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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Glenn J Amster
URBDP 598
Seattle Campus

Special Topics

Systematic study of specialized subject matter. Topics vary for each quarter, depending upon current interest and needs, and are announced in the preceding quarter. Prerequisite: permission of instructor.

Class description

The Real Estate Law course focuses on the legal principles and issues essential to understanding the workings of the real estate industry, including the fundamentals of real estate transactions and development projects. It begins with a review of the sources of real estate law, including an understanding of court decisions, rights in real estate and concepts of ownership and proceeds with a discussion of leases and other types of real estate contracts, title, surveys, physical and other due diligence, including zoning, utilities, access, environmental issues and the process of closing the real estate transaction. The course also will cover governmental regulation of real estate, including zoning and land use, environmental, and other siting issues. Finally, the course will touch on some of the legal issues related to ownership entities, such as joint ventures, and the financing of real estate development projects. Throughout the quarter, the course will emphasize the connection between the legal issues and the economics of the real estate business.

Student learning goals

Students should develop a general understanding of and be able to recognize legal issues pertaining to the business of real estate, including: 1. Nature of property interests, including fee ownership, co-ownership, leasehold interests, present or future interests, as well as non-possessory interests, such as easements, view and air rights. 2. Real estate transactions, including leases or purchase and sale, lender or borrower, both in the residential and commercial context, means of conveyance, due diligence, escrow and closing, 3. Government regulation of the real estate industry, including landlord/tenant relations, land sale disclosure requirements, lender and broker obligations. 4. Financing the real estate transaction, including mortgages, deeds of trust, installment contracts, and foreclosure. 5. Planning and zoning, environmental regulation, subdivision, exaction and impact fees, historical and conservation regulation.

General method of instruction

Recommended preparation

Class assignments and grading

Studentís success in the course will be evaluated on the basis of regularly scheduled assignments throughout the quarter, generally problems presented in the text, which will comprise 40% of the final grade. Class participation is expected and will comprise up to 20%, of the final grade. A final paper on a legal subject of the studentís choice will comprise the remaining 40% of the grade for the quarter.


The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Last Update by Glenn J Amster
Date: 05/11/2011