An encumbrance is a debt, claim, or lien left on a property that is attached, and can affect it’s value, transfer, and title. There are different types of encumbrances, such as, taxes, mortgages, liens, environmental, etc.. Some encumbrances deal with monetary holds, such as liens and mortgages. Others can deal with other things such as zoning laws, encroachment, and certain restrictions.
Liens are a form of collateral that is held on a property for a debt owned. Encroachments refer to a structure of a property whether it be a building, home, fence, etc.. that is crossing over the property lines onto another private property. Encumbrances must be made clear to any potential buyers of a property prior to the purchase, and must be fully disclosed. A list of encumbrances will be given to the prospective owner regardless of its influence of the value or sale of the property, and none can be withheld.
A private encumbrance differs from public ones, in that it deals with the claims on a property through a private entity such as a business, or individual. They do not deal with any government organization or agencies and their claims. Some common examples of private encumbrances are, judgment liens, mechanic’s liens, and easements. Judgment liens deal with an unpaid damage from a lawsuit that the land owner faced at a given point.
A mechanic’s lien has to do with a debt owed to a person or company ( such as a contractor) for a service on the property. This debt can also include the cost of materials for the job or service performed. Easements placed on a property give the right to use a part of that property to another person or company. They can be for the use of utility companies for service purposes, or benefit a private owner to acquiring full use and enjoyment over their property.
The purpose of zoning laws is to regulate how a property or land will be used, that is beneficial to the community or general public. These laws categorize a land under its use and then have sub regulations in each of those categories to further regulate a property. These categories are the following: residential, recreational, industrial, commercial, and agricultural. The limits these laws place on a property can deal with the structures on that property.
For instance, they can regulate the size of a home both height and width as well as whether it is a single or multiple family dwelling. For commercial property they can regulate the size of hallways within buildings as well as emergency exits, and the capacity of a building. Zoning laws basically protect the public from a property abuse by any type of property that will be a nuisance or invade another property in any way.
Buildings codes are set to enforce the safety and proper function of operations within a building structure. Usually seen in commercial buildings, these codes enforce everything from fire safety to workplace safety. Building codes for fire safety are usually set by the local fire department’s fire marshal. These codes can regulate the maximum number of people that can be inside an establishment at the same time, as well as the number of fire exits that the building contains.
They also regulate how many fire safety devices must be installed in the building (fire extinguishers/hoses, smoke detectors, fire alarms, etc..), and at what frequency or abundance. Building codes can also relate to the requirements a structure must meet in natural disaster prone areas. These can be countermeasures for hurricanes, earthquakes, floods, and others. These codes also deal with other aspects, but generally they are set to maintain an overall safety within and outside of a structure.
Environmental protection laws are set to protect the environments from any damage or misuse by people near or around them. These laws can refer to where a property is built and restricted from being built such as reservation areas. They list guidelines that developers must follow when constructing new structures near these protected areas, as well as certain areas crucial to the environment that are not protected.
The environmental protection laws also deal with the types of materials that are used in any type of construction, industrial machinery, etc.. and regulations of their use. For companies creating certain hazardous material, there are requirements for the creation, use, and discarding of such products in relation to environmental laws as well. These laws are set to prevent any damage to an essential part of human life, most clearly seen in laws protecting our clean water systems and banning the dumping into them.
Easements are the use of a piece of a private property by another person or group for a specific purpose or use gaining an interest over that property. The two most common types of easements are appurtenant easements, and easements in gross. Appurtenant easements refer to cases where the land use is by another private owner, and can be granted by the owner of the land where the easement is located. It deals with a servient tenement (where the easement will be located) and a dominant tenement (the holder of the easement, and user of the land).
In appurtenant easements, the dominant tenement selling their property entails the new owner to acquire the easement automatically. This type of easement benefits the dominant tenement over the servient tenement. Easements in gross deal with the use of a land that does not benefit any particular person or party. They are most commonly used by utility companies seeking the use of land to provide services, or install structures or components for their companies.
A license grants the permission of a person to take part in an action or group of actions within the real private property of another owner. Unlike easements, licenses do not grant an interest in property to that person, they simply are a permission or authority to use that land at as indicated. Sometimes, licenses can be compensated for by the licensee, and can be established in various ways. A license can be given by a verbal agreement, and revoked at any time as needed, by the land owner.
When a license is inscribed in a written agreement, and even compensated for, it becomes irrevocable by the owner. Licenses can be implied by signs or advertisements in the cases of stores and their owners. For example, a store placing a sign outside urging prospective customers to come in and shop, is an invitation for those who read it to enter and shop in the store. Implied licenses can be abolished at any time, and any person found to be within the property after such revocation, can be prosecuted as a trespasser.