Waste (West's Encyclopedia of American Law)
Harmful or destructive use of real property by one in rightful possession of the property.
Waste is an unreasonable or improper use of land by an individual in rightful possession of the land. A party with an interest in a parcel of land may file a civil action based on waste committed by an individual who also has an interest in the land. Such disputes may arise between life tenants and remainderpersons and landlords and tenants. The lawsuit may seek an INJUNCTION to stop the waste, damages for the waste, or both. Actions based on waste ordinarily arise when an owner of land takes exception to the manner in which the possessor or tenant is using the land.
The four common types of waste are voluntary, permissive, ameliorating, and equitable waste. Voluntary waste is the willful destruction or carrying away of something attached to the property. In an action for voluntary waste, the plaintiff must show that the waste was caused by an affirmative act of the tenant. Such waste might occur if a life tenant (a person who possesses the land for his lifetime, after which a remainderperson takes possession) chops down all the trees on the occupied land and sells them as lumber.
Voluntary waste will also occur, for example, if the tenant of an apartment removes kitchen appliances that are attached to the apartment floors and walls. More commonly, the tenant...
(The entire section is 657 words.)
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