Real Estate Glossary
Lansing Area Real Estate
REAL ESTATE
 
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U

uncollected rent
Uncollected rent or vacancy is subtracted from gross scheduled income. Uncollected rent is an estimate expressed as a percentage then converted to dollars.

unconscionable contracts
An agreement that is so unfair and one-sided that the courts will refuse to honor it.

underground storage tanks (USTs)
USTs are commonly used for storing petroleum products, chemicals or process wastes. Sites which use USTs include airports, gas stations, industrial locations and military bases. Over time neglected tanks may leak hazardous substances into the environment, contaminating groundwater. State and federal laws impose strict requirements on landowners where USTs are located to detect and correct leaks to protect groundwater.
   EPA—Office of Undergound Storage Tanks

underwriter
A person who evaluates the risk of default by a mortgage loan applicant, and grants approval or denial of the loan.

underwriting
The process of evaluating a mortgage loan applicant's credit, collateral value and the risks in making a loan.

undisclosed dual agency
A broker may not intend to create a dual agency. However, like any other agency, it may occur unintentionally or inadvertently. Sometimes the cause is carelessness, and other times a salesperson does not fully understand his or her fiduciary responsibilities. Some salespersons lose sight of other responsibilities when they focus intensely on bringing buyers and sellers together. For instance, a salesperson representing the seller might suggest to a buyer that the seller will accept less than the listing price, or that same salesperson might promise to persuade the seller to accept an offer that is in the buyer's best interests. Giving a buyer any specific advice on how much to offer can lead him or her to believe that the salesperson represents the buyer's interests and is acting as the buyer's advocate.

undisclosed principal
When the agent does not reveal the identity of his client.

undivided interests
Interests that co-owners have which is not separable.

undue influence
Strong enough persuasion to completely overpower the free will of another and prevent him or her from acting intelligently and voluntarily, as in a case where a broker guilty of blockbusting has induced someone to sell in fear of a change in the racial character of the community. Undue influence usually requires a close or confidential relationship like parent-child, broker-seller, attorney-client, or trustee-beneficiary. When a person has been unduly influenced to sign a contract, that person can void the contract.

unenforceable contract
A contract which is considered unenforceable either because it cannot be proven or will not be enforced by a court. In addition to being considered void or illegal, other reasons for unenforceable contracts may be because they were not presented in writing which may have been a requirement under state statutes of frauds or the statutes of limitations period has elapsed.

unequivocal
Unambiguous; clear; having only one possible meaning or interpretation.

Uniform Building Code
A national building code published by the International Conference of Building Officials. It has been adopted in part by municipalities throughout the United States, but used mostly in the western states.

Uniform Commercial Code
A codification of commercial law, adopted in most states, that attempts to make uniform all laws relating to commercial transactions, including chattel mortgages and bulk transfers. Security interests in chattels are created by an instrument known as a security agreement. To give notice of the security interest, a financing statement must be recorded. Article 6 of the code regulates bulk transfers--the sale of a business as a whole, including all fixtures, chattels and merchandise.

uniform residential loan application
A loan application form required by Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae.

Uniform Settlement Statement

The standard HUD Form 1 required to be given to the borrower, lender and seller at the time or before settlement by the settlement agent in a transaction covered under the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act. The lender must retain its copy for at least two years.

unilateral contract
A one-sided contract wherein one party makes a promise so as to induce a second party to do something. The second party is not legally bound to perform; however, if the second party does comply, the first party is obligated to keep the promise.

unit-in-place method
The appraisal method of estimating building costs by calculating the costs of all of the physical components in the structure with the cost of each item including its proper installation, connection, etc. Also called the segregated cost method.

unity of joint tenacy
The four unities that are traditionally needed to create a joint tenancy-unity of title, time, interest and possession.

unity of possession
One of the four "unities" required to create a joint tenancy. All joint tenants hold an undivided right to possession.

unlawful detainer action
A legal action that provides a method of evicting a tenant who is in default under the terms of the lease; a summary proceeding to recover possession of property.

universal agent
A person empowered to do anything the principal could do personally. The universal agent's authority to act on behalf of the principal is virtually unlimited.

unsecured
Describes a debt instrument, such as a debenture, that is backed only by the debtor's promise to pay.

urea-formaldehyde:
First used in building materials, particularly insulation, in the 1970s. Gases leak out of the urea-formaldehyde foam insulation (UFFI) as it hardens and become trapped in the interior of a building. Once used to conserve energy by sealing crawl spaces and attics, it is longer used because emissions were found to be a health hazard.
  National Safety Council on Formaldehyde

usury
Charging interest at a higher rate than the maximum rate established by state law.

utility liens
Municipalities often have the right to impose a specific, equitable, involuntary lien on the property of an owner who refuses to pay bills for municipal utility services.

utility value
The value in use to an owner-user, which includes a value of amenities attaching to a property; also known as subjective value.

u-value
A measure used to indicate the insulating value of a window. The U-value measures the heat flow. The smaller the U-value, the better a material can stop heat flow.

 

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