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Adjoining Tenements-A

land, owners, support, house and buildings

ADJOINING TENEMENTS.--A tenement is not, in law, limited in meaning, as it usually is in common speech, to a dwelling-house—generally one let out into unfurnished apartments. The term is, on the contrary, a very wide one, and includes all land and buildings thereon; and everything affixed and appurtenant thereto, as well as everything under the soil. Every owner of land is entitled, so far as regards suca of the land as is unweighted by buildings, to the natural support afforded by the land of his adjoining owner. But not to support for any buildings thereon, unless a right thereto has been acquired by grant or prescription. If the support needed is more than the adjoining owner's land can afford, the right extends beyond that land to the more distant land of other persons. And when there is a right to support of buildings, the same rule would apply. Such would arise where, through a house, one of a row, being demolished, another house also falls, though separated from the demolished house by one intermediate. The occupier of one tenement of land is not bound to periodically cut thistles growing on his land, so as to prevent them from seeding; nor is he liable for any damage done to the adjoining land by reason of such seeds being blown thereon. Nor, if his neighbour's animals are injured through eating branches of trees growing on his own land and not projecting over his boundary.

But a man must, whether an adjoining owner or not, says an old case in 1705, " keep his own filth on his own ground." Thus a railway company was held responsibie for having on its own land built an artificial mound so close to the plaintiff's house as to render it damp and unhealthy by reason of the rain oozing through. Again, where a piece of decayed wire fell from the defendant's fence and was swallowed by the adjoining owner's cow, which was thereby poisoned, the owner of the cow recovereedamages. So, too,

did the owner of a horse which had been poisoned by eating from a yew tree which the defendants had planted so near their boundary that it projected into the adjoining meadow where the horse was grazing. But a man having a yew-tree upon his land is under no obligation to fence against his neighbour's cattle which might, if trespassing, eat from it.

Where the boundary between two adjoining tenements is a hedge and ditch, the ditch would belong to the owner of the hedge, unless there is proof to the contrary. If a party-wall divides adjoining tenements, the rights of the respective adjoining owners with regard to the wall depends upon their ownership of, or interest in it. The possible forms of such ownership or interest are numerous, and should be known to the parties concerned. If, however, the ownership is in- doubt, a jury is entitled to find that it belongs to the adjoining owners as tenants in common. In cases where such is the nature of the ownership of the party-wall, and one owner places an obstruction upon it, the only remedy of the other owners is to remove the obstruction. When the wall is not common property, but half of it belongs to one owner and the other half to the adjoining owner, then either owner may pull down his half of the wall. But if the other owner has acquired a right of support, the remaining half of the wall must be supported by him who pulled down his half, and at his expense. With regard to adjoining owners in London, and their mutual rights, reference should be made to the London Building Act, 1894. See also ADJOINING OWNERS ; EASEMENT.