Land tenure

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Land tenure is the name given, particularly in common law systems, to the legal regime in which land is owned by an individual, who is said to "hold" the land (the French verb "tenir" means "to hold"; "tenant" is the present participle of "tenir"). The sovereign monarch, known as The Crown, held land in its own right. All private owners are either its tenants or sub-tenants. The term "tenure" is used to signify the relationship between tenant and lord, not the relationship between tenant and land.

Over history, many different forms of land ownership, i.e., ways of owning land, have been established.

A landholder landowner is a holder of the estate in land with considerable rights of ownership or, simply put, an owner of land.

Feudal tenure[edit]

Historically in the system of feudalism, the lords who received land directly from the Crown were called tenants-in-chief. They doled out portions of their land to lesser tenants in exchange for services, who in turn divided it among even lesser tenants. This process—that of granting subordinate tenancies—is known as subinfeudation. In this way, all individuals except the monarch were said to hold the land "of" someone else.

Historically, it was usual for there to be reciprocal duties between lord and tenant. There were different kinds of tenure to fit various kinds of duties that a tenant might owe to a lord. For instance, a military tenure might be by knight-service, requiring the tenant to supply the lord with a number of armed horsemen. The concept of tenure has since evolved into other forms, such as leases and estates.

Modes of ownership and tenure[edit]

There are a great variety of modes of land ownership and tenure:

In addition, there are various forms of collective ownership, which typically take either the form of membership in a cooperative, or shares in a corporation, which owns the land (typically by fee simple, but possibly under other arrangements). There are also various hybrids; in many communist states, government ownership of most agricultural land has combined in various ways with tenure for farming collectives.

Land tenure by country[edit]

Canada[edit]

England and Wales[edit]

For land ownership in England and Wales see Land tenure in England, English land law and History of English land law.

Ireland[edit]

Scotland[edit]

Angola[edit]

Importance of tenure today[edit]

Although the doctrine of tenure has little importance today, its influence still lingers in some areas.

The concepts of landlord and tenant have been recycled to refer to the modern relationship of the parties to land which is held under a lease. It has been pointed out by Professor F.H. Lawson in Introduction to the Laws of Property (1958), however, that the landlord-tenant relationship never really fitted in the feudal system and was rather an "alien commercial element".

The doctrine of tenure did not apply to personalty (personal property). However, the relationship of bailment in the case of chattels closely resembles the landlord-tenant relationship that can be created in land.

Secure land tenure also recognizes one's legal residential status in urban areas and it is a key characteristics of slum. Slum dwellers don't have legal title to the land and thus are usually marginalized and ignored by the local governments.[5]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

Further reading[edit]