Real property is defined as: land and improvements permanently attached to the land. It is also known as real estate, or realty.
Rights & Privileges
Ownership of real property conveys 6 basic rights and privileges:
The right to Sell the property
The right to Use or destroy the property
The right to Rent or lease it
The right to Give it away
The right to Enter or leave it
The right to Do nothing with it
A good way to remember these rights is the acronym "surged" formed by the first letter of each word.
This "bundle of rights" may be imagined as a bundle of sticks with each stick representing a separate prerogative of the owner. Each right may be disposed of individually or together with 1 or more of the others. Real property is often transferred without the exchange of the full bundle.
An example is a property sold without the mineral rights. This might significantly alter the value of the property, and thus the appraiser must always ascertain which rights have been conveyed, and what their worth may be.
Government Property Right Limitation
Four powers of government limit the full exercise of the property rights listed above. They are:
Taxation - the right to tax property for support of government functions and public programs.
Eminent Domain - the right to take property for public use through condemnation proceedings, providing that just compensation is paid.
Police power - the right to regulate property use in order to promote the public health, safety, morals, or general welfare.
Traffic regulations, zoning ordinances, building codes, and sanitary regulations are all examples of use of the police powers of government.
Escheat - the right to have ownership of private property transfer to the state if the owner dies without leaving a will or heirs (Intestate).
Private Property Right Limitation
Private agreements may limit the ownership rights of property. Some examples are:
Liens and judgment
Covenants, conditions and restrictions found in deeds and documents giving title to the property rights of other co-owners of a property, such as community property rights.
Private deed restrictions which limit occupancy on racial or religious grounds have been over ridden by federal, state, and local laws which guarantee the right to buy, sell, lease, hold, and convey property without discrimination.
Buildings and other relatively permanent structures located on or attached to land are called improvements. Improvements can be divided into 2 types:
Improvements on the land
Improvements to the land
On the Land
Improvements on the land are structures on a site which permit or assist its use for a specific purpose. Examples are:
An improvement on land where the owner of the land is not the owner of
the improvement is called an improvement on possessory rights (IPR). An
example of an IPR might be a billboard owned by a sign company, placed
on a small piece of leased land.
To the Land
Improvements to the land make land usable and/or prepare the property for construction of improvements on the land. Examples are: