Legal Dictionary

fee simple subject to condition subsequent

Definition of fee simple subject to condition subsequent


fee simple subject to condition subsequent (plural fee simples subject to condition subsequent)

  1. (law) A defeasible fee created with language reserving the right of the grantor to reclaim ownership of the land upon the occurrence of a specified condition (e.g. "if X event occurs, grantor reserves the right to reenter and retake"); upon occurrence of the condition, the grantor may decide to retake ownership or not.

Related terms

Further reading

A fee simple subject to a condition subsequent is created when the words of a grant support the conclusion that the grantor intends to convey a fee simple absolute but has attached a condition to the grant so that if a specified future event happens the grantor will get its fee simple absolute back, provided that the grantor retains a right of entry. The fee simple subject to condition subsequent does not end automatically upon the happening of the condition. The future interest is called a "right of reentry" or "right of entry."

The right of entry is not automatic, but rather must be exercised to terminate the fee simple subject to condition subsequent. To exercise right of entry, the holder must take substantial steps to recover possession and title, for example, by filing a lawsuit. Physical entry is not required, but the holder must do more than just proclaim an intent to take back.

One of the languages used to create a fee simple subject to condition subsequent and a right of entry is "to A, but if A sells alcohol on the land, then grantor has the right of reentry."

Common uses include language such as "may", "but if", "however", or "provided that..."


  1. Wiktionary. Published under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.


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