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Land-Use Control

Waste

Waste laws prohibit the unreasonable or improper use of land by someone who is in rightful possession of the land. The most common relationship between waste-law litigants is that of LANDLORD AND TENANT, but waste laws also apply to grantors and grantees, and owners of land for life and their successors.

Waste comes in four forms: voluntary, permissive, ameliorating, and equitable. An intentional act that diminishes the value of land constitutes voluntary waste. Permissive waste is the omission of expected maintenance to land or its property. Ameliorating waste is a land use that is not authorized by the owner but nevertheless improves the value of the property. Finally, if a use is inconsistent with the land's highest use, a person holding a future interest in the land may bring an equitable waste action against the possessor.

A successful action for waste usually results in the awarding of money damages, but courts sometimes issue an INJUNCTION. This means that the landowner can obtain a court order preventing the possessor from engaging in wasteful acts. If a landowner can show a substantial likelihood of harm if such an order is not issued, and that no other satisfactory legal remedies exist, an injunction may be issued.

Additional topics

Law Library - American Law and Legal InformationFree Legal Encyclopedia: Labor Department - Employment And Training Administration to Legislative PowerLand-Use Control - Private Land-use Restrictions, The Master Plan And Official Map, Planned Communities: Read The Fine Print