An equitable remedy by which a court will modify or correct a written agreement or instrument to reflect the actual intent of the parties.

Co-Tenant Rent

Where property is held by two or more persons as tenants in common, and one or more of the tenants is in sole possession of the real estate, the owner who is not in possession can sue and recover his or her proportionate share of the rental value of the property.   This right is created by statute in Pennsylvania.

Tenants by the Entirety

A form of concurrent ownership of property in which each owner holds an indivisible interest with a right of survivorship. Created only between spouses. This means that each spouse technically owns the whole property, such that neither husband nor wife, acting alone, can convey an interest in the property to a third party. In most circumstances a creditor of only one spouse cannot execute upon property held as tenants by the entireties.

Tenants in Common

A form of ownership where two or more owners own the property at once. Each individual owner has the right to sell his or her share in the property.

Joint Tenants

A special form of ownership by two or more persons of the same property. The individuals, who are called joint tenants, share equal ownership of the property and have the equal, undivided right to keep or dispose of the property.  Joint tenancy may create a right of survivorship. This right provides that if any one of the joint tenants dies, the remainder of the property is transferred to the survivors by operation of law.

Life Estate

An interest in land that lasts only for the life of the holder.  Oftentimes used as a mechanism to allow continued occupancy of real estate by a parent with title held by adult children until the death of the parent. At that time title to the life estate ends and title vests fully in the children.

Quiet Title

A lawsuit filed to determine disputes regarding title to real property as between competing parties all claiming superior ownership or lien rights.


The division of real property held jointly or in common by two or more persons into individually owned interests, often resulting in the sale and liquidation of the real estate with the proceeds divided among the owners at the rate of their respective interests.


The ejection of an owner or occupier from property.  The essential allegations in an action for ejectment are that (1) the plaintiff has title to the land, (2) the plaintiff has been wrongfully dispossessed or ousted, and (3) the plaintiff has suffered damages.

Eminent Domain

The power to take property for public use without the owner’s consent.  In order for this power to be constitutionally exercised, just compensation must be provided.