Land tenure

In common law systems, land tenure is 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" and "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. Tenure signifies 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.

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.

There is a great variety of modes of land ownership and tenure.

This page was last edited on 21 May 2018, at 21:08.
Reference: under CC BY-SA license.

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