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. But the word tenements simply, without other circumstances, has never been construed to pass a fee. In its more confined and vulgar acceptation, it means a house or building.
Law Dictionary – Alternative Legal Definition
This term, in Its vulgar acceptation, is only applied to houses and other buildings, but in its original, proper, and legal sense it signifles everything that may be holden, provided it be of a permanent nature, whether it be of a substantial and sensible, or of an unsubstantial, ideal, kind. Thus, liberum tenementum, frank tenement, or freehold, is applicable not only to lands and other solid objects, but also to’ offices, rents, commons, advowsons, franchises, peerages, etc. “Tenement” is a word of greater extent than “land,” Including not only land, but rents, commons, and several other rights and interests issuing out of or concerning land. 1 Steph. Comm. 158, 159. Its original meaning, according to some, was “house” or “homestead.” Jacob. In modern use it also signifies rooms let in houses. Webster. Dominant tenement. One for the benefit or advantage of which an easement exists or is enjoyed. Servient tenement. One which is subject to the burden of an easement existing for or enjoyed by another tenement. See EASEMENT.