For well over 700 years, the legal system in the common-law world has been oriented toward preventing the exploitation of land resources by tenants.1 Initially, that orientation was protective of the King with socage tenure assuring tenants the opportunity to lessen the value of the King’s land by waste or poor husbandry but more recently landlords of all types have been the beneficiaries of that position of the law. That feature of the common law is in accord with the public interest inasmuch as the human family is dependent upon the productivity of tillable land for survival.



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