Asymmetric Information and the Law of Servitudes Governing Land

Date
2009-01
Authors
Dnes, Antony William
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
Publisher
The University of Chicago Press
Abstract
The legal doctrine on servitudes has long been viewed as a Byzantine tangle of doctrine emanating from property law, contract law, and courts of equity. This paper explains the structure of the law governing servitudes on land using key ideas from the economics of information, focusing on easements and covenants and the rules governing their formation and application. We develop a model of land markets that incorporates asymmetric information (adverse selection) and specialization in ownership and use this to offer a rationale for the seemingly ad hoc limits on the use of servitudes. We stress the inability of sellers of land credibly to assure buyers that land is not encumbered by servitudes. Our model explains variations in legal doctrine over time and across jurisdictions, particularly comparing servitudes in the United States and in England.
Description
Keywords
Contracts Law, Real Property, Limited use rights, Easements, Property Law, Restrictive Covenants, Covenants, Running With Land
Citation
Dnes, Antony and Dean Lueck. "Asymmetric Information and the Law of Servitudes Governing Land." The Journal of Legal Studies, no. 1, 2009, p. 89. EBSCOhost, doi:10.1086/590067.
DOI
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