Real Estate Law

Elements of Law Session 10
Real Property Law
* talking about land, building, apartment, house, farm land, etc…
Fixtures vs Chattels
Fixture – attached to land in a certain way that you would need something like a bulldozer to remove it. Ex. Shed put on concrete foundation, individually you cannot do it, you need machinery. Therefore it is a fixture.
Chattel – something that can be easily removed from land. Ex. Furnaces in house, one person can take it and carry it out the door.
Two forms of estates (interests in land).
Fee Simple – highest form of ownership of land. Government owns most and what is left over is given to you by the government. Absolute ownership of land, allowing owner to do anything he wants to do with the land.
Lesser Estates (Easements) – Walking across someone’s land open and notorious, and the other person sees you. After 10 years if they have not said anything, constitutes an easement and you own that part of land where you walk on. The land you are walking on is called the servient tenament, the land with the easement. Your land, the person who gets the easement has the dominent tenament.
Another way an easement can be created is by a contract. You can give “possession” not ownership of your land, to maybe Ontario hydro for a fee. If you don’t agree to a contract easement to let them have possession, then you move to the last type of easement. Servient Tenament is you, and dominant tenament is Toronto hydro.
Another way to create an easement is a expropriation, where government buys you land at fair market value and gives possession to Toronto hydro.
Final case has to do with development of subdivisions. When they are being built, the builder gives an idea how the houses will be laid out. Say if one house needs to do repair and need more space than given by their property, the builder gives you access by giving you an easement to use the side of your neighbors’ property to do your repairs. A is the servient tenament.