(redirected from tenement houses)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Financial, Encyclopedia.


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 ?
Further, the rigid lot-size restriction discouraged experimentation with alternative architectures that might have led over time to a market-based improvement of the standard Manhattan tenement house.
14) It is difficult to tell just how much relief of New York's tenement house problem would have been brought about by free (or even semifree) construction of tall residential buildings in 19th-century Manhattan.
In 1901, the landmark Tenement House Act was passed: Nestled within a thicket of new restrictions on tenement construction were new limits on residential building heights for virtually all multiunit residential buildings in Greater New York City.
The impact of height restrictions was compounded by new provisions in the Tenement House Act of 1901 that mandated vast new changes to tenement house construction, which made tenements far more costly to build.
Another significant feature of the Tenement House Act of 1901 was the tying of building height restrictions to setback and other lot-coverage restrictions, in a way that imposed an additional "tax" on tall residential buildings.
One of the features of New York's tenements during the 1900-30 period that has impressed modern-day historians of Manhattan is the extraordinary staying power of the tenement house system as a means of housing the poor.
Devine, "Municipal Reform and Social Welfare in New York: A Study of the Low Administration in Its Relation to the Protection of the Tenement House Population," American Monthly Review of Reviews (October 1903): 438; Joy J.
On Veiller, see Roy Lubove, The Progressives and the Slums: Tenement House Reform in New York City, 1890-1917 (Pittsburgh, Pa.
The area's overlooked by tenement houses so the incident was witnessed by residents.
Growing up in Greenock, near Glasgow, I'd take the train through the valley and notice the big grand houses up on the hill which belonged to the shipyard owners and then look down on the shipyard and the blocks of tenement houses clustered around it for the workers.