improvement (betterment) – an addition to property (usually real estate), whether permanent or not, that increases its value and goes beyond repair or restoration

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1. An addition to property, usually real estate, whether permanent or not; especially, one that increases its value or utility or that enhances its appearance. — aka land improvement Cf. FIXTURE; MAINTENANCE (4). [1]

1. A change for the better.  Anything that enhances the value of real property permanently for general uses, including buildings, fixtures, fences, wells, orchards, etc., including additions to existing buildings. 27 Am J1st Improv § 2; 36 Am J1st Mech L § 43.

Original construction or substantial reconstruction as distinguished from repair. Hazard v Main Street Realty Co (Ky) 262 SW2d 87, 41 ALR2d 609 (statutory definition for purposes or special assessment).

Although there is some authority tot he contrary, it has been held in a few instances that labor performed in clearing, grading, landscaping, and the like, did not come within the meaning of the words “improvement” under mechanic’s lien statutes covering erection, construction, alteration, repair, or other improvements with regard to buildings, structures, and appurtenances. Anno: 39 ALR2d 870.

An “improvement” contemplated by a provision in a lease for its cancellation in case the lessor “desires” to improve the premises has been held to be something substantial in character, as distinguished from that which is petty or minute; and it must be permanent in its use and value, as distinguished from that which is ephemeral or subject to easy and frequent change. 32 Am J1st L & T § 835[2]

1. Anything that enhances the value fo real property permanently.  EXAMPLE: buildings; fences; landscaping; a swimming pool.
     Compare repair.

2. A change for the better. [3]

  • general improvement (17c) An  improvement whose primary purpose or effect is to benefit the public generally, though it may incidentally benefit property owners in its vicinity.
  • local improvement (1831) A real-property improvement, such as a sewer or sidewalk, financed by special assessment and specially benefiting adjacent property. 
  • necessary improvement – (17c) An improvement made to prevent the deterioration of property.
  • public improvement (17c) An improvement made to property owned by the state or any other political entity, such as a municipality.
  • valuable improvement(18c) An improvement that adds permanent value to the freehold.  *  Because of its nature, a valuable improvement would not typically be mad  by anyone other than the owner.  A valuable improvement may be slight and of small value, as long as it is both permanent and beneficial to the property. — aka beneficial improvement.
  • voluntary improvement – An improvement whose only purpose is ornamental. [1]

n. (18c)

1. An improvement that increases the value of real property, especially, an enhancement in the nature of an alteration or addition that goes beyond repair or restoration to a former condition.

2. An improvement of a highway, railroad, or building that goes beyond repair or restoration. 

3. An increase in value especially real-estate value, attributable to improvements. [1]

1. An improvement to realty which is more extensive than an ordinary repair, and which increases in some substantial degree the value of the property. [2]

1. An improvement to real estate which is more extensive than ordinary repair and which substantially increases the value of the property.

2. Gain; advancement; upgrading; furtherance. [3]


Disclaimer: All material throughout this website is compiled in accordance with Fair Use.

[1]: Black’s Law Dictionary Deluxe Tenth Edition by Henry Campbell Black, Editor in Chief Bryan A. Garner. ISBN: 978-0-314-61300-4

[2]: Ballantine’s Law Dictionary with Pronunciations Third Edition by James A. Ballantine (James Arthur 1871-1949).  Edited by William S. Anderson.  © 1969 by THE LAWYER’S CO-OPERATIVE PUBLISHING COMPANY.  Library of Congress Catalog Card No. 68-30931

[3]:  Ballantine’s Law Dictionary Legal Assistant Edition
by Jack Ballantine 
(James Arthur 1871-1949).  Doctored by Jack G. Handler, J.D. © 1994 Delmar by Thomson Learning.  ISBN 0-8273-4874-6.


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