Waste (law)

Waste is a term used in the law of real property to describe a cause of action that can be brought in court to address a change in condition of real property brought about by a current tenant that damages or destroys the value of that property. A lawsuit for waste can be brought against a life tenant or lessee of a leasehold estate, either by a current landlord or by the owner of a vested future interest. The holder of an executory interest, however, has no standing to enforce an action for waste, since his future interest is not vested. There are several different kinds of waste under the law.

Voluntary waste

Voluntary waste, (sometimes called affirmative waste) is any change made to the estate that intentionally or negligently causes harm to the estate or depletes its resources, unless this depletion is a continuation of a pre-existing use. Some jurisdictions follow what is called the open mines doctrine, which permits continued excavation from any mine on the property that is already open, but prohibits the opening of new mines. However, the majority of jurisdictions now follow a doctrine that allows any activity necessary to continue the exploitation of a particular resource, if the land has already been used for that purpose.

Example: If there is a copper mine on the land, the current tenant can continue the mining operation to the point of extracting all available copper. If there were no such mine there originally, and the lease did not anticipate the mine, excavating property would constitute waste.
Other Languages
한국어: 훼손