Laws mandating on property improvement

Modern law has incorporated many of these concepts and rules into statutes, which define the types and rights of ownership in real and personal property.

Personal property, also referred to as movable property, is anything other than land that can be the subject of ownership, including stocks, money, notes, Patents, and copyrights, as well as intangible property.

(1) Land, buildings, roads and constructions of all kinds adhered to the soil; (2) Trees, plants, and growing fruits, while they are attached to the land or form an integral part of an immovable; (3) Everything attached to an immovable in a fixed manner, in such a way that it cannot be separated therefrom without breaking the material or deterioration of the object; (4) Statues, reliefs, paintings or other objects for use or ornamentation, placed in buildings or on lands by the owner of the immovable in such a manner that it reveals the intention to attach them permanently to the tenements; (5) Machinery, receptacles, instruments or implements intended by the owner of the tenement for an industry or works which may be carried on in a building or on a piece of land, and which tend directly to meet the needs of the said industry or works; (6) Animal houses, pigeon-houses, beehives, fish ponds or breeding places of similar nature, in case their owner has placed them or preserves them with the intention to have them permanently attached to the land, and forming a permanent part of it; the animals in these places are included; (7) Fertilizer actually used on a piece of land; (8) Mines, quarries, and slag dumps, while the matter thereof forms part of the bed, and waters either running or stagnant; (9) Docks and structures which, though floating, are intended by their nature and object to remain at a fixed place on a river, lake, or coast; (10) Contracts for public works, and servitudes and other real rights over immovable property. Movable property is either consumable or nonconsumable. Property for public use, in the provinces, cities, and municipalities, consist of the provincial roads, city streets, municipal streets, the squares, fountains, public waters, promenades, and public works for public service paid for by said provinces, cities, or municipalities. Property of private ownership, besides the patrimonial property of the State, provinces, cities, and municipalities, consists of all property belonging to private persons, either individually or collectively. Whenever the word "muebles," or "furniture," is used alone, it shall not be deemed to include money, credits, commercial securities, stocks and bonds, jewelry, scientific or artistic collections, books, medals, arms, clothing, horses or carriages and their accessories, grains, liquids and merchandise, or other things which do not have as their principal object the furnishing or ornamenting of a building, except where from the context of the law, or the individual declaration, the contrary clearly appears. The owner has also a right of action against the holder and possessor of the thing in order to recover it. For this purpose, he may use such force as may be reasonably necessary to repel or prevent an actual or threatened unlawful physical invasion or usurpation of his property. The owner may demand from the person benefited indemnity for the damage to him. Should this requirement be not first complied with, the courts shall protect and, in a proper case, restore the owner in his possession. If the finder is a trespasser, he shall not be entitled to any share of the treasure. The plaintiff must return to the defendant all benefits he may have received from the latter, or reimburse him for expenses that may have redounded to the plaintiff's benefit. Whenever a part of the thing belongs exclusively to one of the co-owners, and the remainder is owned in common, the preceding provision shall apply only to the part owned in common. But the effect of the alienation or the mortgage, with respect to the co-owners, shall be limited to the portion which may be alloted to him in the division upon the termination of the co-ownership. Each co-owner may demand at any time the partition of the thing owned in common, insofar as his share is concerned. The possession of things or rights may be had in one of two concepts: either in the concept of owner, or in that of the holder of the thing or right to keep or enjoy it, the ownership pertaining to another person. He is deemed a possessor in bad faith who possesses in any case contrary to the foregoing. Possession acquired in good faith does not lose this character except in the case and from the moment facts exist which show that the possessor is not unaware that he possesses the thing improperly or wrongfully. The owner of the thing may, should he so desire, give the possessor in good faith the right to finish the cultivation and gathering of the growing fruits, as an indemnity for his part of the expenses of cultivation and the net proceeds; the possessor in good faith who for any reason whatever should refuse to accept this concession, shall lose the right to be indemnified in any other manner. Useful expenses shall be refunded only to the possessor in good faith with the same right of retention, the person who has defeated him in the possession having the option of refunding the amount of the expenses or of paying the increase in value which the thing may have acquired by reason thereof. Apparent easements are those which are made known and are continually kept in view by external signs that reveal the use and enjoyment of the same.

On the other hand, if one spouse has used their own separate funds to benefit community property (such as the marital home), then that spouse may be entitled to a reimbursement from the community funds.

Capital improvements are basically any changes or upgrades that are made to a house which positively increase its value.

These can include such changes as remodeling a kitchen or room, adding a bedroom, or completing an attic.

In such case, he shall pay reasonable rent, if the owner of the land does not choose to appropriate the building or trees after proper indemnity. The owner of the land on which anything has been built, planted or sown in bad faith may demand the demolition of the work, or that the planting or sowing be removed, in order to replace things in their former condition at the expense of the person who built, planted or sowed; or he may compel the builder or planter to pay the price of the land, and the sower the proper rent. It is understood that there is bad faith on the part of the landowner whenever the act was done with his knowledge and without opposition on his part. This provision shall not apply if the owner makes use of the right granted by article 450. Whenever the current of a river, creek or torrent segregates from an estate on its bank a known portion of land and transfers it to another estate, the owner of the land to which the segregated portion belonged retains the ownership of it, provided that he removes the same within two years. If such owners claim them, they shall pay the expenses incurred in gathering them or putting them in a safe place. However, the owners of the lands adjoining the old bed shall have the right to acquire the same by paying the value thereof, which value shall not exceed the value of the area occupied by the new bed. He also retains it if a portion of land is separated from the estate by the current. If a single island thus formed be more distant from one margin than from the other, the owner of the nearer margin shall be the sole owner thereof. If either one of the owners has made the incorporation with the knowledge and without the objection of the other, their respective rights shall be determined as though both acted in good faith. However, the owner of the material cannot appropriate the work in case the value of the latter, for artistic or scientific reasons, is considerably more than that of the material. An action may also be brought to prevent a cloud from being cast upon title to real property or any interest therein. (1) Continuous or intermittent waters rising on lands of private ownership, while running through the same; (2) Lakes and lagoons, and their beds, formed by Nature on such lands; (3) Subterranean waters found on the same; (4) Rain waters falling on said lands, as long as they remain within the boundaries; (5) The beds of flowing waters, continuous or intermittent, formed by rain water, and those of brooks, crossing lands which are not of public dominion. The ownership which the proprietor of a piece of land has over the waters rising thereon does not prejudice the rights which the owners of lower estates may have legally acquired to the use thereof.

The parties shall agree upon the terms of the lease and in case of disagreement, the court shall fix the terms thereof. If the owner of the materials, plants or seeds has been paid by the builder, planter or sower, the latter may demand from the landowner the value of the materials and labor. In every drain or aqueduct, the water, bed, banks and floodgates shall be considered as an integral part of the land of building for which the waters are intended. The private ownership of the beds of rain waters does not give a right to make works or constructions which may change their course to the damage of third persons, or whose destruction, by the force of floods, may cause such damage.

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