Unjust Enrichment | Real Estate Law Explained | Restitution Law Cases | Definitive Real Estate Words & Phrases

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unjust enrichment

As defined and explained in this ONLINE Encyclopedia

A legal doctrine that seeks to grant restitution when a person in enriched at another's expense. The principle is applied when there is no contract but a person unjustly or unfairly obtains money or property for which he should expect to pay. The doctrine of unjust enrichment creates a fictitious, or quasi-contract, in order to ensure a just and equitable payment for a benefit received. Unjust enrichment may be considered as a relative of quantum meruit, both of which are implied in law. Unjust enrichment is that which is obtained, and quantum meruit—'as much he deserves'—is a measure of the liability arising from such a contract. They may be called "different labels for the same right to noncontractual relief" and do not arise as separate causes of action (Seiden Associates, Inc. v. ANC Holdings, Inc., 754 F Supp 37, 38 n. 1 (SD NY 1991)). "To find unjust enrichment, a party must receive something of value, to which he was not entitled and which he must restore. There must be some operative act, intent, or situation to make the unjust enrichment unjust and compensatable", Dews v. Halliburton Industries, Inc., 288 Ark 532, 708 S.W.2d 67, 69 (1986). Unjust enrichment is a cause of action that the law implies to remedy a wrong, but should be distinguished from an implied condition which the law implies, or reads into a contract, to give proper effect to the intention of the parties (Seiden Associates, Inc. v. ANC Holdings, Inc., supra at 39).

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bibliographic references:
Anno: 22 ALR5th 800: Unjust Enrichment—Landowners.
Symposium: Restitution and Unjust Enrichment (June 2001) 79 Texas L. Rev.

G. Goubeaux et P. Voirin. Manuel de Droit Civil, Tome 1 (30ème éd. Paris: 2005), Cinqiéme Partie, Les Obligations, Titre II – 'L'Enrichissement injuste'.

J. Edelman & E. Bant. Unjust Enrichment in Australia (New York & Oxford: 2006).

P. Giliker (ed.). Re-examining Contract and Unjust Enrichment: Anglo-Canadian Perspectives (Lieden, The Netherland & Boston, MA: 2007). G.B. Klippert. Unjust Enrichment (Toronto: 1983).

N. Hopkins. The Informal Acquisition of Rights in Land (London: 2000), Ch. 6 'Where there is an Agreement to share the Beneficial Interest or conferring a Beneficial Interest to prevent Unjust Enrichment'.
G. Virgo. The Principles of the Law of Restitution (Oxford: 1999), Part II 'Unjust Enrichment'.

More Real Estate Terms
acceleration clause; bargain and sale; base fee; easement; emphyteotique lease; exclusive agency; fructus(Lat);
grosses reparations(F); highest and best use; home valuation code of conduct (HVCC)(US); leasehold enfranchisement; market value (MV); once a mortgage, always a mortgage; partial release (or the rule in Dumpor's Case); possession; resecuritization; resulting trust (and Quistclose trust); strata title; tenantable repair; Torrens title; waste