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Landlord Tenant Law Litigation Regulation

Legal Possession: What Does It Mean?

Possession of real property is a matter of physical fact. Having the right or legal entitlement to possession is not "possession," possession is “the fact of having or holding property in one’s power.” That power means having physical dominion and control over the property.


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“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 accruing prior to the date the tenant delivers “legal possession” to the landlord. What exactly is meant by “legal possession?”

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