ATTORN. To turn over ; to transfer to another money or goods; to assign to some particular use or service. Kennet, Paroch. Antiq. 283.
Used of the part taken by the tenant In a trans fer of lands; 2 Bla. Com. 288; Littleton § 551. Now used of assent to such a transfer; 1 Washb. R. P. 28. The lord could not alien his land without the consent of the tenant, nor could the tenant assign without the consent of his lord; 2 Bla. Corn. 27; 1 Spence, Eq. Jur. 137; 1 Washb. R. P. 28, n. Attorn ment Is abolished by various statutes ; 1 Washb. R. P. 336 ; Wms. R. P. 288, 366.
Attornment is the acknowledgment by a tenant of a new landlord on the alienation of the land and an agreement to become the tenant of the purchaser ; Lindley v. Dakin, 13 Ind. 388.
The attornment of a tenant to a stranger without consent of the landlord is void; Terry v. Terry, 66 S. W. 1024, 23 Ky. L. Rep. 2242; Blanchard v. Tyler, 12 Mich. 339, 86 Am. Dec. 57 ; Perkins v. Potts, 53 Neb. 444, 73 N. W. 936.
The doctrine of attornment grew out of the peculiar relations existing between the landlord and his tenant under the feudal law, and the reasons for the rule never had any existence in this country, and is incon sistent with our laws, customs and institu tions. Beyond its application to estop a ten ant from denying the title of his landlord, it can serve but little, if any, useful pur pose; Perrin v. Lepper, 34 Mich, 292.
Recognition by the tenant of the assignee of the landlord and payment of rent to him are a sufficient attornment ; Bradley & Co. v. Coal Co., 99 II. App. 427; Cummings v. Smith, 114 Ill. App. 35 ; and so is taking a lease from the landlord's grantee, good from the beginning of accumulations of rent in arrear ; Pelton v. Place, 71 Vt. 430, 46 Atl. 63.
A conveyance of the leased land passes to the purchaser the right to collect the rent, and the tenant cannot prevent it by refusing to attorn to him; Edwards v. Clark, 83
Mich. 246, 47 N. W. 112, 10 L. R. A. 659 ; nor can the tenant dispute his landlord's ti tle and attorn to another while in posses sion under the lease, and if he desires, after his term expires, to contest his landlord's title, he must first surrender the possession to him; McDowell v. Sutlive, 78 Ga. 142, 2 S. E. 937 ; Grizzard v. Roberts, 110 Ga. 41, 35 S. E. 291; Stover v. Davis, 57 W. Va. 196, 49 S. E. 1023.
Attornment is not necessary to entitle an assignee of the landlord to demand payment of the rent and to dispossess the tenant ; Wetterer v. Soubirous, 22 Misc. 739, 49 N. Y. Supp. 1043; Willis v. Harrell, 118 Ga. 906, 45 S. E. 794. Where there is a statute au thorizing summary proceedings by the as signee, etc., of the landlord, the latter cannot maintain them after a conveyance of the de mised premises ; Boyd v. Sametz, 17 Misc. 728, 40 N. Y. Supp. 1070; but such proceed ings may be instituted against the tenant of his grantor by the grantee of the landlord; Doner v. Ingram, 119 Mo. App. 156, 95 S. W. 983; Small v. Clark, 97 Me. 304, 54 Atl. 758; or by an assignee of the lease; Drew v. Mosbarger, 104 Ill. App. 635. It has been held that the action in such cases could not be brought by the purchaser in his own name, but in the name of the vendor for his use; Cooper v. Gambill, 146 Ala. 184, 40 South. 827; and also that a tenant may resist a warrant for forcible detainer brought by one under whom he did not enter ; Gray v. Gray, 3 Litt. (Ky.) 468.
To transfer services or homage.
Used of a lord's transferring the homage and serv ice of his tenant to a new lord. Bract, 81, 82; 1 Sullivan, Lect. 227.