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Tenement (law)

tenement (from the Latin tenere to hold), in law, is anything that is held, rather than owned. This usage is a holdover from feudalism, which still forms the basis of all real-estate law in the English-speaking world.

Under feudalism, land itself is never privately owned; instead, estates in land (feuds or fees) are held of some superior, upon some manner of service. The thing held is called a tenement, the holder is called a tenant, the manner of his holding is called a tenure, and the superior is called thelandlord, or lord of the fee. These forms are still preserved in the law, even though feudalism itself is extinct, because all real estate law has developed from them over centuries. source: wikipedia

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