245. The power of corporations to take and convey real property is regulated by their charters.
The buying and selling of real property by corporations is a matter of corporate power, which in each case is regulated by the rights and privileges conferred on the corporation by its charter.54 It is usual to limit the amount of real property which certain corporations may own. These restrictions apply, however, to the value of the land at the time it is purchased, and a subsequent rise in value will not require the corporation to dispose of a part of it.55 At common law, statutes of mortmain existed, which prevented the acquisition of lands by the church. No such statutes exist in this country,56 except in Pennsylvania, where the English statutes are held to apply as far as applicable.57 At common law, corporations could not take land in trust, though they have this power now.58 Any fuller discussion of the powers of corporations in respect to real property belongs more particularly to a treatise on corporations.
54 Barry v. Exchange Co., 1 Sandf. Ch. (N. Y.) 280; Coggeshall v. Home for Friendless Children (R. I.) 31 Atl. 694.
55 Bogardus v. Trinity Church, 4 Sandf. Ch. (N. Y.) 633. The right to question the capacity of a corporation to hold land held to belong exclusively to the state. Schwab Clothing Co. v. Claunch (Tex. Civ. App.) 29 S. W. 922.
56 Mccartee v. Asylum, 9 Cow. (N. Y.) 437; Lathrop v. Bank. 8 Dana (Ky.) 114; Potter r. Thornton, 7 R. I. 252. But see Carroll v. City of East St Louis, 67 111. 568.
57 Methodist Church v. Remington, 1 Watts (Pa.) 218.
58 See ante, p. 263.