Tenant

Tenant in United States

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Tenant Definition

(Lat. eneo, tenere, to hold). One who holds or possesses lands or tenements by any kind of title, either in fee, for life, for years, or at will. In a popular sense, he is one who has the temporary use and occupation of lands or tenements which belong to another, the duration and other terms of whose occupation are usually defined by an agreement called a lease, while the parties thereto are placed in the relation of landlord and tenant. 5 Man. & G. 54; Bouv. Inst. Index. Tenants in Common. Such as hold lands and tenements by several and distinct titles, arid not by a joint title, but occupy in common, the only unity recognized between them being that of possession. They are accountable to each other for the profits of the estate; and if one of them turns another out of possession, an action of ejectment will lie against him. They may also have reciprocal actions of waste against each other. 2 Bl. Comm. 191. See Estate in Common; 7 Cruise, Dig.; Bac. Abr. Joint Tenants, and Tenants in Common; Comyn, Dig. Abatement (E 10, P 6), Chancery (3 V 4), Devise (N 8), Estates (K 8, R 2) ; 1 Vern. 353; Archb. Civ. PI. 53, 73. Tenant by the Curtesy. A species of life tenant who, on the death of his vriie. seised of an estate of inheritance, after having issue by her which is capable of in-, heriting her estate, holds her lands for the period of his own life. After the birth of such a child, the tenant is called tenant by the curtesy initiate (Co. Litt. 29a; ‘ 2 Bl. Comm. 126) ; but to consummate the tenancy four things are requisite: lawful marriage, actual seizin of the wife, issue capable of inheriting, and death of the wife. The first three without the last constitute tenancy by the curtesy initiate. The husband’s estate is initiate on issue had, and consummate on the death of the wife. 142 111. 393; 4 Kent’s Com. pp. 28-30; 44 111. 68; 128 111. 102. See Curtesy. Tenant in Dower. Another species of life tenant, occurring where the husband of a woman is seised of an estate of inheritance, and dies, and the wife thereby becomes entitled to hold the third part of all the lands and tenements of which he was seised at any time during the coverture to her own use, for the term of her natural life. See Dower; 2 Bl. Comm. 129; Comyn, Dig. Dower (A). Tenant of the Demesne. One who is tenant of a mesne lord; as, where A. is tenant of B. and C. of A.; B. is the lord, A. the mesne lord, and 0. the tenant of the demesne. Hammond, N. P. 392, 393, Tenant in Fee. Under the feudal law.. one who held his lands either immediately or derivatively from the sovereign, in consideration of the military or other services he was bound to perform. If he held directly from the king, he was called a tenant in fee, in eapite. With us, the highest estate which a man can have in land has direct reference to his duty to the state, 108 111. App. 10. Prom it he ultimately holds his title, to it he owes fealty and service, and if he fails in his allegiance to it, or dies without heirs upon whom this duty may devolve, his lands revert to the state under which he held. Subject to this qualification, however, a tenant in fee has an absolute unconditional ownership in land, which, upon his death, vests in his heirs, 122 111. 328; and hence he enjoys what is called an estate of inheritance. See Estates; 2 Bl. Comm. 81; Litt. §1; Plowd. 555. Joint Tenants. Two or more persons to whom lands or tenements have been granted to hold in fee simple, for life, for years, or at will. In order to constitute an estate in joint tenancy, the tenants thereof must have one and the same interest, arising by the same conveyance, commencing at the same time, and held by one and the same undivided possession. 2 Bl’. Comm. 180. The principal incident to this estate is the right of survivorship, by which, upon the death of one joint tenant, the entire tenancy remains to the surviving cotenant, and not to the heirs or other representatives of the deceased, the last survivor taking the whole estate. It is an estate which can only be created by the acts of the parties, and never by operation of law. Co. Litt. 184b; 2 Cruise, Dig. 43; 4 Kent. Comm. 358; 2 Bl. Comm. 179; 7 Cruise, Dig. Joint Tenancy; Prest. Est. Tenant for Life. One who has a freehold interest in lands, the duration of which is confined to the life or lives of some particular person or persons, or to the happening or not happening of some uncertain event. 1 Cruise, Dig. 76. When he holds the estate by the life of another, he is usually called tenant pur autre vie. 2 Bl. Comm. 120; Comyn, Dig. Estates (P 1). See Estate for Life; Emblements. Tenant by the Manner. One who has a less estate than a fee in land, which remains in the reversioner. He is so called because in avowries and other pleadings it is specially shown in what manner he is tenant of the land, in contradistinction to the veray tenant, who is called simply tenant. See Veray. Tenant by the Marital Right. At common law, by virtue of the marriage alone, and without the birth of issue, the husband was seized of an estate, during coverture, in the lands held by his wife in fee. He is said to have been seized of the freehold jure uxoris. He took the rents and profits during the joint lives of himself and his wife. This estate was ended by the death of the wife or the death of the husband. It is a freehold estate in the husband, since it must continue during their joint lives, and it may by possibility last during his life. It was liable to be sold on execution against the husband. 142 111. 393; 2 Kent, Comm. 130. Tenant paravall. The tenant of a tenant. He is so called because he has the avails or profits of the land. Tenant In Severalty. He who holds lands and tenements in his own right only, without any other person being joined or connected with him in point of interest during his estate therein. 2 Bl. Comm. 179. Tenant at Sufferance. He who comes into possession by a lawful demise, but after his term is ended continues the possession wrongfully by holding over. He has only a naked possession, stands in no privity to the landlord, and may, consequently, be removed without notice to quit. Co. Litt. 57b; 2 Leon. 46; 3 Leon. 153; 1 Johns. Gas. (N. Y.) 123; 4 Johns. (N. Y.) 150, 312; 5 Johns. (N. Y.) 128. Tenant In Tall. One who holds an estate in fee, which by the instrument creating it is limited to some particular heirs, exclusive of others; as, to the heirs of his body, or to the heirs, male or female, of his body. The whole system of entailment, rendering estates unalienable, is so directly opposed to the spirit of our republican institutions as to have become very nearly extinct in the United States. Most of the states, at an early period of our independence, passed laws declaring such estates to be estates in fee simple, or provided that the tenant and the remainderman might join in conveying the land in fee simple. In New Hampshire, Chancellor Kent says, entails may still be created; while in some of the states they have not been expressly abolished by statute, but in practice they are now almost unknown. See Entail; 2 Bl. .Comm. 113. Tenant at Will. One who holds rent free by permission of the owner, or where he enters under an agreement to purchase, or for a lease, but has not paid rent; or one who is placed on land without a term prescribed, or without any terms or rent reserved, but as a mere occupier. 184 111, 337. Formerly all leases for uncertain periods were considered to be tenancies at will merely; but in modern times they are construed into tenancies from year to year; and, in fact, the general language of the books now is that the former species of tenancy cannot exist without an express agreement to that eflfect. 8 Cow. (N. Y.) 75; 4 Ired. (N. C.) 291; 3 Dana (Ky.) 66; 12 Mass. 325; 23 Wend. (N. Y.) 616; 12 N. Y, 346. The great criterion by which to distinguish between tenancies from year to year and at will is the payment or reservation of rent. 5 Bing. 361; 2 Esp. 718. A tenancy at- will must always be at the will of either party, and such a tenant may be ejected at any time, and without notice; but as soon as he once pays rent, he becomes tenant from year to year. 1 Watts & S. (Pa.) 90; Tayl. Landl. & Ten. §56; Co. Litt. 55; 2 Lilly, Reg. 555; 2 Bl. Comm. 145. See Comyn. Dig. Estates (H 1); 12 Mass. 325; 17 Mass. 282; 1 Johns. Cas. (N. Y.) 33; 2 Caines Cas. (N. Y.) 314; 2 Caines (N. Y.) 169; 9 Johns. (N. Y.) 13, 235, 331. A tenant holding over is not a tenant at will unless he holds over by the express or implied consent of his landlord. 40 Mich. 283. Tenant for Years. He to whom another has let lands, tenements, or hereditaments for a certain number of years, agreed upon between them, and the tenant enters thereon. Before entry, he has only an inchoate right, which is called an interesse termini; and it is of the essence of this estate that its commencement as well as its termination be fixed and determined, so that the lapse of time limited for its duration will, ipso facto, determine the tenancy; if otherwise, the occupant will be tenant from year to year, or at will, according to circumstances. See Lease; Tayl. Landl. & Ten. § 54; 2 Bl. Comm. 140. Tenant from Year to Year. Where lands or tenements have been let without any particular limitation for the duration of the tenancy; hence any general occupation with permission, whether a tenant is holding over after the expiration of a lease for years, or otherwise, becomes a tenancy from year to year. 3 Burrows, 1609; 1 Term R. 163; 3 East, 451; 8 Barn. & C. 478; 9 Johns. (N. Y.) 330; 3 Zab. (N. J.) 311. The principal feature of this tenancy is that it is not determinable even at the end of the current year, unless a reasonable notice to quit is served by the party intending to dissolve the tenancy upon the other. 4 Cow. (N. Y.) 349; 3 Hill (N. Y.) 547; 11 Wend. (N. Y.) 616; 8 Term R. 3; 5 Bing. 185.

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(Lat. eneo, tenere, to hold). One who holds or possesses lands or tenements by any kind of title, either in fee, for life, for years, or at will. In a popular sense, he is one who has the temporary use and occupation of lands or tenements which belong to another, the duration and other terms of whose occupation are usually defined by an agreement called a lease, while the parties thereto are placed in the relation of landlord and tenant. 5 Man. & G. 54; Bouv. Inst. Index. Tenants in Common. Such as hold lands and tenements by several and distinct titles, arid not by a joint title, but occupy in common, the only unity recognized between them being that of possession. They are accountable to each other for the profits of the estate; and if one of them turns another out of possession, an action of ejectment will lie against him. They may also have reciprocal actions of waste against each other. 2 Bl. Comm. 191. See Estate in Common; 7 Cruise, Dig.; Bac. Abr. Joint Tenants, and Tenants in Common; Comyn, Dig. Abatement (E 10, P 6), Chancery (3 V 4), Devise (N 8), Estates (K 8, R 2) ; 1 Vern. 353; Archb. Civ. PI. 53, 73. Tenant by the Curtesy. A species of life tenant who, on the death of his vriie. seised of an estate of inheritance, after having issue by her which is capable of in-, heriting her estate, holds her lands for the period of his own life. After the birth of such a child, the tenant is called tenant by the curtesy initiate (Co. Litt. 29a; ‘ 2 Bl. Comm. 126) ; but to consummate the tenancy four things are requisite: lawful marriage, actual seizin of the wife, issue capable of inheriting, and death of the wife. The first three without the last constitute tenancy by the curtesy initiate. The husband’s estate is initiate on issue had, and consummate on the death of the wife. 142 111. 393; 4 Kent’s Com. pp. 28-30; 44 111. 68; 128 111. 102. See Curtesy. Tenant in Dower. Another species of life tenant, occurring where the husband of a woman is seised of an estate of inheritance, and dies, and the wife thereby becomes entitled to hold the third part of all the lands and tenements of which he was seised at any time during the coverture to her own use, for the term of her natural life. See Dower; 2 Bl. Comm. 129; Comyn, Dig. Dower (A). Tenant of the Demesne. One who is tenant of a mesne lord; as, where A. is tenant of B. and C. of A.; B. is the lord, A. the mesne lord, and 0. the tenant of the demesne. Hammond, N. P. 392, 393, Tenant in Fee. Under the feudal law.. one who held his lands either immediately or derivatively from the sovereign, in consideration of the military or other services he was bound to perform. If he held directly from the king, he was called a tenant in fee, in eapite. With us, the highest estate which a man can have in land has direct reference to his duty to the state, 108 111. App. 10. Prom it he ultimately holds his title, to it he owes fealty and service, and if he fails in his allegiance to it, or dies without heirs upon whom this duty may devolve, his lands revert to the state under which he held. Subject to this qualification, however, a tenant in fee has an absolute unconditional ownership in land, which, upon his death, vests in his heirs, 122 111. 328; and hence he enjoys what is called an estate of inheritance. See Estates; 2 Bl. Comm. 81; Litt. §1; Plowd. 555. Joint Tenants. Two or more persons to whom lands or tenements have been granted to hold in fee simple, for life, for years, or at will. In order to constitute an estate in joint tenancy, the tenants thereof must have one and the same interest, arising by the same conveyance, commencing at the same time, and held by one and the same undivided possession. 2 Bl’. Comm. 180. The principal incident to this estate is the right of survivorship, by which, upon the death of one joint tenant, the entire tenancy remains to the surviving cotenant, and not to the heirs or other representatives of the deceased, the last survivor taking the whole estate. It is an estate which can only be created by the acts of the parties, and never by operation of law. Co. Litt. 184b; 2 Cruise, Dig. 43; 4 Kent. Comm. 358; 2 Bl. Comm. 179; 7 Cruise, Dig. Joint Tenancy; Prest. Est. Tenant for Life. One who has a freehold interest in lands, the duration of which is confined to the life or lives of some particular person or persons, or to the happening or not happening of some uncertain event. 1 Cruise, Dig. 76. When he holds the estate by the life of another, he is usually called tenant pur autre vie. 2 Bl. Comm. 120; Comyn, Dig. Estates (P 1). See Estate for Life; Emblements. Tenant by the Manner. One who has a less estate than a fee in land, which remains in the reversioner. He is so called because in avowries and other pleadings it is specially shown in what manner he is tenant of the land, in contradistinction to the veray tenant, who is called simply tenant. See Veray. Tenant by the Marital Right. At common law, by virtue of the marriage alone, and without the birth of issue, the husband was seized of an estate, during coverture, in the lands held by his wife in fee. He is said to have been seized of the freehold jure uxoris. He took the rents and profits during the joint lives of himself and his wife. This estate was ended by the death of the wife or the death of the husband. It is a freehold estate in the husband, since it must continue during their joint lives, and it may by possibility last during his life. It was liable to be sold on execution against the husband. 142 111. 393; 2 Kent, Comm. 130. Tenant paravall. The tenant of a tenant. He is so called because he has the avails or profits of the land. Tenant In Severalty. He who holds lands and tenements in his own right only, without any other person being joined or connected with him in point of interest during his estate therein. 2 Bl. Comm. 179. Tenant at Sufferance. He who comes into possession by a lawful demise, but after his term is ended continues the possession wrongfully by holding over. He has only a naked possession, stands in no privity to the landlord, and may, consequently, be removed without notice to quit. Co. Litt. 57b; 2 Leon. 46; 3 Leon. 153; 1 Johns. Gas. (N. Y.) 123; 4 Johns. (N. Y.) 150, 312; 5 Johns. (N. Y.) 128. Tenant In Tall. One who holds an estate in fee, which by the instrument creating it is limited to some particular heirs, exclusive of others; as, to the heirs of his body, or to the heirs, male or female, of his body. The whole system of entailment, rendering estates unalienable, is so directly opposed to the spirit of our republican institutions as to have become very nearly extinct in the United States. Most of the states, at an early period of our independence, passed laws declaring such estates to be estates in fee simple, or provided that the tenant and the remainderman might join in conveying the land in fee simple. In New Hampshire, Chancellor Kent says, entails may still be created; while in some of the states they have not been expressly abolished by statute, but in practice they are now almost unknown. See Entail; 2 Bl. .Comm. 113. Tenant at Will. One who holds rent free by permission of the owner, or where he enters under an agreement to purchase, or for a lease, but has not paid rent; or one who is placed on land without a term prescribed, or without any terms or rent reserved, but as a mere occupier. 184 111, 337. Formerly all leases for uncertain periods were considered to be tenancies at will merely; but in modern times they are construed into tenancies from year to year; and, in fact, the general language of the books now is that the former species of tenancy cannot exist without an express agreement to that eflfect. 8 Cow. (N. Y.) 75; 4 Ired. (N. C.) 291; 3 Dana (Ky.) 66; 12 Mass. 325; 23 Wend. (N. Y.) 616; 12 N. Y, 346. The great criterion by which to distinguish between tenancies from year to year and at will is the payment or reservation of rent. 5 Bing. 361; 2 Esp. 718. A tenancy at- will must always be at the will of either party, and such a tenant may be ejected at any time, and without notice; but as soon as he once pays rent, he becomes tenant from year to year. 1 Watts & S. (Pa.) 90; Tayl. Landl. & Ten. §56; Co. Litt. 55; 2 Lilly, Reg. 555; 2 Bl. Comm. 145. See Comyn. Dig. Estates (H 1); 12 Mass. 325; 17 Mass. 282; 1 Johns. Cas. (N. Y.) 33; 2 Caines Cas. (N. Y.) 314; 2 Caines (N. Y.) 169; 9 Johns. (N. Y.) 13, 235, 331. A tenant holding over is not a tenant at will unless he holds over by the express or implied consent of his landlord. 40 Mich. 283. Tenant for Years. He to whom another has let lands, tenements, or hereditaments for a certain number of years, agreed upon between them, and the tenant enters thereon. Before entry, he has only an inchoate right, which is called an interesse termini; and it is of the essence of this estate that its commencement as well as its termination be fixed and determined, so that the lapse of time limited for its duration will, ipso facto, determine the tenancy; if otherwise, the occupant will be tenant from year to year, or at will, according to circumstances. See Lease; Tayl. Landl. & Ten. § 54; 2 Bl. Comm. 140. Tenant from Year to Year. Where lands or tenements have been let without any particular limitation for the duration of the tenancy; hence any general occupation with permission, whether a tenant is holding over after the expiration of a lease for years, or otherwise, becomes a tenancy from year to year. 3 Burrows, 1609; 1 Term R. 163; 3 East, 451; 8 Barn. & C. 478; 9 Johns. (N. Y.) 330; 3 Zab. (N. J.) 311. The principal feature of this tenancy is that it is not determinable even at the end of the current year, unless a reasonable notice to quit is served by the party intending to dissolve the tenancy upon the other. 4 Cow. (N. Y.) 349; 3 Hill (N. Y.) 547; 11 Wend. (N. Y.) 616; 8 Term R. 3; 5 Bing. 185.

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Notice

This definition of Tenant Is based on the The Cyclopedic Law Dictionary . This definition needs to be proofread..

Plain-English Law

Tenant as defined by Nolo’s Encyclopedia of Everyday Law (p. 437-455):

Anyone, including a corporation, who rents real property, with or without a house or structure, from the owner (called the landlord). A tenant may also be called the lessee.

Tenant

Leading Case Law

Among the main judicial decisions on this topic:

Wade v. Jobe

Information about this important court opinion is available in this American legal Encyclopedia.

Fair Housing

Information about this related topic is available in this American legal Encyclopedia.

References

See Also

  • Property

Cause of Action Against a Landlord for Inadequate Security Resulting in Rape of a Tenant: an Overview

This section examines this type of action. This subject identifies the various elements of the Cause of Action Against a Landlord for Inadequate Security Resulting in Rape of a Tenant, offering a practical approach to the litigation issues of this cause of action. See also the entry about legal risks.

Quinlan Landlord Tenant Multibase Database

This is a database related to interests in and transfers of real estate, in the following material: Legal Periodicals. A description of this real estate database is provided below:

Combined documents from the Quinlan newsletters on Westlaw that are related to landlord-tenant issues. Coverage varies by publication.

Further information on United States legal research databases, including real property databases, are provided following the former link.

Resources

See Also

  • Legal Topics.
  • Landlord and Tenant.

    Further Reading (Articles)

    “Tenant Placement in Multitenant Cloud Databases with One-to-Many Data Sharing” in Patent Application Approval Process, Politics & Government Week; June 13, 2013

    Tenant Liable for Missing Deadline, Daily News (Colombo, Sri Lanka); March 4, 2014

    Tenants Are Becoming Better Payers; Zz 86% Are in Good Standing – the Best in Five Years, Says TPN Credit Bureau, The Star (South Africa); October 9, 2013

    Tenants unionize to fight rent increases, Bay State Banner; August 7, 2003; Schwab, Jeremy

    Tenants’ Deposits Left Unprotected, Scotland on Sunday (Edinburgh, Scotland); June 30, 2013; Salway, Jeff

    Tenants’ rights questionable, New Pittsburgh Courier; December 7, 2005; M, Deborah

    TENANTS IN FORECLOSED PROPERTIES HAVE RIGHTS, TOO, US Fed News Service, Including US State News; April 20, 2011

    TENANTS BACK MCGREEVEY, The Record (Bergen County, NJ); October 29, 1997

    TENANTS IN FORECLOSED PROPERTIES HAVE RIGHTS, TOO DEPARTMENT OF CONSUMER PROTECTION OUTLINES STATE AND FEDERAL LAWS THAT SAFEGUARD RENTERS DURING FORECLOSURE., States News Service; April 18, 2011

    Tenants can gain strength in numbers, The Record (Bergen County, NJ); June 21, 2009; DONNA ROLANDO, SPECIAL TO THE HERALD NEWS

    Tenants are driving demand for office suite security.(INSIDERS OUTLOOK), Real Estate Weekly; November 8, 2006; Love, Bryan

    Tenant Exit Strategies., Mondaq Business Briefing; April 21, 2009

    Tenants forced out of their city homes.(News), Daily News (South Africa); December 15, 2006

    TENANTS FILE LAWSUIT, SAY RENT HIKES BROKE DEAL, The Boston Globe (Boston, MA); March 23, 2001; Farah Stockman, Globe Staff

    Tenants anyone? Top seeds court smaller players, bigger returns, Chicago Sun-Times; October 9, 1990; Jerry C. Davis

    Tenants’ Rights Don’t Include One to Just Not Pay Rent, The Washington Post; November 4, 2006; Robert Griswold Steven R. Kellman and James McKinl

    Tenants whose homes foreclose have limited rights, Redlands Daily Facts; August 4, 2010; Toni Momberger Real Estate

    Tenants rights law faces test of constitutionality, Chicago Sun-Times; September 19, 1986; Don Debat

    Tenants renting properties priced at less than R3 000 and more than R12 000 per month are being hit by inflation and the high cost of borrowing., Sunday Tribune (South Africa); December 4, 2011

    When Tenants Become Problematic, Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL); May 30, 2010

    Aaa Tenant in the context of Real Estate

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    Tenant: Open and Free Legal Research of US Law

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