Court decisions based on a judge’s discretion rather than the letter of the law are increasingly common. But this risks undermining some basic liberties.
Typical apartheid-era houses in Soweto, South Africa.
Marc Hoberman/Hoberman Collection/Universal Images Group via Getty Images
The transfer of township rental houses to inhabitants did not necessarily give families greater security. “Family houses” were frequently acquired by individuals.
The Greens and housing support groups want rent rises frozen but this might actually reduce the availability of suitable housing stock.
40 Wall Street is one of the Trump Organization properties included in the lawsuit.
Roy Rochlin/Getty Images
What is real estate actually worth? It depends a lot on who you ask and what method they use to work it out.
DNA is a trove of personal information that can be hard to keep track of and protect.
Boris Zhitkov/Moment via Getty Images
Both Macron and Madonna have expressed concerns about genetic privacy. As DNA collection and sequencing becomes increasingly commonplace, what may seem paranoid may instead be prescient.
Virtual real estate is all the rage, but do purchasers end up owning what they see on their screens?
NFTs are hailed as the foundation of the metaverse economy because they allow you to purchase unique digital assets, from art to real estate. But legally, you might not own what you think you do.
A satellite captured large and small deforestation patches in Amazonas State in 2015. The forest loss has escalated since then.
USGS/NASA Landsat data/Orbital Horizon/Gallo Images/Getty Images
Land grabs spearheaded by wealthy interests are accelerating deforestation, and Brazil’s National Congress is working to legitimize them.
Pipeline construction cuts through forests and farms in Appalachia.
Provided by Erin Brock Carlson
Pipeline companies have run roughshod over several regions where they’re building, racking up safety and environmental violations. Many residents feel trapped, with no control over their property.
Banksy’s Valentime’s Day mural was defaced with pink spray paint soon after it appeared.
Ben Birchall/PA Wire/PA Images
The defacing of a new Banksy mural in Bristol has raised some interesting legal questions.
Socialisation of housing would see profits from rent put back into the maintenance and modernisation of the buildings.
New research suggests crypto-currencies aren’t technically property in common law jurisdictions.
Vendors in Australia are not legally obliged to tell prospective buyers about past crimes such as murder committed on the property.
It’s still mostly a case of ‘buyer beware’ when it comes to finding out about a property. But many buyers feel they should be told if, for example, it was the scene of a violent murder.
Many rural farmers in India lack clear ownership of the land they work and live on.
AP Photo/Anupam Nath
Without secure records of property ownership, many poor people around the world have trouble improving their economic situations. Several countries are already trying blockchain-based land registries.
The feudal origins of leasehold land has a lot to do with the Normans.
To buy without owning, to pay rent on something that’s yours – the origins of leasehold ownership look increasingly out of place today.
Property is under threat, physically and conceptually, from climate change.
To create property systems that are as dynamic as the landscapes we occupy, we might need to start thinking about ourselves as belonging to and answerable to the land, not the other way around.
Our land-title system originated in the mid-19th century when Sir Robert Richard Torrens campaigned to reform Adelaide’s chaotic deeds-based land system.
National Library of Australia
Sir Robert Richard Torrens – the man behind Australia’s ‘Torrens system’ of land-title registration – was an economic liberal who might have approved of privatising title registries.
A blockchain’s ability to move assets from one owner to another allows less dependence on intermediaries.
There are many hidden costs and inefficiencies in housing markets. Blockchain is poised to transform that.
Federal and state agencies are using powerful automated data-matching programs to identify properties that are generating income and might be liable for tax.
State revenue offices are using data matching to identify people who earn income from Airbnb, then sending notices that they may be liable for land tax, even though this remains a legal grey area.
Australians do business with a title office only a couple of times in their lives – when they buy and sell their homes, for instances.
Privatisation has its advantages. But Australia’s title offices may not necessarily be the right government businesses to be privatised.
Several preventative measures can be taken to reduce the impact of fraudulent property industry behaviour on consumers.
Consumers lose out when a real estate agent acts fraudulently – be that false advertising, deceptive conduct or misusing trust funds. Research shows a link between such misconduct and lower regulatory and educational standards.