An estate in qualified fee determinable is a freehold estate in real property that has been qualified with a special limitation. If the new owner (grantee) fails to comply with the terms of the limitation, the former owner (grantor) has the right to recover ownership of the property. The grantor of an estate in qualified fee determinable retains the possibility of reverter, a future interest and right of reversion which, if exercised, ends the estate in qualified fee and allows for automatic reacquisition of ownership. Estates in qualified fee determinable, together with estates in qualified fee conditional, are the two primary examples of estates in fee simple defeasible, also known as estates in qualified fee. Qualified fee determinable estates differ from those in qualified fee conditional in that reversion is automatic and no court action is required.
Example: Mrs. Brown owns a parcel of land in fee simple and decides to sell it to Mrs. Garcia, with the contingency that a specified portion of the property must be used for agricultural purposes only. If Mrs. Garcia uses that part of the property for any purpose that is not agricultural, Mrs. Brown has the right to recover fee ownership. Whether or not she may recover all of the property or just that portion where the violation of the special condition occurred depends on the wording of the deed, the document used to create the estate in qualified fee.
Terms, Definitions, and Concepts: Real Estate, Title and Title Insurance, Legal (Law), Management