Emblements Definition and Legal Meaning

On this page, you'll find the legal definition and meaning of Emblements, written in plain English, along with examples of how it is used.

What is Emblements?

n. crops to which a tenant who cultivated the land is entitled by agreement with the owner. If the tenant dies before harvest the crop will become the property of his/her estate.

History and Meaning of Emblements

Emblements refer to crops which are cultivated by a tenant and are considered a product of their labor. The term originated from the Latin word "emblema" which means something that is taken out. Emblements are considered personal property and not part of the land itself. In the United States, emblements are treated as a type of fixture, which determines who owns the crops after a tenant leaves the property.

Examples of Emblements

  1. A tenant farmer plants a field of corn on rented land. Halfway through the growing season, the landlord terminates the lease. In this situation, the tenant would be entitled to the corn crop as emblements.
  2. An orchard owner hires a farmer to harvest her apple crop for her. The farmer is not entitled to the apples as his emblements because he did not cultivate the land.
  3. A farmer leases a field to grow wheat. The lease is terminated before the wheat can be harvested. In this case, the farmer does not have the right to come onto the land to harvest the crop as emblements.

Legal Terms Similar to Emblements

  1. Trade Fixtures - Items that are installed on rented property by a tenant for use in their business. These are personal property and not part of the real estate.
  2. Accession - The legal principle that states when a person's labor is applied to an object, they are entitled to ownership of the resulting item.
  3. Severance - The act of separating an item from real property, such as cutting down a tree or digging up a plant.