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Legal Memorandum: Lease Conveyance in an Estate Matter in KY

Issue: May a lessee’s lease be conveyed in an estate matter in Kentucky?

Area of Law: Estate Planning & Probate, Real Estate Law
Keywords: Lease; Right of possession; Reversion
Jurisdiction: Kentucky
Cited Cases: 159 S.W. 1157; 118 Cal. App. 3d 571
Cited Statutes: None
Date: 08/01/2010

A lease is but a conveyance of an estate in realty.  . . . It divests the owner, for a given time, of a certain estate in the realty, leaving in him a reversion.  In a sense, therefore, the lessee is as much the owner of the right of possession of the leased premises as the grantee in a deed is the owner of the freehold, and in either case it is the duty of the grantor to place the grantee in possession of the property.

Mattingly’s Executor v. Brents, 159 S.W. 1157, 1160 (Ky. 1913).  Also, a pre-existing lease may take precedence.  See Goldstein v. Thomas, 118 Cal. App. 3d 571 (1981) (Lessee’s lease was void when entered into with notice of pre-existing, superior legal rights to the leased property.).    

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