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Real Property Legal Description

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What is a Real Property Legal Description?

Real property is defined as any property that is attached to, or affixed to land, including the land itself.  Each piece of real property can be very different from the next.  This becomes a matter of concern when trying to identifying a piece of real property. 

A legal description of real property may be used in legal documents to describe, locate, and identify a plot of land or a building that is being transferred or sold.  In a legal description, the real property should be described using set boundaries rather than natural landmarks, which can change over time. 

Real property should be directly identifiable from the legal description.  That is, there should be no need for an additional document identifying the property apart from the legal description. 

When is a Real Property Legal Description Used?

Legal descriptions of real property are used in many different situations.  The main use is when the property is being sold or purchased.  Other times a legal description may be found are in situations involving:

  • Distribution of property through a will instrument
  • Conflicts over ownership of the home
  • Records of deed and title (such as those kept in a county recorder’s office)
  • Transfers of real property through gifts
  • Many types of real estate contracts
  • Boundary disputes between neighbors (such as easement disputes)

Thus, in such situations, the court needs to be able to clearly identify the real property that is in dispute.  If there is confusion over the property itself, it will make it that much more difficult to resolve any other related issues. 

A real property survey report can be helpful if there are real property legal description issues.  This is a report that identifies any improvements to the property and identifying major characteristics of the property involved.

Do I Need a Lawyer for Help With a Real Property Legal Description?

Any legal matters involving real property generally require the assistance of a qualified lawyer.  You may wish to hire a lawyer if you need legal representation in court or if you need to file a lawsuit.  Your attorney can provide you with the legal advice and guidance needed to help you obtain a legal remedy for your situation. 

Photo of page author Ken LaMance

, LegalMatch Law Library Managing Editor and Attorney at Law

Last Modified: 02-08-2018 11:24 PM PST

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