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In real estate, a change in a property's value caused by a lessee or another person who has possession but no ownership rights. Waste usually results in a reduction in the property value, for which the owner ordinarily is entitled compensation. Waste may be positive or negative; positive waste results from the possessor's act, while negative waste results from his/her omission. An example of the former is destroying the floor with a sledge hammer, while an example of the latter is neglecting a termite infestation for so long that the floor collapses.


An abusive or destructive use of property by someone who is entitled to possession but who does not have complete ownership rights, such as a tenant, mortgage borrower, or a joint owner.Waste is more than normal wear and tear and implies neglect or misconduct. Contrast with trespass, which is damage by one who is not entitled to possession.There are three types of waste:

1. Voluntary waste (also called affirmative waste) is an intentional change to property resulting in damage to the property.

2. Permissive waste (also called negligent waste) is a failure to maintain property, so that it deteriorates in value.

3. Ameliorative waste occurs when the changes increase the value of the property. In some jurisdictions, a court will still award damages because the owner is entitled to have its property remain in the same condition, without being subjected to others' opinions regarding whether it was improved or not. Other jurisdictions refuse to allow damages, finding that the owner has been benefited by the actions.

References in periodicals archive ?
A big communication campaign, including television commercials and advertisements in major newspapers and magazines, wasn't enough to erase from the public mind the picture of a company whose name is henceforth linked to pollution and profit maximization, to the point that it charters ships in pitiful condition with the potential to lay waste to the environment.
We might ask whether judgment ("the LORD is about to lay waste the earth and make it desolate," 24:1) is better than despair.
Getting and spending we lay waste our powers,' wrote Wordsworth.
As these millions of migrants cross and recross the United States' southern border, they rapidly lay waste to any notion of "secure borders" in the demographic--and especially the cultural--sense.
It's pretty much like going on stage with one purpose: to lay waste and destroy everything.
HURRICANE Ivan threatened to lay waste to Cuba's tobacco fields last night after ravaging the Cayman Islands.