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Powell on Real Property
Copyright 2017, Matthew Bender & Company, Inc., a member of the LexisNexis Group.

9-63 Powell on Real Property 63.syn


Lateral and Subjacent Support


Michael Allan Wolf, General Editor;Originally by Richard R. Powell

Chapter Summary


This chapter discusses the law of lateral and subjacent support, which governs the obligations of landholders not to disturb their neighbors' "lay of the land."

The chapter first examines the essential characteristics of the law of lateral support, then goes on to explain when liability for withdrawing support is strict and when it depends on negligence. The discussion then turns to a review of the types of acts that constitute negligence in support cases, as well as some defenses to negligence. Next, the chapter discusses other factors likely to arise in litigation, such as the proper parties and the statute of limitations. An examination of the most common remedies given for wrongful withdrawal of that support follows.

Finally, the chapter summarizes the law of subjacent support, including the liability of owners of mineral rights, the law of percolating waters, the consequences of separate ownership within buildings, and an explanation of how liability is affected by voluntary alterations in the rights and duties of subjacent support.

Recognized as the leading source on real property law and considered a classic text since its original publication in 1949, Powell on Real Property provides expert analysis on virtually all aspects of the law of real property. The combination of detailed information on current law with explanations behind the law allows readers to forecast future trends. National in scope and updated four times a year, Powell on Real Property is frequently cited by the highest courts.


Real property,lateral support,subjacent support,negligence,wrongful withdrawal of support,mineral right owners,percolating waters,separate ownership within buildings,loss of lateral support,loss of subjacent support


For a discussion on the related topic of easements, see Ch. 34, Easements and Licenses.

For a discussion on the related topic of trespass, see Ch. 64A, Trespass.

For a discussion on the related topic of water law, see Ch. 65, The Law of Water.


For more information on real property, see Purchase and Sale of Real Property (Matthew Bender), which offers a transactional approach to the purchase of all types of property and includes a discussion of ownership entities; financing; in-depth analysis of all issues relating to conveyancing of property on a national scale; and procedural guidance, checklists and forms from all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

See Zoning and Land Use Controls (Matthew Bender) for discussion, forms, and model ordinances related to zoning and land use controls.

See Regulatory Takings (Matthew Bender) for a detailed examination of the substantive and procedural aspects of regulatory takings law, as well as the judicial applications of these principles in specific areas, such as exactions on new development, and governmental growth restrictions.

See Environmental Law in Real Estate and Business Transactions (Matthew Bender) for comprehensive coverage of environmental issues in real property and business transactions, complete with checklists, case studies, forms, and EPA administrative materials.

See Warren's Weed New York Real Property (Matthew Bender) for coverage of New York real property law.

See California Real Estate Law and Practice (Matthew Bender) for coverage of California real property law.
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