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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.

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


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)

Copyright © 1981-2005 by Gerald N. Hill and Kathleen T. Hill. All Right reserved.


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.
Collins Dictionary of Law © W.J. Stewart, 2006

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.

A Law Dictionary, Adapted to the Constitution and Laws of the United States. By John Bouvier. Published 1856.
References in periodicals archive ?
"The Tenement House Problem: Including the Report of the New York State Tenement House Commission, in two volumes." Volume I.
The knowledge that the disease of workers -- who sewed clothes in their filthy tenement houses or who processed food -- could spread to decent, clean, and respectable citizens gave society cause to worry.
To reveal how manliness defined the world of male workers is illuminating, yes, but surely it does not carry first-order explanatory power in the history of craft apprenticeship, or the defeat of the Fall River mule spinners, or even the legislative battle over tenement house cigarmaking.
AUGUST 4: Inspired by the BBC series Turn Back Time, The National Trust for Scotland's Tenement House in Glasgow has a session on how to create rag rugs.
We also told how two Tyneside families had a lucky escape after a bomb fell on their tenement house as they slept.
It was a typical tenement house in Glasgow layers and layers of paint and the crumbling old walls were falling down.
The literal pile appears in sharp contrast to the symbolic design of a Dublin tenement house, the front of which is constructed of abstract concrete blocks, without any attempt to simulate or suggest a crumbling old Georgian mansion overcrowded with too many miserable families.
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. For example, one 19th-century architect showed that a block built around shallower lots (say, 25-by-50 feet) would have encouraged Philadelphia-style rows of townhomes similar to modern townhomes--more square-shaped structures allowing light and air to enter from both front and rear, so that every room in the house would receive significant relief from the problems plaguing Manhattan's tenements.
[78] As housing reformer Lawrence Veiller observed thirteen years after the passage of New York's 1901 Tenement House Law, "The theory ...