Ohio Law School 1L Study Guide for Property

I. Real Property Overview

Real property law addresses the rights and interests in land and structures affixed to it. In Ohio, real property includes land, whatever is affixed to it, or anything which is in it, or the right to minerals, oil, gas, and coal.

– Lutz v. Long: landmark case in Ohio property law concerning whether a severed mineral interest had been abandoned.

II. The Rule Against Perpetuities

The Rule Against Perpetuities (RAP) restricts certain kinds of future interests in property. In Ohio, the RAP applies to restraints on alienation and states that no interest is valid unless it must vest, if at all, not later than 21 years after the death of some life in being at the creation of the interest.

– Finch v. Finch: The court applied the RAP and held that unless the interest vests within 21 years after the death of some life in being, it is void.

III. Easements

Easements grant a nonpossessory right to use another’s land for a specific purpose. In Ohio, there are two types of easements: appurtenant and in gross.

– Kienzle v. Myers: The Ohio Supreme Court established the rule for implied easements based on prior use.

IV. Adverse Possession

Adverse possession is a method of acquiring title to real estate, accomplished by an open, notorious, continuous, and adverse possession for a statutory period. In Ohio, the statutory period is 21 years.

– Grace v. Koch: The Ohio Supreme Court clarified the requirements for adverse possession, including actual possession, exclusive possession, open and notorious possession, and adverse possession.

V. Landlord-Tenant Law

Ohio law provides for rights and responsibilities of both landlords and tenants, from rent and security deposit rules to the right to habitable housing.

– Shroades v. Rental Homes: This case defined constructive eviction in Ohio.

VI. Condominium Law

In Ohio, the Condominium Property Act governs condominium ownership and management.

– Beacon Management Co. v. Ault: The Ohio Supreme Court held that a condominium unit owner is liable for assessments and charges.

VII. Eminent Domain

Eminent domain is the power of the state to take private property for public use. In Ohio, the power of eminent domain is reserved to the state, but may be delegated to municipalities, townships, and private corporations.

– Norwood v. Horney: The Ohio Supreme Court held that economic benefit alone does not satisfy the public use requirement for eminent domain.

VIII. Zoning Law

Zoning laws regulate land use within specific areas. In Ohio, municipalities have broad zoning powers, subject to constitutional limitations.

– Euclid v. Ambler Realty Co: Though a U.S. Supreme Court case, it had a substantial impact on Ohio zoning law, establishing the constitutionality of zoning ordinances.

IX. Environmental Law

Ohio has various laws and regulations to protect the environment, including provisions for controlling air and water pollution.

– State ex rel. Merritt v. Neil: The Ohio Supreme Court held that the state has a public trust duty to protect the waters of Lake Erie.

X. Estate Law

Ohio law provides for various forms of property ownership, including fee simple, life estates, and joint tenancy.

– Bingham v. Bingham: The Ohio Supreme Court clarified the rights of joint tenants with rights of survivorship.

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