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What is the Legal Description of Real Property?

Real property is defined as being any property attached to or affixed to the land. Land itself will also fall under this classification. The goal of a legal description of property is to provide a means of identifying a property in such a way that it is able to be completely identified by using the legal description provided. This often means using strict identifiers that will not change over time.

Landlords may use our Lease Agreement which allows you to easily attach a legal description in addition to your lease.

Writing a Legal Description of Property

A legal description provided by a real estate lawyer is always recommended. This will allow you to ensure that your description is legal and valid in accordance to local and government laws.

Description of the Land

The description of the land is the most difficult part of the process. Real estate legal descriptions can be done in a variety of ways, including:

  • Fractional Designation: The most common form seen. A fractional designation uses rectangular surveying to correctly describe the land in sections.
  • Metes and Bounds: This form of description uses references, such as streets and rivers to identify each point of the property (north, south, east, and west).
  • Lot and Block Survey: The newest land description system seen. This breaks land into plots or blocks to designate boundaries.

The description of the land is meant to identify all of the boundaries of a specific piece of land.

Quantity of Land

Most real estate transactions will list the quantity of land, in measures of acres, for the land itself. Buildings are typically listed with square foot measurements. The quantity of the land is not a necessity in most cases, as a land survey will outline the boundaries of the land being sold.

Street Address

A legal description of real property does not require that a street address be present. Since road names and addresses can change, a street address is often only used to outline a current home’s address. If an invalid address is present, it will need to be waived.

A survey will need to be done for a proper legal description to be formed. A real estate lawyer is the ideal professional that should be sought when you need a legal description to be written. Without a proper description, you, as the seller, may find that your sale was void due to an improper land description.

This article contains general legal information and does not contain legal advice. Rocket Lawyer is not a law firm or a substitute for an attorney or law firm. The law is complex and changes often. For legal advice, please ask a lawyer.


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