What is a Legal Description in Property Law?
A legal description in property law is a comprehensive description of a parcel of real estate that is used to identify and describe a particular property. It is a precise method of describing a piece of land in a way that is legally binding and accepted by the courts. The legal description is used to establish boundaries, identify adjacent properties, and clarify title issues.
Types of Legal Descriptions
Legal descriptions come in a variety of forms, and the most common types are metes and bounds, lot and block, and government surveys.
Metes and Bounds
Metes and bounds is the oldest form of legal description and dates back to the 13th century. This type of description is based on physical features, such as bodies of water, trees, and other landmarks, and it is usually found in rural areas. It starts at a known point and then uses angles and distances to define the boundaries of the property.
Lot and Block
Lot and block is a more modern form of legal description that is used in urban and suburban areas. This type of description divides a larger tract of land into smaller, numbered lots and blocks. The description typically includes the lot and block number, the name of the subdivision, and the county in which the property is located.
Government surveys are used to describe public lands, such as national parks and military bases. These descriptions use a system of coordinates, such as latitude and longitude, to identify the boundaries of the property.
Importance of Legal Descriptions
Legal descriptions are important for establishing ownership of a piece of property. Without a legal description, there is no way to accurately determine the boundaries of a property or who owns it. In addition, legal descriptions are used to establish easements and rights of way, set up zoning laws, and determine the amount of taxes owed on the property.
A legal description in property law is a precise method of defining a piece of real estate in a way that is legally binding and accepted by the courts. There are several types of legal descriptions, including metes and bounds, lot and block, and government surveys. Legal descriptions are important for establishing ownership of a piece of property and for other legal matters, such as zoning and taxes.