Real Estate, Landlord-Tenant, & Property Law
With You Throughout.
The legal definition of real estate or real property is land and the buildings on it. Real estate law governs who may own and use the land.
This simple concept includes a wide range of different legal disciplines. First, real estate may be either residential or commercial. It can be owned by one person but used by another through rental arrangements. Land can be bought or sold, and due to its high value, there are many local laws that ensure real estate transactions are properly performed and recorded. Land may also pass between family members through estate planning or may be owned by more than one person. Finally, state and local governments have rules concerning the purposes for which land may be used — for example, each plot of land must be used according to local zoning laws, and landowners may not damage the surrounding environment.
Alabama state laws cover many aspects of the landlord tenant relationship, from security deposits to landlord access to rental property. Understanding of this state law is crucial to both landlords and tenants. Landlords want to run a profitable business and protect their investment. Tenants want to be happy in their rental homes and protect their rights. Both landlords and tenants want to avoid legal hassles as much as possible when it comes to rent, deposits, repairs, and other key issues. The bottom line is that competent advice can help both landlords and tenants get good outcomes.
Terms to Know
Title: A legal term describing who officially owns the land
Mortgage: A loan that covers the price of a house. The new homeowner must give the lender partial ownership of the house as collateral
Foreclosure: The process by which the lender takes control of a house if the owner fails to pay back the mortgage
Closing: The meeting in which ownership of real estate is officially transferred
Escrow: Money or property held by a third, disinterested party for safekeeping
Real Estate Agent: A professional licensed to negotiate and conduct real estate transactions
Landlord: A company or individual who owns property and rents or leases that property to another
Tenant: A company or individual who rents or leases from a landlord