Real Estate, Real Property and Leased Land; Definitions, Discussion and Explanations

Delaware, and the remaining portion of the original British Colonies, has some land that is leased rather than owned by the residents of that land. Much of it's not evident to the casual observer.

The land on Lewes Beach is leased, not owned by the house owners. The land of Lewes Beach is owned by the Town of Lewes. The lands of Rehoboth by the Sea and Dewey Beach include leased land too Housers. The majority of the leases on that land will NOT be renewed but will return to the owners and the homes along with that land will be removed by the house owners at their expense. Much of the land in Riverdale, on Indian River Bay, adjacent to Oak Orchard is leased as well. In Riverdale the leased land is owned by Chief Clark of the Nanticoke Indians.

We've about half the inhabitants of Sussex County living on leased land; most of that leased land is found in what people call mobile home parks or communities. However, in those communities you can find seldom any homes which are truly mobile and you can find even two story stick built homes on a few of the leased lands in those communities. Condominiums and town houses are sometimes entirely on leased land as well. Some people find all this rather difficult to understand.

We Realtors and Attorneys use the term fee simple to spell it out land that is being sold as real property; that is real estate. We used the term leased land or leasehold interest to spell it out land that is not transferring as real estate.

This rather lengthy text is regarding Leased Land, Real Estate, Private Property, Chattels, Mobile Homes, Homes on Leased Land and a legal dissertation to define, describe and determine the differences.

Terminology is important when discussing Real Estate, i.e. real property.

Black's Law Dictionary may be the recognized, definitive source for legal definitions under our American Law; which hails from English Law

PROPERTY: In the strict legal sense, an aggregate of rights which are guaranteed and protected by government. BL6, p. 1216.

PERSONALTY: Personal property; movable property; chattels; property that is not attached to real estate. BL6, p. 1144

PROPERTY: (personal property) - In broad and general sense, everything that is the main topic of ownership, not coming underneath the denomination of real estate. The right or interest less than a freehold in realty, or any right or interest which has in things movable. BL6, p. 1217

Therefore personal property, is that which may be easily removed from the real estate, and isn't real estate. Personal property includes crops, trees, shrubs, trailers, sheds, cars, mobile homes, manufactured homes that have a Department of Motor Vehicle title instead of a deed, and the contents of a property or building. In a property or business the private property includes drapes, lighting fixtures, rugs (not installed carpeting) free-standing cabinets and cupboards, furniture, and all the contents of closets, drawers and buildings. Buildings with out a foundation, that is sheds which are just supported by blocks are chattel property, that is personal property, and not area of the real estate. Such chattel includes dog houses and particularly the little storage buildings which are so common beyond homes today.

LANDS: In the absolute most general sense, comprehends any ground, soil or earth whatsoever... Black's Law dictionary 6th Ed. (BL6), p.877

PRIVATE PROPERTY: As protected from being taken for public uses, is such property as belongs absolutely to a person, and that he has the exclusive right of disposition. Property of a particular, fixed and tangible nature, capable to be in possession and transmitted to another, such as houses, lands, and chattels. BL6, p. 1217. Private property is land, houses, and chattels. Private property is protected from being taken for public uses. Private property is owned absolutely.

REAL ESTATE synonymous with real property" and p.1218 REAL PROPERTY ... An over-all term for lands, tenements, hereditaments (those things which are hereditary); which on the death of the dog owner intestate, passes to his heir." BL6, p1263

ESTATE: The amount, quantity, nature and extent of interest which an individual has in REAL and PERSONAL property. An ESTATE in lands, tenements, and hereditaments signifies such interest as the tenant has therein. BL6, p.547 The definitions here all refer to: real-estate = real property = estate = lands, tenements, and hereditaments. In the beginning, one may think that ‘real property'is the proper term for'all lands '. However it doesn't state the types of ownership as clearly as the definition of estate. We just had a massive instance with this once the thousands of leased land lots underneath the homes of several thousand people, in Angola, Pots Nets, and Long Neck areas owned by the Robert Tunnel family was inherited by the children.

IN OUR AREA THERE ARE NUMEROUS LEASED LAND PROPERTIES AND THOSE PROPERTIES ARE THE REAL ESTATE OF THE OWNER OF THE LAND – NOT THE OWNER OF THE HOME WHICH IS UPON THAT LAND. If you examine the definition for ESTATE it identifies a pursuit in the same articles defined in real property and real estate.

What's this LAND and WHO owns it and HOW could it be owned? Land may be private property OR estate, i.e. real estate. Estate is a pursuit in “real property" by way of a person or a tenant. Private property is owned absolutely by an individual.

INTEREST: More particularly it indicates a right to own the benefit of accruing from anything; any right in the character of property, but less than title. - BL6, p.812. By this definition it's clear that INTEREST cannot be TITLE, since it's less than title. Interest can be a property to land, but it's not really a to absolute ownership of land. People who live on leased land, thus, have only a pursuit in the land; and that interest is a lease-hold interest. Is there a definition of property that says it's land held in absolute ownership, as does private property's definition? We are able to delve into this more.

ABSOLUTE TITLE - As put on title to land, an exclusive title, or at the very least a name which excludes all others not compatible with it. A total title to land cannot exist at the same time frame in numerous persons or in numerous governments. BL6, p.1485

PRIVATE PROPERTY - ... is such property as belongs absolutely to a person, and that he has the exclusive right of disposition. BL6, p.1217

OWN - To truly have a good legal title; to keep as property; to truly have a legal or rightful title to; to own; to possess. BL6, p. 1105. To "own" is to own title. An interest is LESS THAN TITLE.

ESTATE: The amount, quantity, nature and extent of interest which an individual has in real and personal property. An estate in lands, tenements, and hereditaments signifies such interest as the tenant has therein. - - BL6, p.547 From these definitions, it's plain that we can't absolutely "own" real estate. We are able to only have a qualified ownership of qualified and described ownership of Real Estate. Thus, we truly need that Deed Description to spell it out it and qualify it. That ownership can be qualified by various government rights, decrees and laws, from antiquity, such as rights against trespass. That ownership is qualified by taxation, zoning, rights of way, and an array of other entailments. We need, therefore, a name search to determine those entailments, some that are invisible.

Therefore there's NOT just as much difference in the rights and privileges of ownership and interest together is resulted in believe. I have no issue with those who live on leased land instead of owning the land. Usually they are paying far less than it would cost them your can purchase the same property. However, they do not often get any appreciation of the land; the landlord gets the appreciation in real value, whilst the resident can appreciate the lifestyle for less cost per month or year.

However, since a pursuit in leased land isn't automatically transferable and is NOT Real Estate and because the chattel property upon it, the mobile home is personal property, with out a deed but instead has a name – Realtors aren't by law supposed to be mixed up in sale of such – but we are. We are supposed to only be selling real property. It gets all cloudy and foggy doesn't it. That's why you can find people and companies who sell mobile homes on leased land that are not realtors and don't need to be. In reality, although no-one will discuss it, Realtors aren't supposed to sell mobile homes on leased land. We don't need to take part in that battle anymore than I just did by describing it.

OWNERSHIP: The complete dominion, title, or proprietary, including right in something or claim... Ownership of property is either absolute or qualified. The ownership of property is absolute each time a single person has dominion over it, and may use it or get rid of it based on his pleasure, subject only to general laws. The ownership is qualified when it's shared with more than one persons, when enough time of enjoyment is deferred or limited, or once the use is restricted. - BL6, p. 1106 Such sharing is common with husband and wife, partners, families and corporations, etc.

DOMINION - Generally accepted definition of "dominion" is perfect control in right of ownership. The phrase implies both title and possession and appears to need a complete retention of control over disposition. - - -BL6, p. 486 I believe you'd concur that zoning, building codes, home owners association covenants, condominium documents of good use and business licensing is a restriction on the utilization of land (if it's Real Estate). And there's obviously the truth that failure to cover property taxes on real-estate will result in loss in said property. That's definitely not absolute ownership. But private property is defined as ABSOLUTE OWNERSHIP, not qualified (interest).

PROPERTY (tangible) - All property that is touchable and has real existence (physical) whether it's real or personal. - - BL6, p. 1218 In summation, it takes a good attorney, and one well versed and experienced in real-estate to comprehend the complex definitions, rights, liabilities, and privileges of real-estate ownership. I have now been buying and selling real-estate for myself and assisting others in the buying and selling of real-estate for thirty years. I have taught courses on real-estate and real-estate law. And, I would NOT consider purchasing a property, or purchasing property on leased land without the professional and paid assistance of an attorney who's a real-estate specialist in the exact county in which the property is located. Other attorneys from the areas aren't valid choices at all.