week before the date of termination or change of terms.
deed- A document that transfers ownership of property from one person to another.
deed of trust- A document that a lender (often a bank) receives from someone who owns property. If the owner fails to make payments on the loan, the deed of trust gives the lender the right to sell the property to get the loan repaid. Similar to a mortgage.
ejectment- An old, "common law" lawsuit to evict the tenant. This is not a particularly speedy remedy, and it is seldom used today.
farm lease- A lease for agricultural property.
industrial lease- A lease for property used for factories and the like.
management company- A company that manages the property for the owner. A management company usually handles finding new tenants, negotiating leases and rental agreements with them, collecting rents, maintaining the property, handling disputes, evicting tenants who fail to pay rent, and handling security deposits. Management companies may charge the owner a flat fee per month or a percentage of the rents collected.
management of marital property- The power to use, sell, or otherwise properly manage marital property. Depending upon state law, the power may be exercised by one or the other spouse, or may be exercised only by both spouses acting together.
net lease- A commercial lease under which the tenant pays most or all of the landlord's expenses (such as property taxes), so the landlord receives a "net" amount that is mostly pure profit.
office lease- A lease for office space.
option to renew- Some leases give the tenant the right (but not the obligation) to renew the lease for an additional period of time. This is called an "option to renew." The terms of the renewed lease might be the same as those for the old lease, or they might be different (e.g., they might raise the rent).
percentage lease- A commercial lease that calls for a rent computed as a percentage of the tenant's sales.
assignee- A person who receives an assignment of a lease or, other rights.
collateral- Property that is pledged to the repayment of a loan. If the loan is not paid, the debtor must surrender the collateral to the creditor.
commercial lease- A lease for property used for a commercial purpose: retail, office, or industrial.
depreciation- Physical things - including buildings - deteriorate over time. This loss in value is called "depreciation." A landlord is allowed to consider this loss a cost of doing business and deduct a certain portion of this loss from his income every year. This will reduce his taxable income. And this will reduce the amount of federal and state income taxes he pays.
lease- A written agreement for rental of certain premises for a fixed period of time (such as 6 months or 1 year).
lessee- Another word for "tenant."
lessor- Another word for "landlord."
equity- The market value of property, minus any debts owed on the property.
exempt property- The property a debtor is allowed to keep after bankruptcy.
foreclosure- Legal action a creditor takes to force the sale of real property so the debt can be repaid from sales proceeds.
household goods- An individual's ordinary household furniture and furnishings. They are generally exempt property in bankruptcy.
misappropriation- The intentional, illegal use of the property or funds of another person for one's own use or other unauthorized purpose, particularly by a public official, a trustee of a trust, an executor or administrator of a dead person's estate or by any person with a responsibility to care for and protect another's assets (a fiduciary duty). It is a felony (a crime punishable by a prison sentence of one year or more).
month-to-month rental agreement- An agreement between a landlord and tenant that permits either party to terminate the agreement or change the terms (including rent) by giving the other party prior written notice at least 30 days before the date of termination or change of terms.
mortgage- A document that a lender (often a bank) receives from someone who owns property. If the owner fails to make payments on the loan, the deed of trust gives the lender the right to have the property sold to get the loan repaid. Similar to a deed of trust.
residential lease- A lease of property to be used as the tenant's residence.
value The- present worth of property, given its age and present condition.
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