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Updated: Mar 16, 2022


This chapter summarizes the literature relating to the decomposition of property into packages of less than full ownership in the United States and The United Kingdom. It does not include specialized areas of law such as Oil and Gas Law and Water Law. Ownership of land is commonly divided by geography into parcels, by time into leaseholds and other estates, and by using into dominant and servant tenements. Some of these divisions, such as leaseholds, have received substantial economic attention, and developments in the landlord-tenant debate are reviewed here. Other divisions, such as other temporal estates and servitude doctrines, have received only occasional economic analysis. For these topics, suggestions relating to possible economic justifications are added to the summary of points made in the literature.

Keywords: Property, Land Tenure, Decomposition, Covenants, Servitudes

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