occupancy – the act of taking possession of something that has no apparent owner (such as abandoned property) so as to acquire legal ownership

     This page is continued from Tenancy:



l. The act, state, or condition of holding, possessing, or residing in or on something; actual possession, residence, or tenancy, especially of a dwelling or land.  *  In this sense, the term denotes whatever acts are done on the land to manifest a claim of exclusive control and to indicate to the public that the actor has appropriated the land.  Hence, erecting and maintaining a substantial enclosure around a tract of land usually constitutes occupancy of the whole tract.

  • constructive occupancy (1814) A manifest intent to occupy property physically, followed within a reasonable time by actual occupancy.

2. The act of taking possession of something that has no owner (such as abandoned property) so as to acquire legal ownership.  See ADVERSE POSSESSION.

3. The period or term during which one owns, rents, or otherwise occupies property.

4. The quality, state, or condition of being occupied.

5. The use to which property is put.

6. The number of people who stay, work, or live in a room or building at the same time.

Related Terms:

occupant: (16c) 1. Someone who has possessory rights in, or control over, certain property or premises. 2. Someone who acquires title by occupancy. — aka occupier.

general occupant (18c) Someone who occupies land in the interim arising after the death of a par autre vie tenant but before the death of the person who serves as the measuring life for the estate.  *  The pur autre vie tenant does not state who may occupy the land after the death of the first tenant; the land can be occupied by the first possessor of the land. — aka common occupant.  Cf. CESTUI QUE VIE.

special occupant (18c) A person specifically designated in a conveyance as being entitled to a life estate if the conveyee dies before the end of the life estate; specif., a par autre vie tenant’s heir who occupies land in the interim between the death of the tenant and the death of the person who serves as the measuring life for the estate.  *  A special occupancy can arise when the grant to the pur autre vie tenant provides that possession is for the life of the tenant, then to the tenant’s heirs.

occupant statute – See BETTERMENT ACT.

occupare (ok-ya~pair-ee), vb. [Latin] Civil law. To seize or take possession of (property); to enter (land) upon a vacant possession.

occupatile (ok»ya-pa~ttl). Hist. Property that has been left by its rightful owner and is now possessed by another.

occupatio (oksyaspay-shee-oh) n. Roman law. A mode of acquisition by which a person obtains absolute title by first possessing a thing that previously belonged to no one, such as a wild bird or pearls on the shore.  C f. RULE OF CAPTURE (2).


2. The possession, control, or use of real property; 0CCUPANCY.

3. The seizure and control of territory by military force; the condition of territory that has been placed under the authority of an army, especially a hostile one. — aka military occupation.

belligerent occupation (1864) The seizure and control of territory by hostile forces.  *  Adding the adjective belligerent to the noun occupation makes the phrase more unambiguously pejorative.

4. The period during which territory seized by military force is held. [1]


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


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Equity Jurisprudence

Intro to U.S. Law

Legal Precepts Adopted (from Europe) into The U.S. Constitution

§ § of Law Embedded into the Constitution Pursuant to the American Revolution

Indian Country Law

Federal Rules of Procedure

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