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LAND - Real property; the surface of the earth and that which is affixed to it permanently, that which is below it, and the space above it; synonyms with "real property", "realty", and "real estate". Sometimes used to mean only the unimproved surface on the earth.

LAND TRUST - A land trust is a not-for-profit organization, private in nature, organized to preserve and protect the natural and man-made environment by, among other techniques, creating conservation easements that restrict the use of real property.

LAND USE CODE (Planning Code) - That portion of a municipal ordinance that regulates the development and use of land within the jurisdiction.

LAND USE LAW - Land use law encompasses the full range of laws and regulations that influence or affect the development and conservation of the land. This law is intensely intergovernmental and interdisciplinary. In land use law there are countless intersections among federal, state, regional, and local statutes. It is significantly influenced by other legal regimes such as environmental, administrative, and municipal law.

LAND USE REGULATION [Local] - Local land use regulations are laws enacted by the local legislature for the regulation of any aspect of land use and community resource protection, including zoning, subdivision, special use permit or site plan regulation, or any other regulation that prescribes the appropriate use of property or the scale, location, or intensity of development.

LANDLORD - The person who controls, operates, or owns the property.

LANDLORD'S LEASE - A lease written and or prepared by the Landlord. It’s usually very weighed in the Landlord’s advantage. (Please see the article “The Anatomy of a Lease”

LANDLORD'S MARKET - A time in the economic market that favors a landlord or seller. Typically refers to a market (regardless of the current state of the economy) that’s experiencing strong leasing activity, and doesn’t have a lot of available space. Supply and Demand.

LANDLORD'S WARRANT - This gives the landlord the right to lien a tenant’s personal property and the right to sell it to collect delinquent rent.

LANDMARK PRESERVATION LAW - A landmark preservation law designates individual historical or cultural landmarks and sites for protection. It controls the alteration of landmarks and regulates some aspects of adjacent development to preserve the landmarks’ integrity.

LANDSCAPE - The visible features of a land area that includes its physical elements such as topgraphy, various living elements (such as flora and fauna) as well as manmade elements such as walkways, roadways, lighting, etc.

LANDSCAPE ARCHITECT - A licensed design professional that deals primarily with site work, such as plant selection, irrigation systems, etc.

LATENT COOLING CAPACITY - An HVAC system’s capability to remove moisture from the air.

LATENT DEFECT - A fault, flaw or unseen problem with a building that is hidden or otherwise not visible under normal inspections.

LEAD PAINT ABATEMENT – Lead paint is paint containing lead, a heavy metal, which is used as pigment, including lead (II) chromate, chrome yellow and lead (II) carbonate white lead being the most common. Lead is added to paint to increase durability, speed drying, retain a fresh appearance, and resist moisture which causes corrosion. Lead based paint is a dangerous substance. It is damaging to young children whose bodies are still developing. Lead can cause nervous system damage, hearing loss, stunted growth, reduced IQ, and delayed development. It can cause kidney damage and affects every organ system of the body. It also is dangerous to adults, and can cause reproductive problems in adult men. Abatement requires testing to evaluate all painted surfaces. The procedure for lead inspections is outlined in the HUD Guidelines, Chapter 7, 1997 Revision. Abatement must be performed by a licensed abatement contractor.

LEASE - The legal agreement between the Landlord and Tenant setting forth the terms and conditions for use and occupancy by the tenant and limitations of the landlord.

LEASE COMMENCEMENT DATE - The date that the obligations under a lease begin.

LEASE DATE – Also known as DATE OF LEASE – Refers to the date that the lease has been fully executed (signed) by both the tenant and the landlord

LEASE EXPIRATION - The date when a lease expires, according to the terms and conditions set forth in the lease.

LEASE EXTENSION - An agreed upon period of time, between landlord and tenant that he lease term can be extended.

LEASE PROPOSAL – Typically a non-binding written proposal meant as a starting point for lease or purchase contract negotiations. Also known a “Letter of Intent” or “Letter of Interest” (which see).

LEASE TERM – The amount of years that the agreed upon lease will remain in force.

LEASEABLE – Real Estate slang for the Leaseable Square Footage of a building.

LEASEABLE SQUARE FOOTAGE  - Also referred to as “Gross Square Footage”. It is the amount of space in the building or within the Tenant’s rentable space once the common area or load factor has been added to the usable measurement. It is typically the amount of square footage your rental rate is based on. Usable square footage plus the building’s load factor (walls, common areas, etc.) equals the leasable square footage.

LEASEE – A non-standard term meant to identify the individual or company leasing space from another party. A more accurate term would be Lessee (Also see; Tenant).

LEASEHOLD - An ownership interest in land as established by a lease or other form of title.

LEASEHOLD ADVANTAGE - The positive difference between the then current rental being paid on a property and its Fair Market Value (FMV).

LEASEHOLD ESTATE - A tenant's right to occupy real estate during the term of the lease. This is a personal property interest.

LEASING AGENT - An individual assigned the responsibility, usually by the building owner, to lease the property.

LEGAL DESCRIPTION - A written description of a property, recognized by law, which is sufficient to locate and identify the property without oral testimony.

LEGAL ENTITY - A person or group of people whom the law recognizes as having the power, to own, sell, or encumber real property. Common examples are corporations, joint ventures and partnerships.

LEGEND - The reference area on a map that lists and explains the colors, symbols, line patterns, annotations and the map’s scale.


(Typical Map Legend)


LENDER PAID MORTGAGE INSURANCE – A program where a lender charges a higher interest rate instead of a separate mortgage insurance charge.

LESSEE – The Tenant of a Landlord; The party who holds an estate by virtue of a lease.

LESSOR - The entity (usually the Landlord) that leases space to another party (the Lessee or Tenant). (See: Landlord).

LETTER OF CREDIT - A written pledge or a commitment made by a lender or other party at the request of a party to honor drafts or any other payment.

LETTER OF INTENT (LOI) - A lease proposal or offer letter with an acceptance signature block for both parties. It may or may not be legally binding, depending on the statements in this agreement. (Link to an Example)

LETTER SIGN – A type of flat sign, consisting of letters and or symbols placed directly on the face of a building.

(A typical and well designed, Letter Sign)

LIABILITY INSURANCE - An Insurance policy that offers protection (up to a pre-established figure) against claims alleging a property owners or Tenant’s negligence or inappropriate action that resulted in bodily injury or property damage to a third party.

LIEN – A financial claim against a property (i.e., a mortgage or Mechanic’s Lien) for the satisfaction of a debt.

LIEN RELEASE – A written agreement between parties (Usually a General Contractor and their subcontractors that perform work for them) that states that they have been paid or compensated for the work that they have done and release the party from further monetary obligations.

LIFE CYCLE COST ANALYSIS – The estimate of the operating, maintenance and replacement costs of a fixture designed to assist the owners in developing a realistic design and budget cost estimate.

LIMITING HEIGHT The maximum height that a wall, chimney or other structure can be built without exceeding its designed structural capacity under given design loads.

LINTEL A horizontal member that spans a framed opening; such as a window or door; also referred to as a Header.


LISTING – A written agreement between a landowner and a licensed real estate broker to sell or lease a property.

LISTING AGREEMENT - An agreement between a property owner and a broker giving the broker the right to sell or lease the owner’s property in return for compensation.

LIVE LOAD A temporary and variable force (i.e., people, traffic, equipment, weather conditions, etc) placed upon a structure.

LOAD – 1).Weight; as created or born by external or environmental sources (design, wind, water, etc).   2).To burden.

LOAD FACTOR/LOSS FACTOR - Also referred to as a "common area factor". It’s the difference between the rentable and usable square footage in the building.

load factor illustration


LOAN APPLICATION - The loan application is a source of information on which the lender bases his decision to make the loan. It defines the terms of the loan contract; gives the name of the borrower, place of employment, salary, bank accounts and credit references; and describes the real estate that is to be mortgaged. It also stipulates the amount of loan being applied for, and repayment terms.

LOAN CLOSING - When all conditions have been met, the loan officer authorizes the recording of the Deed of Trust or Mortgage. The disbursal procedure of funds is similar to the closing as a real estate sales escrow. The borrower can expect to receive less that the amount of the loan, as title, recording, service and other fees may be withheld, or he/she can except to deposit the cost of the items into the loan escrow. This process is sometimes called "funding" the loan.

LOAN-TO-VALUE – (LTV) – A loan amount shown as a percentage of the value of a property (i.e., 80% LTV represents a mortgage of 80% a property’s value).

LOCAL BOARD - See "Reviewing Board."

LOCAL LAW - Local law is the highest form of local legislation. The power to enact local laws is granted by the constitution to local governments. Local laws, in this sense, have the same quality as acts of the state legislature, both being authorized by the state constitution. They must be adopted by the formalities required for the adoption of local laws.

LOCAL LEGISLATURE - The local legislature adopts and amends the comprehensive plan, zoning and land use regulations, and sometimes retains the authority to issue certain permits or perform other administrative functions. The local legislature of a city is typically called the City Council, of a village, the Village Board of Trustees, and of a town, the Town Board.

LOGO – A businesses trademark or symbol.


(Location Island’s Logos)


LOSS FACTOR - Also referred to as common area factor or load factor. It’s the difference between the rentable (Gross) and usable (Net) square footage in the building.


LOST INSTRUMENT BOND - Surety Bond issued to the Public Trustee by an insurance company as a substitute for the lost original note.

LOT - A lot is a portion of a subdivision, plat, tract, or other parcel of land considered as a unit for the purpose of transferring legal title from one person or entity to another.

LOT AREA - Lot area is the total square footage of horizontal area included within the property lines. Zoning ordinances typically set a minimum required lot area for building in each zoning district.

LOUVER - An opening with slanted fins (to keep out rain and snow) used to ventilate attics, crawl spaces and wall openings.


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