distraint

(redirected from distraints)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Legal.

distraint

The legal right of a landlord to obtain a court order and seize tenants'possessions to pay for back rent.

References in periodicals archive ?
Gabriel Shadd and Christopher Smith specialised in forcible distraint. Their habit was to appear, with several assistants, at a victim's house in the evening and make a night of it.
In the case of a chapter on the Essex Inquisitions of 1556, the records of two commissions that were established to investigate potential distraints on the lands of religious fugitives are reproduced at great length.
Sawles Warde shows the cais had an evil reputation; but such translations of the word as |servant' or |retainer' do not express this.(10) The caisiaid have been defined as |the nucleus of a police force in the commote, delivering the writs, making distraints, carrying out the decisions of the courts, and conducting the executions'.(11) The last is the nub.