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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)


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 ?
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.
The result, in large part, was that a 19th-century housing mainstay--the tenement house system--survived virtually unchanged well into the 20th century.
Such supply was effectively regulated out of existence by legislation beginning with the 1901 Tenement House Act (Jackson 1976: chap.
Contemporary experts endorsed the "hand-me-down" argument, even to the point of using it to justify the 1901 Tenement House Act, which priced the poor out of the market for new tenement construction, partly in the hope that the next generation's poor would have access to those units (Jackson 1976: 138).
Murphy, 14 February 1914, file: "Tenement House Committee--Prostitution," box 168, Community Service Society Papers, Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Columbia University.
No later than in 1935 Zofia Nalkowska writes Granica [The Frontier]--a modern novel employing the Balzacian-like figure of a tenement house as a spatial sign of social problems in the interwar period.
The bourgeois culture, which has introduced to the Polish experience the life (also fictional) in a tenement house so late and for such a short period of time, has soon found an epilogue in the form of a brick torn from a building wall and the (anti-)aesthetics of a post-war ruin.