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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 classic literature ?
A flame crawled up the pile of rubbish, and they smelt singeing wax.
The next light layers of rubbish were carefully removed--and the grand discovery of the day followed.
They want to hear nothing of any one walking above their heads; and so they put wood and earth and rubbish betwixt me and their heads.
As for this little Petersburg swell, they're turned out by machinery, all on one pattern, and all precious rubbish.
So blackened by the flying particles of rubbish as to be unrecognisable, they ran back from the gateway into the street, crying and shrieking.
Sturdy digging, and shovelling, and carrying away, in carts, barrows, and baskets, went on without intermission, by night and by day; but it was night for the second time when they found the dirty heap of rubbish that had been the foreigner before his head had been shivered to atoms, like so much glass, by the great beam that lay upon him, crushing him.
A MAN has been forced to fork out PS1,520 after he dumped rubbish in a farmer's field.
The new bin scheme is working and recycling is improving, Cardiff council says Green bins in Caerphilly are for normal rubbish and are the same size as the brown recycling ones, I put anything in either bin, I'm not having two weeks worth of rubbish piling up inside.
MORE than two and a half tonnes of rubbish was collected during a community clean-up campaign in Wingate.
Neighbours on Ripon Street said the rubbish has attracted rats and that they cannot open their windows because of the "vile, putrid smell".
FLY-TIPPERS dumped bags of rubbish at a Huddersfield playground.
Keith told the Cyprus Mail that their aim is to keep Akamas rubbish free, but they are fighting an uphill battle, he said.