Duhaime's Law Dictionary


Leasehold Definition:

Real property held under a lease.

Related Terms: Lease

In his law dictionary, William Anderson proposed this description:

"Leasehold: an estate in land for a fixed term of years....

"At common law, a leasehold interest ... is personal property and subject to levy and sale as such."

Sweet also noted that leasehold interest "are personal estate, being chattels real...."1

But in law, leaseholds may "quack like a duck" in being classed as a chattel, but in other ways they do not walk like a duck" as in estate law, where a will provides for the gift or transfer of "all my lands", this is taken to include any land the testator holds as leasehold.2

Within the body of common law jurisprudence, one notes these words of Madam Justice Dana Fabe of the Supreme Court of Alaska in Fairbanks v Golden Heart:

"A leasehold is a tenant's possessory estate in land or premises."

Or in Darr v Lone Star, in which Justice Cruz Reynoso of the Court of Appeals of California had the opportunity to write:

"A leasehold vests exclusive possession of the property to the lessee, even against the owner of the fee and is based on a privity of estate between lessor and lessee."

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