Real property is a legal term
encompassing real estate and ownership interests in real estate
It is a type of property differentiated from
In the United States, each state has its own real immovable property law.
All states except Louisiana rely on variations of common law for the basis
of their real immovable property laws. Louisiana's laws are derived from
Napoleonic Code but have adopted some of the common law terms over the
Types of ownership interests
Real property (immovable property) can refer to the real estate itself, or
to various types of ownership interests in real estate, including:
Fee simple or freehold: The most common interest or right in real estate
and provides the owner the right to use the real estate for any lawful
purpose and sell the interest when and to whom the owner wishes.
Life estate: An interest in real estate (immovable property) which is
granted to a life tenant until that person dies. During the life estate,
the life tenant has the right to use the real estate for any lawful
purpose. The interest terminates upon the death of the life tenant
Estate for years: Similar to a life estate but term is a specified number
Leasehold: The right to possess and use real estate (immovable property)
pursuant to the terms of a lease.
Reversion: The right to possess the fee interest in real estate (immovable
property) after the expiration of a life estate, estate for years, or
Concurrent or co-tenancy: The ownership of an interest in real property
(immovable property) by more than one party. Rights of any single party
may be limited in various ways depending on the jurisdiction and type of
Note that it is possible for a property deed (the legal document used to
transfer title) to further restrict these general ownership rights.
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