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A comprehensive legal term for any type of property of a permanent nature—including land, houses, and other buildings as well as rights attaching thereto, such as the right to collect rent.

In the law of easements, a dominant tenement or estate is that for which the advantage or benefit of an easement exists; a servient tenement or estate is a tenement that is subject to the burden of an easement.

The term tenement is also used in reference to a building with rooms or apartments that are leased for residential purposes. It is frequently defined by statute, and its meaning therefore varies from one jurisdiction to another.


n. 1) a term found in older deeds or in boiler-plate deed language, which means any structure on real property. 2) old run-down urban apartment buildings with several floors reached by stairways. (See: structure)

See: estate, property


1 property held on tenure.
2 a multi-storeyed flatted building in Scotland in which the flats are able to be owned individually with various rights over the common parts.

TENEMENT, estates. In its most extensive signification tenement comprehends every thing which may be holden, provided it be of a permanent nature; and not only lands and inheritances which are holden, but also rents and profits a prendre of which a man has any frank tenement, and of which he may be seised ut de libero tenemento, are included under this term. Co. Litt. 6 a; 1 Tho. Co. Litt. 219; Pork. s. 114; 2 Bl. Com. 17. But the word tenements simply, without other circumstances, has never been construed to pass a fee. 10 Wheat. 204. In its more confined and vulgar acceptation, it means a house or building. Ibid. an 1 Prest. on Est. 8. Vide 4 Bing. 293; S C. l1 Eng. C. L. Rep. 207; 1 T. R. 358; 3 T. R. 772; 3 East, R. 113; 5 East, R. 239; Burn's Just. Poor, 525 to 541; 1 B. & Adolph. 161; S. C. 20 Eng. C. L. Rep. 36 8; Com. Dig. Grant, E 2; Trespass, A 2; Wood's Inst. 120; Babington on Auctions, 211, 212.

References in periodicals archive ?
Historians emphasize the following features: high population density leading to extreme overcrowding of tenements; tenement houses packed together as closely as possible to maximize land use; the dark, disease-ridden, poorly constructed, fire-prone tenements; the minimal level of utility services offered; and the failure of 19th-century reform efforts.
was to make the penalty for prostitution in tenement houses so much more severe than it was for prostitution in ordinary disorderly houses as to make it attractive for the prostitutes to leave the tenement houses and to go into regular houses of prostitution.
His extensive report included case histories of individual contractors and individual tenement houses, as well as medical evidence of the deleterious effects of tobacco, expecially on pregnant women and their chances for healthy births.
In this research, Frost & Sullivan's expert analysts thoroughly examine the following markets: residential building construction (detached houses, tenement houses, and apartments) and non-residential building construction (offices, stores, factories, warehouses, schools, hospitals, eateries, and hotels).
The organization renovated former tenement houses on South Corliss Avenue in the Pullman Landmark District.
The parishioners were mostly poor, with many of them living in area tenement houses actually owned by the church.
The area's overlooked by tenement houses so the incident was witnessed by residents.