Use and Occupation

Use and Occupation

A kind of action brought by a landlord against an individual who had occupancy of the landlord's land or premises under an express or implied agreement requiring payment, but not under a leasehold contract that would allow the landlord to initiate an action for rent.

For example, property might be occupied under a lease that is rendered void because it does not comply with the Statute of Frauds. In such a situation, the landlord could bring a use and occupation action for the value of the use of the property.


Landlord and Tenant.

West's Encyclopedia of American Law, edition 2. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

USE AND OCCUPATION. When a contract has been made, either by express or implied agreement, for the use of a house or other real estate, where there was no amount of rent fixed and ascertained, the landlord can recover a reasonable rent in an action of assumpsit for use and occupation. 1 Munf. R. 407; 2 Aik. R. 252; 7 J. J. Marsh. 6; 4 Day, R. 228; 13 John. R. 240; 13 John. R. 297; 4 H. & M. 161; 15 Mass. R. 270; 2 Whart. R. 42; 10 S. & R. 251.
     2. The action for use and occupation is founded not on a privity of estate, but on a privity of contract; 3 S. & R. 500; C. & N. 19; therefore it will not lie where the possession is tortious. 2 N. & M. 156; 3 S. & R. 500; 6 N. H. Rep. 298; 6 Ham. R. 371; 14 Mass. R. 95. See Arch. L. & T. 148.

A Law Dictionary, Adapted to the Constitution and Laws of the United States. By John Bouvier. Published 1856.
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