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FEE-FARM Definition & Legal Meaning

Definition & Citations:

This is a species of tenure, where land is held of another in perpetuity ata yearly rent, without fealty, homage, or other services than such as are specially comprisedin the feoffment. It corresponds very nearly to the “emphyteusis” of the Roman law.Fee-farm is where an estate in fee is granted subject to a rent in fee of at least onefourthof the value of the lands at the time of its reservation. Such rent appears to becalled “fee-farm” because a grant of lands reserving so considerable a rent is indeedonly letting lands to farm in fee-simple, instead of the usual method of life or years. 2Bl. Comm. 43; 1 Steph. Comm. 676.Fee-farms are lands held in fee to render for them annually the true value, or moreor less; so called because a farm rent is reserved upon a grant in fee. Such estates areestates of inheritance. They are classed among estates in fee-simple. No reversionaryinterest remains in the lessor, and they are therefore subject to the operation of thelegal principles which forbid restraints upon alienation in all cases where no feudalrelation exists between grantor and grantee. De Peyster v. Michael, 6 N. Y. 497, 57 Am.Dec. 470.

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