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House in United Kingdom

Boarding-House: Legal History

Boarding-House, a private house in which the proprietor provides board and lodging for paying guests. The position of a guest in a boarding-house differs in English law, to some extent, on the one hand from that of a lodger in the ordinary sense of the term, and on the other from that of a guest in an inn. Unlike the lodger, he frequently has not the exclusive occupation of particular rooms. Unlike the guest in an inn, his landlord has no lien upon his property for rent or any other debt due in respect of his board (Thompson v. Lacy, 1820, 3 B. and Ald. 283). The landlord is under an obligation to take reasonable care for the safety of property brought by a guest into his house, and is liable for damages in case of breach of this obligation (Scarborough v. Cosgrove, 1905, 2 K.B. 803).

Again, unlike the innkeeper, a boarding-house keeper does not hold himself out as ready to receive all travellers for whom he has accommodation, for which they are ready to pay, and of course he is entitled to get rid of any guest on giving reasonable notice (see Lamond v. Richard, 1897, I Q.B. 541, 548). What is reasonable notice depends on the terms of the contract; and, subject thereto, the course of payment of rent is a material circumstance (see Landlord and Tenant). Apparently the same implied warranty of fitness for habitation at the commencement of the tenancy which exists in the case of furnished lodgings (see Lodger and Lodgings) exists also in the case of boarding-houses; and the guest in a boarding-house, like a lodger, is entitled to all the usual and necessary conveniences of a dwelling-house.

The law of the United States is similar to English law. (1)

House Defined Case Law

  • A selected English Real Property Law Case in relation with house defined may be: Hosebay Ltd v Day; Lexgorge Ltd v Howard de Walden Estates [2012] UKSC 41 (SC)
  • Year of the above case: 2012

House Defined Case Law

  • A selected English Real Property Law Case in relation with house defined may be: Magnohard Ltd v Cadogan Estates Ltd [2012] EWCA Civ 594 (CA)
  • Year of the above case: 2012


Concept of House

The following is an old definition of House [1], a term which has several meanings:1. A dwelling-house; a building divided into floors and apartments, with four walls, a roof, doors, and chimneys. But not necessarily precisely this. Involves the ideas of an edifice or structure, and the abode or residence of human beings. Criminal statutes constantly use “house ” as equivalent to ” building.” A term indicating the particular purpose to which a building is applied may be prefixed, as in State-house, court-house, school-house. In ” out-house,” buildings that are not dwellings, but merely appendages to some dwelling, are included. When a dwelling is meant, “dwelling-house” or ” mansion-house ” is usually and properly employed. While “house” is broader than “dwelling-house,” it is narrower than “building.” Does not necessarily mean a whole building; is often applied to a separate apartment.,7 May mean ” messuage ” – land and structure; as in a will, and in statutes exempting property from taxation. The law of England has so particular and tender a regard to the immunity of a man’s house that it styles it his ” castle ” and will not suffer it to be violated with impunity. whence (the word(s) which follow it are derivatives from the same root word) the aphorism, “every man’s house is his castle.” For this reason, no outside door can, in general, be broken open to execute civil process; though, in criminal causes, the public safety supersedes private. Hence, also, in part, arises the animadversion of the law upon eavesdropping, nuisances, incendiaries; and for this reason a man may assemble people together lawfully, to protect and defend his house. A man may defend his house even to the taking of life, if apparently necessary to prevent persons from forcibly entering it against his will, and when warned not to enter and to desist from the use of force. But the law doesnot sanction taking life to prevent a mere trespass upon real estate. See Domus, Sua, etc. A landlord might not formerly break open a house to make a distress; that would be a breach of the peace. But when he was once in the house, he might break open an inner door. See Mansion-house. Ancient house . A house which has stood for twenty years. In England, such house acquires a prescriptive right to support from the adjoining soil. In the United States, as a rule, each land-owner has a right to the support of his ground in its natural state from the adjoining land, but not for buildings. See Support. House-breaking. Breaking and entering the dwelling-house of another with intent to commit a felony therein, irrespective of the time of day. Compare Burglary. Household. A family; also, pertaining or appropriate to a house or family: as, household furniture, goods, stuff. See Furniture. Persons who dwell together as a family. Household goods. Articles of a permanent nature, not consumed in their enjoyment, that are used, purchased or otherwise ac- quired by a person for his house. Not then, such articles as potatoes, bacon, vinegar, and salt, especially when held for sale or barter. Householder. The head of a household; the person who has charge of, and provides for, a family or household. See Exemption; Family. In a statute requiring jurors to be householders, means something more than occupant of a room or house; implies the idea of a domestic establishment, of the management of a household. House of correction. A prifeon for the confinement, after conviction, of paupers who refused to work, and vagrants. Established in the reign of Elizabeth. For idle and disorderly persons, parents of bastards, beggars, servants who run away, trespassers, rogues, vagabonds, spendthi-ifts, and the like. House of ill-fame. A brothel or bawdy- house. A synonym for ” bawdy-house.” Has no reference to the fame of the place, but denotes the fact; proof of the fact may be aided by proof of the fame. Such resorts are public nuisances: they draw lewd persons, endanger the peace, and corrupt the manners. A flat-boat may be kept as such a house. A house of prostitution is a constant menace to the good order of the community. It is a nuisance and the keeping of it a misdemeanor at common law. Its suppression, with punishment, are proper subjects of police regulation. In one form or another the authority to prohibit and suppress is given to cities and towns. See further Fame, Ill-fame; Bawdy-house; Lemd; Patronize. House of refuge. A public institution for the confinement of incorrigible youth. Mansion-house. In the law of burglary, a dwelling-house. If a house, stable, or warehouse be parcel of the mansion-house, and within the same common fence, though not under the same roof or contiguous, a burglary may be committed therein; for the capital house protects and privileges all its branches or appurtenances, if within the curtilage or home-stall. A chamber in a college is the mansion-house of the owner. So also is a room or lodging in any private house the mansion, for the time being, of the lodger, if the owner does not dwell in the house, or if he and the lodger enter by different doors. But a tent or booth is not a mansion-house: the law regards thus highly nothing but permanent edifices. Public-house. (1) ” Public ” may be applied to a house, either on account of the proprietorship, as, a court-house, which belongs to the county, or from the purposes for which it is used, as, a tavern, a store-house, or a house for retailing liquors. Statutes against gaming in ” public-houses ” have particularly in view houses that ale public on account of the uses to which they are put. Whether any specified house is public is a question of law, although the general question whether a place is public maybe a question ot fact. Compare Place, Public. (2) An hotel or inn, qsee, in this resource, the term See Bay-window; Clearing; Curtilage; Disorderly; Domicil; Dwelling; Family; Finished; Floor; Grant; Health; Heirloom; Incident; Lakd; Messuage; Nuisance; Search; Servant, 1. Compare Domus

Alternative Meaning

A body of persons organized for the per- formance of business or duties of a public nature; in particular, a legislative assembly, or a branch thereof. May mean the entire number of members; or merely the members present doing business. House of Commons, or of Lords. See Parliament. House of Representatives. See Assembly; Congress. Lower House. The popular branch of a legislature; the house of representatives. Upper House. The Senate.

“House” in the Building (Scotland) Act 2003

Meaning of “House” in the context of the Building (Scotland) Act 2003: a dwelling on one or more storeys, either detached or forming part of a buildingfrom all other parts of which it is divided only vertically.


Notes and References

  1. Meaning of House provided by the Anderson Dictionary of Law (1889) (Dictionary of Law consisting of Judicial Definitions and Explanations of Words, Phrases and Maxims and an Exposition of the Principles of Law: Comprising a Dictionary and Compendium of American and English Jurisprudence; William C. Anderson; T. H. Flood and Company, Law Publishers, Chicago, United States)

“House” in the Building (Scotland) Act 2003

Meaning of “House” in the context of the Building (Scotland) Act 2003: a dwelling on one or more storeys, either detached or forming part of a buildingfrom all other parts of which it is divided only vertically.


Notes and References

  1. Encyclopedia Britannica (11th Edition)

See Also

Further Reading

Concept of Fleth, Flet

Traditional meaning of fleth, flet [1] in the Saxon law history: Land; a house.

Note: For more information on Saxon Law history, see here.


Notes and References

  1. Based on A concise law dictionary of words, phrases and maxims, “Fleth, Flet”, Boston: Little, Brown, and Company, 1911, United States. This term is absolete. It is also called the Stimson’s Law dictionary, based on a glossary of terms, included Fleth, Flet.

See Also

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Schema Summary

  • Article Name: House
  • Author: S. Nield
  • Description: Boarding-House: Legal History Boarding-House, a private house in which the proprietor provides board and lodging for paying [...]

This entry was last updated: July 15, 2020


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