Daily Development for
Friday, June 16, 1995

by: Patrick A. Randolph, Jr.
Professor of Law
UMKC School of Law

ACCESSION: Landowner obtains outright ownership of house mistakenly constructed on his property by another without the knowledge or consent of owner; and has no duty to pay for it; and party performing construction has no right to return to property to remove construction. Angelo v. Brazauskas, 620 N.Y.S.2d. 692 (App. Div. 1994). Current interpretation of the common-law doctrine of accession provides that the owner of property is entitled to all that is added or united to it, unless there is some misconduct on the part of the owner or a failure to act after the owner discovers that the improvement was being made. Comment: Some states have statutes protecting the "innocent improver," but the common law doctrine, as this case indicates, favors the innocent landowner.

Items in the Daily Development section generally are extracted from the Quarterly Report on Developments in Real Estate Law, published by the ABA Section on Real Property, Probate & Trust Law. Subscriptions to the Quarterly Report are available to Section members only. The cost is nominal. For the last five years, these Reports annually have been collated, updated, indexed and bound into the Annual Survey of Developments in Real Estate Law, volumes 1-5, published by the ABA Press. The Annual Survey volumes are available for sale to the public. Contact Shawn Kaminsky at the ABA. (312) 988 5260.

Items reported here and in the ABA publications are for general information purposes only and should not be relied upon in the course of representation or in the forming of decisions in legal matters. Accuracy of data and opinions expressed are the sole responsibility of the DIRT editor and are in no sense the publication of the ABA.