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Laws mandating on property improvement

If a building, wall, column, or any other construction is in danger of falling, the owner shall be obliged to demolish it or to execute the necessary work in order to prevent it from falling. Whenever a large tree threatens to fall in such a way as to cause damage to the land or tenement of another or to travelers over a public or private road, the owner of the tree shall be obliged to fell and remove it; and should he not do so, it shall be done at his expense by order of the administrative authorities. Any stipulation in a contract to the contrary shall be void. Each co-owner may use the thing owned in common, provided he does so in accordance with the purpose for which it is intended and in such a way as not to injure the interest of the co-ownership or prevent the other co-owners from using it according to their rights. Each co-owner shall have a right to compel the other co-owners to contribute to the expenses of preservation of the thing or right owned in common and to the taxes. None of the co-owners shall, without the consent of the others, make alterations in the thing owned in common, even though benefits for all would result therefrom. For the administration and better enjoyment of the thing owned in common, the resolutions of the majority of the co-owners shall be binding. The possession of hereditary property is deemed transmitted to the heir without interruption and from the moment of the death of the decedent, in case the inheritance is accepted. On who succeeds by hereditary title shall not suffer the consequences of the wrongful possession of the decedent, if it is not shown that he was aware of the flaws affecting it; but the effects of possession in good faith shall not benefit him except from the date of the death of the decedent. The court shall decide the motion within thirty (30) days from the filing thereof. Interruption in the possession of the whole or a part of a thing possessed in common shall be to the prejudice of all the possessors. A possessor in good faith is entitled to the fruits received before the possession is legally interrupted. The possessor in bad faith shall reimburse the fruits received and those which the legitimate possessor could have received, and shall have a right only to the expenses mentioned in paragraph 1 of Article 546 and in Article 443. A possessor in good faith shall not be liable for the deterioration or loss of the thing possessed, except in cases in which it is proved that he has acted with fraudulent intent or negligence, after the judicial summons. Acts relating to possession, executed or agreed to by one who possesses a thing belonging to another as a mere holder to enjoy or keep it, in any character, do not bind or prejudice the owner, unless he gave said holder express authority to do such acts, or ratifies them subsequently. Nevertheless, one who has lost any movable or has been unlawfully deprived thereof may recover it from the person in possession of the same. Wild animals are possessed only while they are under one's control; domesticated or tamed animals are considered domestic or tame if they retain the habit of returning to the premises of the possessor. It may also be constituted on a right, provided it is not strictly personal or intransmissible. In the preceding cases, the usufructuary, at the beginning of the usufruct, has no obligation to refund to the owner any expenses incurred; but the owner shall be obliged to reimburse at the termination of the usufruct, from the proceeds of the growing fruits, the ordinary expenses of cultivation, for seed, and other similar expenses incurred by the usufructuary. If the usufructuary has leased the lands or tenements given in usufruct, and the usufruct should expire before the termination of the lease, he or his heirs and successors shall receive only the proportionate share of the rent that must be paid by the lessee. Whenever it consists in the enjoyment of benefits accruing from a participation in any industrial or commercial enterprise, the date of the distribution of which is not fixed, such benefits shall have the same character. The usufructuary shall have the right to enjoy any increase which the thing in usufruct may acquire through accession, the servitudes established in its favor, and, in general, all the benefits inherent therein. With the exception of the provisions of the preceding paragraphs, the usufructuary cannot cut down trees unless it be to restore or improve some of the things in usufruct, and in such case shall first inform the owner of the necessity for the work. If in consequence of the enforcement of the action he acquires the thing claimed, the usufruct shall be limited to the fruits, the dominion remaining with the owner. He may, however, remove such improvements, should it be possible to do so without damage to the property. (1) To make, after notice to the owner or his legitimate representative, an inventory of all the property, which shall contain an appraisal of the movables and a description of the condition of the immovables; (2) To give security, binding himself to fulfill the obligations imposed upon him in accordance with this Chapter. If the owner does not wish that certain articles be sold because of their artistic worth or because they have a sentimental value, he may demand their delivery to him upon his giving security for the payment of the legal interest on their appraised value. Should the usufruct be on sterile animals, it shall be considered, with respect to its effects, as though constituted on fungible things. By ordinary repairs are understood such as are required by the wear and tear due to the natural use of the thing and are indispensable for its preservation. If the owner should make the extraordinary repairs, he shall have a right to demand of the usufructuary the legal interest on the amount expended for the time that the usufruct lasts. The owner may construct any works and make any improvements of which the immovable in usufruct is susceptible, or make new plantings thereon if it be rural, provided that such acts do not cause a diminution in the value of the usufruct or prejudice the right of the usufructuary. If the latter has paid them, the usufructuary shall pay him the proper interest on the sums which may have been paid in that character; and, if the said sums have been advanced by the usufructuary, he shall recover the amount thereof at the termination of the usufruct. The same rule shall be applied in case the owner is obliged, at the time the usufruct is constituted, to make periodical payments, even if there should be no known capital. If he has been excused from giving security or has been able to give it, or if that given is not sufficient, he shall need the authorization of the owner, or of the court in default thereof, to collect such credits. If the usufruct is constituted on immovable property of which a building forms part, and the latter should be destroyed in any manner whatsoever, the usufructuary shall have a right to make use of the land and the materials. Upon the termination of the usufruct, the thing in usufruct shall be delivered to the owner, without prejudice to the right of retention pertaining to the usufructuary or his heirs for taxes and extraordinary expenses which should be reimbursed. Easements may be continuous or discontinuous, apparent or nonapparent. If the servient estate is divided between two or more persons, the easement is not modified, and each of them must bear it on the part which corresponds to him. Easements are established either by law or by the will of the owners. In order to acquire by prescription the easements referred to in the preceding article, the time of possession shall be computed thus: in positive easements, from the day on which the owner of the dominant estate, or the person who may have made use of the easement, commenced to exercise it upon the servient estate; and in negative easements, from the day on which the owner of the dominant estate forbade, by an instrument acknowledged before a notary public, the owner of the servient estate, from executing an act which would be lawful without the easement. The share of the co-owners, in the benefits as well as in the charges, shall be proportional to their respective interests. Minors and incapacitated persons may acquire the possession of things; but they need the assistance of their legal representatives in order to exercise the rights which from the possession arise in their favor. He who believes that he has an action or a right to deprive another of the holding of a thing, must invoke the aid of the competent court, if the holder should refuse to deliver the thing. Should a question arise regarding the fact of possession, the present possessor shall be preferred; if there are two possessors, the one longer in possession; if the dates of the possession are the same, the one who presents a title; and if all these conditions are equal, the thing shall be placed in judicial deposit pending determination of its possession or ownership through proper proceedings. A possessor deprived of his possession through forcible entry may within ten days from the filing of the complaint present a motion to secure from the competent court, in the action for forcible entry, a writ of preliminary mandatory injunction to restore him in his possession. Each one of the participants of a thing possessed in common shall be deemed to have exclusively possessed the part which may be allotted to him upon the division thereof, for the entire period during which the co-possession lasted. The possession of movable property acquired in good faith is equivalent to a title. Usufruct may be constituted on the whole or a part of the fruits of the thing, in favor of one more persons, simultaneously or successively, and in every case from or to a certain day, purely or conditionally. The rights and obligations of the usufructuary shall be those provided in the title constituting the usufruct; in default of such title, or in case it is deficient, the provisions contained in the two following Chapters shall be observed. With respect to hidden treasure which may be found on the land or tenement, he shall be considered a stranger. Those growing at the time the usufruct terminates, belong to the owner. Whenever a usufruct is constituted on the right to receive a rent or periodical pension, whether in money or in fruits, or in the interest on bonds or securities payable to bearer, each payment due shall be considered as the proceeds or fruits of such right. The usufructuary may personally enjoy the thing in usufruct, lease it to another, or alienate his right of usufruct, even by a gratuitous title; but all the contracts he may enter into as such usufructuary shall terminate upon the expiration of the usufruct, saving leases of rural lands, which shall be considered as subsisting during the agricultural year. In nurseries, the usufructuary may make the necessary thinnings in order that the remaining trees may properly grow. The usufructuary of an action to recover real property or a real right, or any movable property, has the right to bring the action and to oblige the owner thereof to give him the authority for this purpose and to furnish him whatever proof he may have. The usufructuary may make on the property held in usufruct such useful improvements or expenses for mere pleasure as he may deem proper, provided he does not alter its form or substance; but he shall have no right to be indemnified therefor. The owner of property the usufruct of which is held by another, may alienate it, but he cannot alter its form or substance, or do anything thereon which may be prejudicial to the usufructuary. Should the co-ownership cease by reason of the division of the thing held in common, the usufruct of the part allotted to the co-owner shall belong to the usufructuary. Furthermore, the owner may, if he so prefers, until the usufructuary gives security or is excused from so doing, retain in his possession the property in usufruct as administrator, subject to the obligation to deliver to the usufructuary the net proceeds thereof, after deducting the sums which may be agreed upon or judicially allowed him for such administration. The same rule shall be observed with respect to implements, tools and other movable property necessary for an industry or vocation in which he is engaged. After the security has been given by the usufructuary, he shall have a right to all the proceeds and benefits from the day on which, in accordance with the title constituting the usufruct, he should have commenced to receive them. Should the herd or flock perish in part, also by accident and without the fault of the usufructuary, the usufruct shall continue on the part saved. The usufructuary is obliged to make the ordinary repairs needed by the thing given in usufruct. The taxes which, during the usufruct, may be imposed directly on the capital, shall be at the expense of the owner. If the usufruct be constituted on the whole of a patrimony, and if at the time of its constitution the owner has debts, the provisions of Articles 758 and 759 relating to donations shall be applied, both with respect to the maintenance of the usufruct and to the obligation of the usufructuary to pay such debts. The usufructuary may claim any matured credits which form a part of the usufruct if he has given or gives the proper security. The absence of a document or proof showing the origin of an easement which cannot be acquired by prescription may be cured by a deed of recognition by the owner of the servient estate or by a final judgment. This provision shall also apply in case of the division of a thing owned in common by two or more persons. Neither can he exercise the easement in any other manner than that previously established. If the owner of the servient estate should make use of the easement in any manner whatsoever, he shall also be obliged to contribute to the expenses in the proportion stated, saving an agreement to the contrary. Nevertheless, if by reason of the place originally assigned, or of the manner established for the use of the easement, the same should become very inconvenient to the owner of the servient estate, or should prevent him from making any important works, repairs or improvements thereon, it may be changed at his expense, provided he offers another place or manner equally convenient and in such a way that no injury is caused thereby to the owner of the dominant estate or to those who may have a right to the use of the easement. (1) By merger in the same person of the ownership of the dominant and servient estates; (2) By nonuser for ten years; with respect to discontinuous easements, this period shall be computed from the day on which they ceased to be used; and, with respect to continuous easements, from the day on which an act contrary to the same took place; (3) When either or both of the estates fall into such condition that the easement cannot be used; but it shall revive if the subsequent condition of the estates or either of them should again permit its use, unless when the use becomes possible, sufficient time for prescription has elapsed, in accordance with the provisions of the preceding number; (4) By the expiration of the term or the fulfillment of the condition, if the easement is temporary or conditional; (5) By the renunciation of the owner of the dominant estate; (6) By the redemption agreed upon between the owners of the dominant and servient estates. (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.

A related but distinct set of regulatory regimes, now strongly influenced by environmental legal principles, focus on the management of specific natural resources, such as forests, minerals, or fisheries.

In no case may possession be acquired through force or intimidation as long as there is a possessor who objects thereto. Possession as a fact cannot be recognized at the same time in two different personalities except in the cases of co-possession. Every possessor has a right to be respected in his possession; and should he be disturbed therein he shall be protected in or restored to said possession by the means established by the laws and the Rules of Court. The usufructuary shall be entitled to all the natural, industrial and civil fruits of the property in usufruct. Natural or industrial fruits growing at the time the usufruct begins, belong to the usufructuary. Whenever the usufruct includes things which, without being consumed, gradually deteriorate through wear and tear, the usufructuary shall have the right to make use thereof in accordance with the purpose for which they are intended, and shall not be obliged to return them at the termination of the usufruct except in their condition at that time; but he shall be obliged to indemnify the owner for any deterioration they may have suffered by reason of his fraud or negligence. In case they were not appraised, he shall have the right to return at the same quantity and quality, or pay their current price at the time the usufruct ceases. In any case the felling or cutting of trees shall be made in such manner as not to prejudice the preservation of the land. The usufructuary of a part of a thing held in common shall exercise all the rights pertaining to the owner thereof with respect to the administration and the collection of fruits or interest. 2 of the preceding article shall not apply to the donor who has reserved the usufruct of the property donated, or to the parents who are usufructuaries of their children's property, except when the parents contract a second marriage. The interest on the proceeds of the sale of the movables and that on public securities and bonds, and the proceeds of the property placed under administration, shall belong to the usufructuary. If the usufructuary who has not given security claims, by virtue of a promise under oath, the delivery of the furniture necessary for his use, and that he and his family be allowed to live in a house included in the usufruct, the court may grant this petition, after due consideration of the facts of the case. A usufructuary who alienates or leases his right of usufruct shall answer for any damage which the things in usufruct may suffer through the fault or negligence of the person who substitutes him. If the animals on which the usufruct is constituted should all perish, without the fault of the usufructuary, on account of some contagious disease or any other uncommon event, the usufructuary shall fulfill his obligation by delivering to the owner the remains which may have been saved from the misfortune. The existence of an apparent sign of easement between two estates, established or maintained by the owner of both, shall be considered, should either of them be alienated, as a title in order that the easement may continue actively and passively, unless, at the time the ownership of the two estates is divided, the contrary should be provided in the title of conveyance of either of them, or the sign aforesaid should be removed before the execution of the deed. The owner of the dominant estate cannot use the easement except for the benefit of the immovable originally contemplated. The owner of the dominant estate may make, at his own expense, on the servient state any works necessary for the use and preservation of the servitude, but without altering it or rendering it more burdensome. Any one who does not wish to contribute may exempt himself by renouncing the easement for the benefit of the others. The owner of the servient estate cannot impair, in any manner whatsoever, the use of the servitude. The owner of the servient estate retains the ownership of the portion on which the easement is established, and may use the same in such a manner as not to affect the exercise of the easement. All matters concerning easements established for public or communal use shall be governed by the special laws and regulations relating thereto, and, in the absence thereof, by the provisions of this Title. These easements may be modified by agreement of the interested parties, whenever the law does not prohibit it or no injury is suffered by a third person. If it be necessary for such purpose to occupy lands of private ownership, the proper indemnity shall first be paid. The nonobservance of these distances does not give rise to prescription.

Whenever the usufruct includes things which cannot be used without being consumed, the usufructuary shall have the right to make use of them under the obligation of paying their appraised value at the termination of the usufruct, if they were appraised when delivered. If in consequence of a calamity or extraordinary event, the trees or shrubs shall have disappeared in such considerable number that it would not be possible or it would be too burdensome to replace them, the usufructuary may leave the dead, fallen or uprooted trunks at the disposal of the owner, and demand that the latter remove them and clear the land. If the woodland is a copse or consists of timber for building, the usufructuary may do such ordinary cutting or felling as the owner was in the habit of doing, and in default of this, he may do so in accordance with the custom of the place, as to the manner, amount and season. Should the usufructuary fail to give security in the cases in which he is bound to give it, the owner may demand that the immovables be placed under administration, that the movables be sold, that the public bonds, instruments of credit payable to order or to bearer be converted into registered certificates or deposited in a bank or public institution, and that the capital or sums in cash and the proceeds of the sale of the movable property be invested in safe securities. If the usufruct be constituted on a flock or herd of livestock, the usufructuary shall be obliged to replace with the young thereof the animals that die each year from natural causes, or are lost due to the rapacity of beasts of prey. Should there be several dominant estates, the owners of all of them shall be obliged to contribute to the expenses referred to in the preceding article, in proportion to the benefits which each may derive from the work. Easements established by law in the interest of private persons or for private use shall be governed by the provisions of this Title, without prejudice to the provisions of general or local laws and ordinances for the general welfare. Lower estates are obliged to receive the waters which naturally and without the intervention of man descend from the higher estates, as well as the stones or earth which they carry with them. Estates adjoining the banks of navigable or floatable rivers are, furthermore, subject to the easement of towpath for the exclusive service of river navigation and floatage. Whenever for the diversion or taking of water from a river or brook, or for the use of any other continuous or discontinuous stream, it should be necessary to build a dam, and the person who is to construct it is not the owner of the banks, or lands which must support it, he may establish the easement of abutment of a dam, after payment of the proper indemnity. He can also obstruct them by constructing a building on his land or by raising a wall thereon contiguous to that having such openings, unless an easement of light has been acquired. Neither can side or oblique views upon or towards such conterminous property be had, unless there be a distance of sixty centimeters. The distance referred to in the preceding article shall be measured in cases of direct views from the outer line of the wall when the openings do not project, from the outer line of the latter when they do, and in cases of oblique view from the dividing line between the two properties.

During the "Great Stink" of 1858, the dumping of sewerage into the River Thames began to smell so ghastly in the summer heat that Parliament had to be evacuated.

Ironically, the Metropolitan Commission of Sewers Act 1848 had allowed the Metropolitan Commission for Sewers to close cesspits around the city in an attempt to "clean up" but this simply led people to pollute the river.

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  2. While some dogs, cats and small animals come from rescue organizations and shelters, the majority of the estimated 358 million pet animals come from retail pet stores.

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