Understanding the transfer of land can be “tricky” business. The following makes it “crystal” clear as to the transfer of land pertinent to Real Property Law and the Law of Conveyances.
In order to understand your rights more fully in the ownership of land, this article addresses such matter(s) by definition provided by (English) common law.
Within this beginning series of articles relative to land ownership, we (once again) give definitive guidance as to the meaning of land ownership and all that it entails.
Relative to common law, land includes any soil, even soil immersed in water. Therefore, dry land and bodies of water such as lakes would fit under this classification.
When we refer to plots of land, under common law, the reference is made that such land stretches to supposed infinity upwards; and to the earth’s center downward.
Buildings as well as other type structures and plants growing on the land pass with it. Additionally, produce on the land becomes the owners by accession.
There are exceptions to what an owner is entitled to after acquiring a piece of land. For instance, objects merely resting on the property are not those of the owner.
However, should an object become firmly fixed to the land or becomes part of something else that is firmly fixed on the property then those objects form part of the real estate and are thus referred to as fixtures.
In certain scenarios, individuals entitled to the rights of the land for a pre-designated period of time, in example lessees (or tenants for life), may remove, upon giving up the land, any fixtures, they, themselves have established on “said” land.
Additionally, in other circumstances, persons involved in such an arrangement may garner remuneration from the freeholder for improvements he or she has made on the land.
A precise term as to the formerly mentioned improvements is: betterment.
Works that increase the property’s value off or outside the property such as a publicly-traveled road may also be referred to as: betterment.
Some laws (sometimes) insist that the landowner make contribution(s) to the cost involved in betterment works.
Another example, similar to the circumstances mentioned above, would be the setup of a chain length fence between two properties by two separate land owners. In this case, both might agree to split the cost of such a fixture 50/50 since the fence would set right on the property line; one side of the fence facing an owner’s property and the same holding true for the other (owner.)
From an agricultural perspective, crops produced on an annual basis by a farmer are considered “emblements” and pose an exception to the law wherein crops pass with conveyance of land.
In the circumstance previously mentioned, the crops are considered personal property and in effect may pass separately from the land itself, upon the owner’s passing.
Should there be a sale, they will be auctioned and/or sold with the soil unless there is a specific exclusion.
Particular terms have a known meaning when we are referring to land transferred.
In example, “Farm” includes the farmhouse and the land; “Water” means the owner has the right to the water and fishing; but not to any of the subsoil beneath the water.
“Pool” is inclusive of the water as well as its bed. Owners, who have land bordered by a river, acquire, in addition, alluvion due to the water’s recession.
In conclusion, transfer of land from one person to the next rests in the definition of English common law as it concerns the United States and Great Britain.