X

Thank you for sharing!

Your article was successfully shared with the contacts you provided.
nyc-apartment-buildings real estate, new York City, rent, home, iStock

“Legal possession” is a term used by the landlord-tenant bar. We recently came upon a settlement agreement which required the tenant to deliver “broom-clean legal possession” to the landlord on or before a date certain. In another situation, a good guy guaranty limited liability to obligations which accrue prior to the date the tenant delivers “legal possession” to the landlord. What exactly is meant by “legal possession?”

Let’s Start With ‘Possession’

Possession of real property is a matter of physical fact. Having the right or legal entitlement to possession, is not possession. Possession is a physical concept, not a right. As stated in Black’s Law Dictionary, possession is “the fact of having or holding property in one’s power.” That power means having physical dominion and control over the property. That dominion and control may be exercised by excluding others, or letting others in. It is the fact of that physical control that is possession. That power might be exercised legitimately, or it might be exercised wrongfully. It might be exercised in a manner that is a violation of law. But either way, it is the physical fact, the fact of having or holding the property in one’s power and control, that constitutes possession.

Want to continue reading?
Become a Free ALM Digital Reader.

Benefits of a Digital Membership:

  • Free access to 3 articles* every 30 days
  • Access to the entire ALM network of websites
  • Unlimited access to the ALM suite of newsletters
  • Build custom alerts on any search topic of your choosing
  • Search by a wide range of topics

*May exclude premium content
Already have an account?

 
 

ALM Legal Publication Newsletters

Sign Up Today and Never Miss Another Story.

As part of your digital membership, you can sign up for an unlimited number of a wide range of complimentary newsletters. Visit your My Account page to make your selections. Get the timely legal news and critical analysis you cannot afford to miss. Tailored just for you. In your inbox. Every day.

Copyright © 2020 ALM Media Properties, LLC. All Rights Reserved.