Fee Simple Determinable & Fee Simple with Condition Subsequent.

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    • #5161
      Saray Mattson

      I feel like I understand Fee Simple Determinable, from what I understand property can be used for a SPECIFIC USE ONLY and if violated goes automatically to Grantor.

      But I am struggling with is grasping Fee Simple with Condition Subsequent. I understand it is not an automatic reversion to Grantor and I understand that Determinable and Condition they are both violating, but i can’t seem to put a exact meaning. 

      I would appreciate a different outlook/explanation in regards to the above.

      Thank you.

    • #5165
      Hannah Welch

      Hello Saray!

      Excellent Question. Just like you said with Fee simple Determinable, the grantor says “you can keep the property if and only if you do this”, and if that condition is violated, the property automatically reverts to the grantor. However, with a fee simple with a condition subsequent, the grantor says “you can keep the property only if you do this”. The difference being that the grantor or his/her heirs have to take affirmative action to gain the property back, such as filing a lawsuit. If the grantee violates the condition, and the grantor does nothing about it, than the grantee can keep it, so long as the grantor does nothing. Does this clarify the difference? If you have any other questions, feel free to ask!

    • #5169
      Saray Mattson

      Yea I think this makes sense. Just wondering how they would ask this question in a test. Thanks for your help

    • #5173
      Brian Swan


      We go over this in the State Prep Class in quite a bit of detail. The difference between the Fee Simple Defeasible and the Fee Simple with Condition Subsequent comes down to two things: (1) How the deed was written; and (2) how the grantor gets the property back if the deed condition was violated. The exam will not test you on the language of the actual deed, but you do need to know that a Defeasible Fee creates an automatic reversion if the condition is violated, and the Condition Subsequent creates a right of re-entry which requires a lawsuit for the grantor to get the property back. The exam questions aren’t too deep or involved. If you know the basic mechanics, you’ll be just fine.

    • #5179
      Saray Mattson


      Thanks for your response, just want to clarify. Your words: “…need to know that a Defeasible Fee creates an automatic reversion if the condition is violated…” – Did you mean to say, “Determinable?”

      I thought that Defeasible meant that it has some conditions, covenants, that limit the extent of one’s ownership. Or is Deafesible also the same as Determinable or used/heard as the same.

      Just like Fee Simple, Fee Estate and Fee Simple Absolute mean the same thing.  

      But other than that it does make sense. Talking about it helps a lot. 

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