Arial Real Estate Law

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					Real Estate 712: Real Estate Law                                                                     Fall 2010

                                        Course Information and Syllabus

Class Time and Location:             Tuesday and Thursday 1:00 PM – 2:15 PM
                                     Room 3560, Grainger Hall

Instructor:                          Peter Ritz – Room 5257, Grainger Hall
                                     Off Campus Phone - 257-8280 -- Campus Phone – 265-3532

Office Hours:                        Tuesdays from 2:30 PM to 3:30 PM or by appointment

Course Requirements:                 Midterm Exam                  30 points
                                     Final Exam                    33 points
                                     Assignments                   27 points
                                     Class Participation and
                                     Attendance (see below)        10 points

                                             Overview of the Course

This course is intended to prepare you to understand and deal directly with legal issues affecting real
estate. It will provide the legal underpinnings to your other studies in real estate, and also will help you
become a better informed consumer of attorneys’ services, when they are necessary.

Through the first part of the semester, we will discuss basic principles relating to real estate; how claims
against real estate and other real estate interests are created, voluntarily and involuntarily; how real estate
can be divided across many dimensions; how real estate interests can be transferred; and how claims
against real estate are enforced (including a consideration of foreclosure and bankruptcy.)

With that background, we will consider how real estate transactions typically progress. We will touch on
real estate brokerage, illegal discrimination in residential and commercial transactions, and contracting to
acquire interests in real estate. The discussion of contracts will open up widely to include a variety of
important topics that a buyer should be satisfied about before becoming contractually bound to complete a
transaction - financing, environmental issues and land use restrictions (both private and public.)
Throughout the semester we will consider the role of title insurers.

Cooperative housing and condominiums will be discussed near the end of the semester as a way to tie
together much of the earlier material. We will bring the term to an end by considering how real estate
transactions are closed (or “settled”.)

                                                Course Materials

The course materials include a textbook, Elliot Klayman and James Karp’s Real Estate Law (6th or 7th
edition), collected Resource Materials (“RM”) available from the Grainger Copy Center, and other
items distributed in class or made available through the Course Webpage.

       How to use the Book: The text (which I will refer to as “Klayman”) is sound background for
most of the course’s topics. Law-related courses focus on language, and Real Estate Law is no exception.
The book has a set of important terms at the end of each chapter and includes a glossary. You will benefit
from reading the book ahead of lecture and using the vocabulary aids in it.

Date of this Syllabus - 2012-07-21
Real Estate 712: Real Estate Law                                                                  Fall 2010

Students always ask, “Do I have to know/read the cases in the book?” I will not ask you to memorize the
names of cases. Likewise, I will not quiz you by asking an exam questions like, “What was the decision
in the case of Stewart v. Pattinson and Lautner?” But, the cases are helpful because they illustrate the
principles described in the text and the authors use the judge’s decisions as the primary description of the
applicable rule, in some circumstances. Here is the key: You will be responsible for understanding the
principles of law we discuss, whether they are described in the text, a case or elsewhere.

       How to use the Resource Material, Handouts and Web Postings: Certain of these materials are
like photos in a book – merely entertaining or otherwise useful examples that drive home the points made
elsewhere. You will benefit from looking at them, but they are not essential.

On the other hand, certain of the RM or distributed items have been collected or written in order to cover
material that is not well developed in the book – examples include the RM materials on Local
Governments, Common Law and Equity, Discrimination, etc. These are as important as the text.

        The Course Webpage: I use the Course Webpage as a messaging tool to communicate with you;
as a place to keep an up-to-date course syllabus; and as a place to post lecture materials, assignments,
announcements, and grade indications. You should check the webpage often.

                                  Other Important Class Information

 Exams: The Mid-Term Exam is scheduled for 7:00 PM on October 26, 2010 in a room to be
assigned. It will be a closed book exam. I do not release copies of old exams, but I will post advice about
the style and content of the mid-term exam on the Course Webpage.

Make-up mid-term exams are given only for good reason and, except in cases of emergencies, only if
arranged well ahead of time. Please contact me in person or via email early in the semester if you foresee
a conflict for an exam or if you are entitled to any special accommodations for exams.

The Final Exam will be an open book take-home exam; the format has worked for prior graduate classes.
The Final Exam is not, strictly speaking, cumulative, but will focus on the assigned material from the
point of the Mid-Term Exam to the end of the course. We will build on many of the concepts we discuss
at the outset in the later part of the course. You have to walk before you can run, but how many runners
do you know who have forgotten how to walk?

 Attendance: You will be expected to attend and participate in class unless excused for a good cause.
Missing class for an illness or other good reason will not count against you, but please let me know in
advance if you will not be able to attend class and why. The class meets only 29 times a semester;
absences will affect your final grade in the class.

 Studying and Coursework: I encourage you to study in groups – the give and take of a study group
can be beneficial in this course. A study group can be especially helpful if you miss a lecture - while I am
happy to speak with students about material they have missed, I expect them to have at least tried to read
relevant portions of the Klayman text, the RM and any PowerPoint on the subject and to have tried to find
out what they missed from other students before asking me to repeat myself.

Assignments must be your own work, unless I explicitly assign a group project, and your Exams must be
entirely your own work, of course.
Real Estate 712: Real Estate Law                                                                   Fall 2010

 Grading: I do not give letter grades on individual activities (assignments, exams, etc.) Instead, I will
post number grades for each activity and “grade indications” a few times through the semester, to give
you an idea where you stand. Each activity will contribute to your cumulative grade in the class, and I
will base your final letter grade on that cumulative grade, participation and attendance.

I am happy to discuss grading issues with you on a one-to-one basis, but there are limits. Waiting until
the last week of class to question the grading of the first assignment is unreasonable, and reeks of laches
(you will learn that term.)

 Accommodations for Special Needs: I want to fully include people with disabilities and those for
whom English is a second language. Please contact me early in the semester if you are entitled to
accommodations or if you expect to have difficulties in class.

 Optional Real Estate Tours: I usually offer Tours of the public real estate offices (Register of Deeds,
County Treasurer, and Sheriff’s Foreclosure Auctions) about midway through the semester. Participation
in a tour is not required, but students who have toured with me in the past have found the experience
interesting and useful. Watch for announcements.

 HELP! Contact Information, Office Hours and Q&A: The surest way to reach me is via email.
Another good way to contact me is to call my “off-campus” phone number (257-8280.) I will generally
be at the Grainger “campus” phone number only on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

If you need to speak to me outside of class, even during my regular office hours, I suggest you contact
me. If a number of people want to see me the same day, I will set up separate meeting times.

In addition to live office hours, you can email questions to me and I will try to reply with a coherent
answers. Please be aware that, if you ask me a terrific question, I may share both the question and my
answer with the class (though I will not identify you, without your permission.) If you do not mind
sharing your question and identity with the class, you can use the “Ask a Question, Get an Answer” forum
link on the Course Webpage which will make the thread of emails on your topic available to the entire
class, allowing others to join in the discussion.

 Computers and Wireless Devices in Class: The Real Estate and Urban Land Economics Department
has adopted a policy against computers and wireless devices in the classroom. Laptop computers, cell
phones, PDA’s and similar devices are allowed only with the instructor's permission and subject to the
instructor’s conditions. If you feel you cannot succeed in Real Estate Law without access to a computer
or other device during class, please see me to discuss your particular circumstances.

 Academic Misconduct: Cheating is a serious offense with serious consequences. The University’s
policies are at In those policies and in
our class, “Academic Misconduct” includes a student’s act which:
    o Seeks to claim credit for the work or efforts of another without authorization or citation;
    o Uses unauthorized materials or fabricated data in any academic exercise;
    o Forges or falsifies academic documents or records;
    o Intentionally impedes or damages the academic work of others;
    o Engages in conduct aimed at making false representation of a student's academic performance; or
    o Assists other students in any of these acts.
Real Estate 712: Real Estate Law                                                                    Fall 2010

 Religious Observances: The University’s policy on religious observances is found in the University
Timetable (Registrar’s website.)

                              Tentative Course Schedule and Reading List

          September 2 through 7: Introduction: We will discuss the sources of law in America and the
relationship between the federal and state governments.

    Read: Klayman, Ch. 1; RM all of Part 1000 and 4003.

           September 9 through 14: We will discuss some basic real estate concepts you were probably
introduced to in prior courses. We will differentiate between real property and personal property; discuss
the concept of “liens” on real and personal property; review the notion of recourse and non-recourse
liabilities; and then review fundamental rights and obligations of real estate owners and users (including
Trespass and Negligence, with a discussion of Equity.)

    Read: Klayman Ch. 2, Ch. 3 (only ”Common-Law Limitations” beginning at page 62 (7th Ed.) or
    page 56 (6th Ed.)), and Ch. 21 up to ”Loan Application and Commitment”; RM Part 2000 and
    “fixtures” language at RM 7020 and in the Ohio Real Estate Purchase Contract in Klayman, Ch. 11.

          September 16 through 21: We will discuss how real estate is described and divided in the
United States, including an introduction to the Government Survey. We will cover metes and bounds
descriptions, and major and minor land divisions – this latter discussion will require a detour into issues
of local government law.

    Read: Klayman Ch. 17 and “Subdivision Regulations” at pages 609-610 (7th Ed.) or pages 555-557
    (6th Ed.); RM 1003 and 3001-3022

          September 23: Having learned about describing lands on the surface of the earth, we will
consider the physical extent of real estate rights in the air, below the surface, and in water and other
natural resources.

    Read: Klayman, Ch. 3; RM 3023-3029

        September 28 through October 5: We will see how real estate can be divided over the
dimension of time - Freehold Estates and Non-Freehold Estates (leases.)

    Read: Klayman, Chs. 4, 7 and 8; RM Part 5000

         October 7 through 14: We will look at simultaneous ownerships and business entities as real
estate owners. Along with those topics, we will also discuss Life Events – the effect of marriage, divorce
and death on real estate ownership.

    Read: Klayman Ch. 5, Ch. 18 (only “Transfer of Property on Death”) and RM 8001-8010; Life
    Events handout.

         October 19: We will discuss non-possessory rights in real estate: Easements and Profits.
Real Estate 712: Real Estate Law                                                                 Fall 2010

    Read: Klayman, Ch. 9; RM 4001-4002

         October 21: We will discuss the risk of losing property to another person by Adverse
Possession and use this class as a “catch up” opportunity for Exam material.

    Read: Klayman, Ch.18 (as it relates to Adverse Possession)

       October 26 (yes the same day as the Mid-Term Exam): The risk of losing property involuntarily
by Eminent Domain (not a subject for the Mid-Term Exam.)

    Read: Klayman, Ch.18 (as it relates to Eminent Domain); RM 1002-1003

                         MID-TERM EXAM on Tuesday, Oct. 26 at 7:15 PM

THERE WILL BE NO CLASS ON OCTOBER 28 because of the Real Estate Club Trip to Seattle

After a discussion of the mid-term exam we will begin an extended trip into the following issues:
the concept of “Title” to real estate and voluntary transfers of real estate and claims on real estate.

         November 2 through 11: Over an extended period of time, we will discuss Involuntary Liens
(including issues of Local Government Finance); Conveyances by Deed and Mortgage (and Deeds of
Trust); Recording Systems; Foreclosure, Alternatives to Foreclosure, and Bankruptcy.

    Read: Klayman, Chs, 15, 16 and 21 through “Alternatives to Foreclosure” (7th Ed.) [or through
    “Deed in Lieu of Foreclosure” (6th Ed.)]; RM 7022 through end of Part 7000; and Klayman, Ch. 19;
    RM 8009-11 and 8014.

         November 11 through 16: Turning to issues in the context of real estate transactions, we will
begin with a discussion of Brokerage and the issue of Discrimination in real estate dealings.

    Read: Klayman, Ch. 12; RM 7001-7012 and Klayman Ch. 23; RM 8012-8013

          November 16 through December 7: Continuing the “transaction” theme, this section of the
course will consider contracts for the purchase of real estate, and how they can be structured to allow
“Due Diligence”. Among the topics we will discuss, beyond straight contract issues, are a final visit to
real estate Financing, Environmental Matters; and Private and Public Land Use Controls.

    Read: Klayman, Ch. 10 (background); and Ch. 11; RM 7017-7021 (Contracts); Klayman, Ch. 21
    (again), emphasizing “Types of Mortgages” and “Transfers of Mortgaged Lands”; Klayman, Ch. 22;
    RM 7024 to end of Part 7000 (Financing); Klayman, Ch. 26; RM 7013-7021 (Environmental
    Matters); and Klayman, Ch. 24, 25 and 27; RM Part 4000 (Private and Public Land Use Controls)

          December 9 through 14: We will close the semester with two issues that call on all you have
learned through the semester: a) Cooperative Housing and Condominiums; and b) a discussion of how to
assure Title and Close Transactions.

    Read: Klayman, Ch. 6; RM 3032 to end of Part 3000 (Cooperative Housing and Condominiums);
    and Chs. 14, 19 (review) and 20; RM Part 6000 (Title and Closing)

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