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TENEMENT Definition & Legal Meaning

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Definition & Citations:

This term, in its vulgar acceptation, is only applied to houses and other buildings, but in its original, proper, and legal sense it signifies everything that may be holden, provided it be of a permanent nature, whether it be of a substantial and sensible, or of an unsubstantial, ideal, kind. Thus, liberum tencmentum, frank tenement, or freehold, is applicable not only to lands and other solid objects, but also to offices, rents, commons, advowsons, franchises, peerages, etc. 2 Bl. Comm. 16; Mitchell v. Warner, 5 Conn. 517; Oskaloosa Water Co. v. Board of Equalization, 84 Iowa, 407, 51 N. W. 18. 35 L. R. A. 296; Field v. Higgins, 35 Me. 341; Sackett v. Wheaton, 17 Pick. (Mass.) 305; Lenfers v. Henke, 73 111. 408, 24 Am. Rep. 203. “Tenement” is a word of greater extent than “land,” including not only land, but rents, commons, and several other rights and Interests issuing out of or concerning land. 1 Steph. Comm. 158, 159. Its original meaning, according to some, was “house” or “homestead.” Jacob. In modern use it also signifies rooms let in houses. Webster.

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