As a landowner, you need to be aware of your rights and benefits.
You need to understand what the law states about what you’re entitled to when you buy a parcel of land or property. One of those rights is called Accession.
Accession in real estate gives you rights to the various things that may be produced on your property, whether man-made or otherwise.
This article will aim to give you a complete understanding 0f accession and what it means to you.
What Is Accession?
Accession has many different definitions depending on the industry or context.
The law defines acquisition by accession as, “The acquisition of title of personal property that is attained through the process of putting labor or raw materials into the improvement of the personal property.”
Essentially, the doctrine states that acquisition by accession happens when one party steals from another party and alters the “thing” he/she stole through the addition of raw materials to the stolen property, thus increasing the value of the property.
While the original owner is entitled to recover the value of all the original materials that were taken from him, the question now is…
Whether or not he is entitled to the ownership of all the modified property with its addition.
Generally speaking, the rule is that the owner of the raw material is entitled to the ownership rights of the finished product of the thief.
The rule doesn’t apply if the thief’s modifications, changes, or additions to the raw material increase the raw materials value to a point where it would be unfair to give the modified product to the original owner.
Example of Accession
One good example that can illustrate how accession works is the lumber or wood instance.
If person A (let’s call him Steve) owns a lumber yard and person B, who we will call Marco, comes across a block of wood, valued at 10 dollars, from the lumber yard, which he then turns into a beautiful bird house via his own labor that is valued at 1000 dollars.
In this situation, Steve is entitled to the 10 dollars that comprise the worth of the block of wood as it technically was his material.
However, because Marco modified the block of wood with his labor to the point where his changes raised its value, Steve is no longer entitled to retrieve the bird house as it wouldn’t be fair to Marco.
The reason being…
Marco exerted the labor to heighten the value of the wood and transform it into another product. So for Steve to take it from Marco would risk a loss on Marco’s part.
This rule applies as long as the worth increases by a lot.
If, however, the bird house was only valued at 15 dollars, it would not be unfair to give the bird house back to the original owners given that the worth of the birdhouse isn’t that much more than the value of the initial block of wood.
Good Faith and Bad Faith: What Is “Stealing?”
There are two ways or categories that describe the state of the action of “stealing”: Good Faith and Bad Faith.
The first way happens when someone was aware that the raw materials they were getting belonged to someone else.
In certain places, even if the work done increased the worth of the materials, the original owner has a right to the proprietorship of the property if the individual who took the property acted in bad faith.
Good faith, on the other hand, happens when a person was not aware that the raw material he or she procured belonged to someone else.
In this instance, the one who modified the raw material is entitled to the property.
Accession in Property Law in terms of Personal Property
Definition of Accession
Accession according to real estate and property law states that a property owner is entitled to all the materials that are produced, whether man-made or otherwise, by the property he or she owns.
Ownership of property naturally carries this right.
Acquiring worth from accession means that something of value was added to the land you own, whether naturally or by your own hand.
Example of Accession
One good example of accession is if the land you own yields a product such as fruits and vegetables or materials such as wood.
Whether you farm fruits and vegetables yourself through your own work or they grow naturally out of the ground of your property, you are entitled as the owner to harvest and sell the produce that grows from the ground of your property.
Conversely, property can also be lost, which is called avulsion.
One instance is the rising sea levels that affect land on the coast. As the sea levels rise, the properties along the coast shrink at the same time, which means an owner with land by the sea will see a reduction in the value of their possession.
Another instance is land affected by earthquakes. Land may fall down into holes caused by earthquakes, thereby reducing the size, and concurrently the worth, of the land.
Accession is a doctrine that every landowner must be aware of.
It is important to understand the ways ownership affects your property and the goods and materials that are produced by your property.