Land law is a field of law that regulates land matters. Land law deals with the alienation of land, rights to use land, and the right to exclude others from land. Land law can also be defined as the law that governs land and all attachments to it. Attachments include things such as trees and buildings. In regards to the basics of land law, you need to understand the following things.
Tenure and land
The manner in which land is held is dealt under the law of tenure. Rights attaching to land also form part of the land. These rights include the right of way, easements, and profit a prendre. A profit a pendre allows you to take something off another person’s land. An easement is distinguishable from a profit a pendre in that, an easement is an interest on land that is non-possessory. An easement only gives you the right of way on another person’s land. It also gives confers you with the right of light. A right of light forbids an adjacent property from
obstructing the natural passage of light into your home.
Freehold and leasehold
Your right to ownership of land can be held in two ways: leasehold and freehold. Freehold is also referred to as a fee simple estate. When you own a fee simple estate, your ownership is absolute. In theory, you can do as you please with your land as a free holder. However, this right is limited in practice. A fee simple estate or freehold has no time limit for existence: it can last forever. In some instances, your land can be acquired by the government for the benefit of the public. This is referred to as a compulsory acquisition.
Leasehold is an interest on land that is derived from a freehold. When you have a leasehold, it means, you have bought the right to occupy land or a building for a given amount of time. For you to continue occupying the land or building, you have to pay rent. Legally, a person who owns a leasehold does not own the land even though he or she is in possession of it.
What are ordinances?
An ordinance is a law made by the local government. These laws are subject to national and state laws. However, an ordinance that indirectly or directly allows things prohibited by state statute or The Constitution is null and void. A local ordinance is a legislation made by the municipality. An ordinance is equivalent to a municipal statute. Ordinances govern matters that have not been provided for under national and state law.
Local governments are empowered by the law to enforce the ordinance and prescribe penalties for violations. However, this is subject to the provisions of federal and state laws. A person who violates an ordinance may be punished with a fine or incarceration or both. Municipalities are forbidden from punishing violations that are not provided for expressly under an ordinance.
Ordinances are enforceable against all persons living within a particular municipality or county. Below are some of the things that are regulated by ordinances:
- Regulation of companion animals or pets through leash laws
- Vaccination registration laws
- Regulation of safety and public health matters
- Regulation of the number of animals that can be kept within a municipality’s boundaries
Local governments control the use of land by enacting municipal ordinances. Normally, local governments have extensive powers in regards to land within their jurisdictions. These powers are donated to local governments by their respective states. Local governments are also empowered to enact zoning regulations.
Zoning ordinances are used by local governments to steer and restrict the development of land within their jurisdictions. They contain map-based parts and text-based parts that are used to show conditional and permitted uses of lots.
The law requires that zoning ordinances be in line with comprehensive plans. Comprehensive plans are used for strategic planning. Their role and content vary from one county to another. Local governments use them for guidance when developing zoning ordinances.
When you buy a house, the amount you pay for home warranty plans is normally decided by your local government under the respective ordinances.This instrument acts as a home owner’s insurance policy.