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Property II
University of Toledo School of Law
Hopperton, Robert J.

Property Rights
Land Use Controls
Restrictions on
Land Use Controls
§         Bundle of rights
o       Right to exclude
o       Right to possess
o       Right to use and develop
o       Right to enjoy
o       Right to transfer
o       Right to destroy
§         Private Land Use Controls
o       Inherent
§         nuisance
o       Volitional
§         Easements (volitional agreements)
·         Created by mutual action of the parties
§         Covenants that run with the land at law (CRWL-Law)
§         Equitable servitudes
§         Public Land Use Controls
§         Constitutional limitations on what Public officials can do in terms of controlling private land use
Policy Considerations for property law:
                                                              i.      Land should be put to productive use
                                                            ii.      Value of land should be maximized
Three dimensions of property
                                                              i.      Substantive law
1.      FSA and 6 elements:
a.       Right to exclude
b.      Right to possess
c.       Right to use and develop
d.      Right to enjoy
e.       Right to transfer
f.       Right to destroy
                                                            ii.      Adjective law/Procedure/Burden of proof
1.      P has burden of proof in nuisance
                                                          iii.      Remedial Law
1.      If there’s a nuisance – injunctive relief (equitable relief, not legal relief)
Externality = a spillover (un-consented to)
                                                              i.      Can be beneficial or detrimental
Tragedy of the Commons Handout:
                                                              i.      Externalities of the commons are negative
                                                            ii.      No beneficial externalities of the commons
                                                          iii.      Legal regime of the commons – all privilege, no right
                                                          iv.      The commons is not an unlimited resource; it is finite
1.      Scarcity is the ultimate reality that will take the commons to the tragedy
The best regime to avoid over-consumption of resources and to add the greatest good to the greatest number:
                                                              i.      All right and not privilege
Basic Rule:
                                                              i.      The basic rule of nuisance is vague, general, and subjective
                                                            ii.      Nuisance = non-trespassory substantial interference caused by negligent operation
                                                          iii.      Nuisance law = Common law’s response to externalities to deal with land use conflicts
1.      People arguing that it is an inadequate legal response would say:
a.       Injunction is a normal remedy, but too powerful to use very often
b.      An injunction is almost never granted in advance
c.       Courts are reluctant to use injunction (too harsh a remedy)
d.      The vague language of nuisance rule does not produce a consistent application of the rule or consistent criteria
e.       The balanceing of the equities (used by courts) will typically come down this way:
                                                                                                                                      i.      The worse the nuisance, the more likely there is high capital activity generating the nuisance, and the less likely the nuisance will be shut down
f.       If a nuisance is found, it will help only nearby landowners
2.      Private property rights advocate who would criticize the prevention costs in public regulation of land would say:
a.       Spur shows creativity of common law and that it can adapt
b.      Private or common law devices can answer pollution problems
3.      Inadequacies of nuisance law provided rational for zoning
4.      received recent rehabilitation:
a.       it provides an objective standard that can measure constitutional v. unconstitutional land use (propertarian approach and rational)
Dual aspect of nuisance law:
                                                              i.      right of protection for the P (neighboring landowner who is suffering from negative spillovers)
                                                            ii.      Private land use control on the D (party who is creating the nuisance)
Substantive law rights that are implicated in a nuisance action:
                                                              i.      right to use and develop and right to enjoy
                                                            ii.      Adjective law of nuisance puts burden of proof of establishing a substantial interference on the P
                                                          iii.      To meet burden of proof – P argues decreased property values, discomfort, fear for health, etc.
Remedial law:
                                                              i.      four possible results:
1.      Nuisance – injunctive relief
2.      Nuisance – permanent damages (Boomer)
3.      Nuisance – Compensated injunction (Spur)
4.      No nuisance – No remedy
5.      Nuisance, but P came to the nuisance
                                                            ii.      Typical common law remedy
1.      Injunction (very powerful remedy)
                                                          iii.      Courts don’t like to cause economic waste by granting injunction
                                                          iv.      Courts almost never grant injunctions prospectively (before the business is built); they say “build it and then we’ll see if there is a nuisance.”
                                                              i.      A feature of American and English law – the common law became a highly technical body of law plagued by strange terminology, complications, and limitations

the land and take something that is part of the land
2.      Rules for profits and easements are the same
Easements will affect the value and marketability of the servient tenement
Easements can be very valuable
How to create an easement
                                                              i.      Through express creation (involves a document)
1.      Grant (by deed)
2.      Reservation (by deed)
a.       Reservation – “new” easement
                                                                                                                                      i.      Ex: A conveys bundle of rights to B, but reserves out of the bundle an easement
b.      By grantor of FSA to 3rd party
3.      Estoppel
a.       License à easement
4.      Exception
a.       Exception out of an interest already existing
b.      Ex: If B wanted fee simple ownership of a corner of a parcel, B would have excepted out of the legal transaction of the fee simple transfer an already existing interest
                                                            ii.      Through implication (no written document)
1.      necessity
a.       unity of title
b.      severance of title
c.       very high degree of necessity (must have been in place at the time of the severance of title)
d.      Courts are less likely to grant an easement implied by reservation than implied by grant
                                                                                                                                      i.      Construe against the grantor; higher standard for implication by reservation than for implication by grant
2.      Prior Use/Pre-existing Use (quasi-easement)
a.       Unity of title
b.      Severance of title
c.       Prior use
                                                                                                                                      i.      Must have been apparent
d.      Necessity
                                                                                                                                      i.      Lower degree
                                                                                                                                    ii.      Need to show more for reservation situation (strict necessity) than for grant situation
e.       Construe more strictly against the seller who failed to reserve an easement
                                                          iii.      Through adverse use/Prescription
1.      very confused area of law
2.      Adverse use