Real Estate Glossary L [Part 1]

Terms Beginning With - L

Property Development & Investment Glossary, Terms & Definitions

Labor pool

Collective noun for the employed and the potentially employed who make up a community’s labour force.


An equitable theory utilized by courts to bar or prevent the assertion of a right or claim owing to unreasonable delay or failure to assert the right or claim. Laches is comparable to the statute of limitations, which is a legal (rather than an equitable) law used to preclude a claim filed after a statutory amount of time has passed.

Lacustrine Wetland

A wetland is one that is connected with bodies of standing water, such as ponds, lakes, and reservoirs.

Lag time

An intended pause between the completion of the predecessor activity and the commencement of the successor activity.

Laminated shingles

A shake-like effect can be achieved by adding extra layers or tabs to the shingles. Architectural shingles are another name for this type of shingle.


Forming connections between layers of material.


A balcony, veranda, porch, or covered patio is a common term in the western or southern regions.


A plot that does not have any structures but may have some improvements to the land.

The part of the earth’s surface that isn’t covered in water.

Everything on the earth’s surface, including trees, crops, and water, as well as the minerals beneath the soil and air right above it, reaches all the way to the planet’s core. Real property encompasses not just the ground itself, but also all the structures built on it, such as buildings, fences, and other fixtures, as well as any and all rights related to the property itself, such as easements, rents, and profits. The term “land” has come to be used interchangeably with “real property” and “real estate.”


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Land acquisition costs

The cost of the land itself, as well as the costs of broker fees and licences.

Land acquisition loans

Loans to fund the acquisition of raw land; possibly the riskiest type of real estate loan.

Land bank

Purchased land for future development. In some places, the government will condemn and bank scenic property in order to prevent negative development and to limit urban or suburban expansion or sprawl.

Land banker

A developer is someone who improves raw land for building purposes and keeps a stock of these kinds of lots as part of their business.

Land banking

The acquisition of land for future use.

Land capacity

An important first step in evaluating a property’s highest and best use is assessing the land’s capacity to accommodate both capital and labor.

Land contract

Legal and equitable ownership are retained by the seller in an installment contract for the sale of a property, while the buyer receives equitable ownership (record title).

A property transaction in which the seller keeps title to the property while the buyer is given possession and receives ownership after a set debt payoff.

Land Cover

The materials that cover the ground, such as plants and concrete.

Land description

A written description of a certain piece of real estate. In a deed, an assignment of a lease, or a mortgage, the legal description of the property should be complete. In a sales contract, on the other hand, the description only needs to be enough to identify the property. Often, a street address is enough for this.

Land development

The commercial activity of purchasing vast areas of property, subdividing them, and selling off individual smaller portions. Subdivision is another term for subdivision.

The process of clearing, grading, and installing utilities on raw ground in preparation for the construction of improvements.

Land development loans

Loans to fund the installation of on-site and off-site land improvements required to prepare the property for building.

Land economics

The scientific study of land and methods for assessing and implementing the highest and best use of land.

Land grant

A government grant of public lands, usually for highways, railroads, or agricultural institutions (thus the term land-grant college).

Land lease

A ground lease is a contract that allows you to rent land

For a set period of time, a building and other land improvements are rented.

Land leaseback

A creative financing mechanism (typically employed with raw land that a developer wishes to enhance) in which a developer sells the land to an investor who leases it back to the developer under a long-term net lease and subordinates the fee ownership to the lender who provides development financing. The ultimate result of the land leaseback transaction is maximum leverage, including 100% land financing and, because the land is subordinated to development finance, most likely 100% development financing as well.

Land packaging

The combining of numerous smaller plots of land into a bigger plot for a specific purpose.

Land planner

Sets out the fundamental “plan” for how the property will be used, including the location of roadways, utilities, structures, water retention areas, and other aspects.

Land poor

The state of not having enough money because you own too much real estate that doesn’t bring in any money but keeps costing you money every month.

Land residual technique

A way to figure out the value of real estate that is similar to the building residual technique of capitalization, except that the amount of income earned by the improvements at the highest and best use of the site (the return on and recapture of the capital investment) is subtracted from the annual net income. The resulting number (the land residual) is then capitalized at the land capitalization rate and added to the cost of the improvements to get the real estate’s appraised value.

Land sale leaseback

The sale of property and the subsequent leaseback of the land by the seller, who then becomes the landowner’s tenant.

Similar to a sale-leaseback, but only the land is exchanged hands and leased back under the terms of a ground lease.

Land trust

A trust set up by the owner of real estate and made up of only real estate. As with all trusts, a deed in trust gives the trustee legal and equitable ownership of the property.

The beneficiary, who is usually the trustor, has the right to use the property in the trust (that is, the person who created or established the trust). Most of the time, only living people can set up a land trust, but both living people and corporations can be the beneficiaries. A land trust’s beneficial interest in real estate is considered to be personal property. The person who gets the property has the right to use it, get money from it, and sell it. In a land trust agreement, the trustee can only do anything with the property if the beneficiary gives written instructions. The trustor and the trustee both sign the land trust agreement. A beneficial interest in a land trust can be transferred without a deed and all its formal requirements. This is done by assigning the interest. It can be used as collateral for a loan without having to file a mortgage (through a collateral assignment). Courts have said that real estate in a land trust cannot be split up by the beneficiaries because their interest is not in real estate but in personal property.

A land trust usually lasts for a set amount of time, like 20 years. If the trust term doesn’t get extended by the beneficiary, the trustee is usually required to sell the property and give the beneficiary the net money from the sale.

Land trusts are popular among people who own more than one piece of land and want to protect themselves from what happens if one owner gets divorced, loses a court case, or goes bankrupt. Since ownership is kept secret, a land trust is sometimes used to keep things quiet when putting together different pieces of land. Land trusts can also help avoid title liens and partition suits, cut down on probate costs, and help people who don’t live in the state where the land is located avoid extra probate costs and inheritance taxes there. If the real estate is to be sold, the trustee should sign the contract of sale and the deed.

A type of real estate ownership that allows for restricted responsibility, conventional tax status, and private ownership.

Land usage

zoning restrictions govern the purpose for which land is used.


The human activities that take place within a certain region of the terrain.

Land-use controls

Controls on land use enforced by the government in order to ensure orderly growth.

Land-use intensity

A way to use land that is based on local zoning laws or comprehensive development ordinances and is meant to connect land, building coverage, and open space. The land-use intensity (LUI) scale gives a series of density ratings (percentages) for floor area, open space, living space, and recreation space. When land-use intensity is used, the floor area ratio determines how much floor space a building can have in relation to the size of the lot on which it will be built. Minimum requirements for open space are based on a percentage of the actual floor area that can be built on a certain zoned lot. The LUI has become an important tool for making planned unit developments happen (PUDs).

Land-use map

A map that shows the different types and amounts of land use.

Land-use plan

A plan that a developer of a planned real estate project sends to a local government agency as part of the process of getting a permit under local comprehensive development ordinances.

Land, tenements, and hereditaments

The total possession of all the rights in a freehold estate; a medieval expression used to characterize all sorts of immovable realty, including the land, buildings, and all appurtenant rights thereto.


A stairway landing or a stair landing at the bottom of a flight of stairs.

Landlease communities

The term “community” or “park” refers to a grouping of prefabricated homes where the property on which the homes are situated is leased by the owners. It’s common for the owner to provide a pad for the residence, as well as utility hookups for the home (electricity, plumbing, and water).


Land that can’t be reached by a public road or way, like parcel C in the figure below.

If parcel C used to be a part of parcel A or parcel B, a court would give the owner of parcel C an easement of necessity over the parcels it used to be a part of. This easement of necessity only lasts as long as necessity does. When land is taken for a limited-access highway, it can sometimes lead to the creation of landlocked parcels.

A property that does not have access to a public roadway is said to be in this state.


A person who owns a rental property.

The person or company who owns a property that is leased to a tenant.

The person who rents out the space or the owner. The landlord keeps a reversionary interest in the property, which means that when the lease is up, the property will go back to the landlord.

Whoever is leasing out the property.

The sum (expenditure) paid by the landlord for required tenant improvements, less the tenant’s pro rata share of those costs.

The person who owns the leased property. The lender.


There are several ways to describe land boundaries; the most common are metes-and-bounds, where a feature of the terrain or property serves as a symbol of the place.

To designate a structure or a neighbourhood as being under government protection in order to preserve its historical integrity.

Landmarks commission

A city government organisation that recommends properties and neighbourhoods for landmarking and ensures that landmarks are protected correctly.

Landscape architect

An architect who specializes in the design and placement of trees, other plants, and other aesthetically pleasing items on land. The focus is usually on creating the grounds for a structure or set of buildings.


Plants like shrubs, bushes, and trees on the land around a building. In general, landscaping costs can be spread out over 15 years, but this depends on the situation. Most of the time, though, land itself is not a tax-deductible expense.

Landscape architect, landscape gardener, or landscaper work; treatment of lawn and plantings to improve the appearance of a lot.


A tiny road with no curbs or sidewalks; common in older developments.


To cover another shingle or roll with the same material as the first.

Larger parcel

A term that is used in condemnation cases when the court looks at the amount of severance damages when only part of the land has been taken. Most of the time, ownership, use, and proximity must all be the same. But it has been decided that integrated use, not physical proximity, is the way to figure out if a piece of condemned land is part of a single tract that deserves severance damage.


A spring-loaded lever or knob with a bevelled metal tongue.

Late charge

A fee that a borrower has to pay if they don’t pay a regular loan payment when it’s due. It is usually not thought of as interest, but as a fee for the extra work and trouble that the creditor had to go through. The courts, on the other hand, won’t enforce excessive late fees, like 10% or more of the unpaid principal, because that would be considered a penalty.

Late date order

The promise that a title insurance company will give a buyer an owner’s title insurance policy that covers the seller’s title as of the date of the contract. This is also called a later-date policy. At the closing, the buyer tells the title company to record the deed and expand its search to show that the buyer is the current owner of the property.

Late fees

Fees are charged for typical home loans when payments are received after the 15th of the month in which they are due. Commercial mortgages contain this term as well.

Late finish (LF)

The latest feasible time for an activity to be performed without causing a delay in another activity or the project’s completion date.

Late start (LS)

The latest potential time for an activity to commence without interfering with another activity or the project’s completion deadline.


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Latent defects

Hidden flaws that will manifest themselves in the future.

Hidden structural problems that the seller knows about but the buyer doesn’t, and that are hard to find during an inspection. If the seller or the broker knows about problems like termite damage, a broken water heater, or a dangerous staircase behind a basement door, they must tell the person who wants to buy the house. If you don’t tell the buyer these things, it’s a hidden lie, and the buyer can get out of the contract.


The trench beneath the ground and the associated services that will be installed there.

Lateral and subjacent support

The help that one piece of land gets from the land next to it is called “lateral support.” It is not a right in the land of a neighboring owner. Instead, it is a right that comes with owning the land that gets the support. Subjacent support is the help that the surface of the earth gets from the strata that are below it.

Both types of support follow the same basic rules. In essence, a neighbour who owns land next to yours or who owns mineral or other rights under your land has a duty to keep your land in its natural state. This duty of support doesn’t apply directly to any of the improvements on the land, but it does make the landowner responsible for damage to improvements on the neighbor’s land if the land would have sunk anyway because of the excavation, even if the improvements weren’t there. In general, if a property owner wants to dig on their property, they can reduce their risk of being sued by giving their neighbors enough notice so they can take the necessary precautions.


Thin pieces of wood or metal that are nailed to rafters, ceiling joists, or wall studs to make a base for slates, tiles, shingles, or plaster.

Building materials such as gypsum, plaster, or tiles that are fastened to the building’s frame, such as slender wood, metal, or insulating board.

Plywood is an engineered wood product that is fastened to a building’s framing to support plaster, shingles, and tiles.


Wood or metal strips that are criss-crossed generate regular, patterned spaces in an open framework


That set of rules that people follow to run their own lives. Real estate law comes from state and federal constitutions, state and federal laws, rules from federal and state boards and commissions, county and city ordinances, and, most importantly, court decisions. Private law is the law that the parties make for themselves in their legal documents. For example, the bylaws and house rules of a condominium spell out in detail how the owners should act, and if someone breaks these rules, the owners can take legal action against the person who did it.

Law day

The date when a debt must be paid; sometimes called the closing date. Under common law, the person who owed the mortgage had to pay it off by the law day. If the borrower doesn’t pay on time, the mortgagee has the right to take possession of the property. The defeasance clause says that if payment was made by the law day, the mortgage would be null and void, and the mortgagee would lose all rights to the property.

Law of agency

The legal rights, obligations, and liabilities of the principal, agent, and third parties arising from an agency relationship.

Law of descent

The rules and procedures that govern how a state distributes a decedent’s inheritance among heirs in the absence of a testament.

Lawful interest

This is the maximum amount of interest that can be charged by law without being considered usurious.


Spatial data of a common type or subject in a geographic information system.

Leaching cesspool

In plumbing, a cesspool that doesn’t keep water out and lets liquid waste percolate into the soil around it.

Lead lender

Usually, a local lender who pays the first part of a large loan and sets up the rest of the financing with one or more institutional lenders. The loan is taken care of by the lead lenders.

Lead poisoning

A blood test can find out if someone has this serious disease, which is caused by having a lot of lead in their bodies. Lead can cause a lot of health problems, especially in young children who have trouble learning. Lead is often found in lead-based paint, lead pipes that leak into water, and lead solder.

Lead time

A purposeful hastening of the commencement of a successor work after the predecessor activity has been completed (in part).

Lead-Based Paint Hazard Reduction Act (LBPHRA)

A federal law that lays out a comprehensive plan for reducing exposure to lead paint hazards. The act and the rules that go along with it require sellers, landlords, real estate agents, and renovators to take action if they disturb more than two square feet of old paint in homes built before 1978. This is to make sure that lead-based paint hazards are taken into account when homes and apartments built before 1978 are sold or rented out. The HUD booklet Protect Your Family from Lead in Your Home must be given to each tenant or buyer.

The law says that you have to tell people about any tests for lead and/or the possibility of lead-based paint, but it doesn’t say that you have to test, remove, or fix the problem. Even though the buyer is not the tenant, the buyer must be given the chance to test for lead-based paint within ten days or at a time that both parties agree on, or the chance may be taken away. Real estate agents are responsible for making sure that sellers and landlords follow the rules. If you don’t, you could be fined up to $11,000 per mistake. A rule that went into effect in April 2010 says that all contractors and maintenance workers who work on homes, child care centres, and schools built before 1978 that have lead-based paint must be trained on how to follow safe work practices. The rule applies to renovations, repairs, and painting, but not to minor maintenance or repairs, which are defined as less than six square feet of lead-based paint in a room or less than twenty square feet of lead-based paint on the outside.

Some owners of homes built before 1978 don’t have to make the disclosures. This includes owners of homes for the elderly, vacation homes, and rental properties that have been certified as “lead-based paint free.”


The proportion of total spendable income that is unsatisfied by existing retail offerings and travels to shops outside of the local trade area.

Transactions involving customers based in the study area who made purchases outside of the study’s primary service area (representing a loss of revenue for retailers located within the trade area in which those consumers reside).


Continued at…
:point_right: Real Estate Glossary L [Part 2]