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is legally considered to include the surface of the earth, the subsurface to the center of the earth, and the air about the land within reasonable limited to permit commercial air travel. Land is unique in that no two parcels, or specific pieces of land or lots, are the same.


Real Property

Is land and its attachments, as well as all of the rights associated with the property


Personal Property

Is most easily defined as any property that is not real property. It is movable, thus not fixed to the land.


Bundle of legal rights

Right of possession - physically occupy the land
Right of Quiet Enjoyment - Freedom to possess and use the land without interference from other people or society.
Right of Disposition - Right to transfer all or some of the rights to other people
Right of Exclusion - Stop others from using the property or even entering the property.
Right of Control - Physically alter or change the property.



A legal synonym for trespass, but the term refers to physical objects, such as buildings, whereas trespass refers to people.



are the rights that go with real property, for example, access rights, limited air rights, water rights, mineral rights etc.


Littoral/Risparian Rights

The rights of an owner of land contiguous to a body of water. If the water in question is flowing, for example, a river or stream, the rights are said to be riparian. If the property is subject to the ebb and flow of the tide, such as the ocean, bay, or large lake, the rights are said to be littorial.



Items of personal property that have been permanently attached to the land or its improvements.


Trade Fixture

are any equipment or personal property a commercial tenant installs for business purposes.



Is any property that is movable and not fixed to land. AKA Personal property



another word for fructus industriales (flowers, crops, and other vegetation that are planted or cultivated annually or seasonally


Fee Simple Estate

is the fullest freehold estate (possessory interest of uncertain duration) interest that exists in real property. This implies there are no conditions on the title.


Life Estate

is a freehold estate (possessory interest of uncertain duration) that lasts only as long as a specified person, the "measuring life" lives. The holder of a life estate is called a life tenant.


Life Estate Pur Autre Vie

Based on a person's life other than the life tenant. The measuring life and the life tenant are not the same


Leasehold Estates

is an interest that gives the holder a temporary but exclusive right to possession of the estate without title. It is more limited than a freehold estate. The holder is called a lessee or tenant


Right of Survivorship

The property passes automatically to other co-owners when one co-owner dies


Tenancy in Common

Form of ownership with two or more persons having an undivided interest in the entire land, but no right of survivorship.


Joint Tenancy

exists when each co-owner has an equal undivided interest in the land and right of survivorship. Requires the 4 unities of possession, interest, time and title.


Tenancy by Entirety

is a form of co-ownership that involves only owners who are husband and wife, or, in Illinois, a couple legally joined by a civil union - with each having an equal and undivided share of the property. Requires all five unities - possession, interest, time, titile and person (since spouse and civil partners are considered a single, indivisble, legal person.



one owner's interest has been severed from the interests of all others


Adverse Possession

is when someone acquires the title to someone else's real property through open, notorious hostile (adverse), and continuous use of it for a specific period of time as determined by state law. aka title by prescription



specific pieces of land or lots


Possessory Interest

Interest that entitles the holder to possess and occupy the property, now or in the future; an estate, which may be either a freehold or leashold



Allows any co-owner to end a joint tenancy


Unity of Interest

each co-owner having an equal interest in a piece of property


Unity of Possession

Each co-owner equally entitled to possession of the entire property


Unity of Time

When each co-owner acquired title at the same time


Unity of Title

When each co-owner acquired title through the same instrument (deed, will or court order)


Planned Unit Development (PID)

is a special type of subdivision allowed in some communities; which does not necessarily have to comply with all the stand zoning and subdivision regulations