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Estate for Years in Real Estate: Definition & Examples

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Instructor: Tisha Collins Batis

Tisha is a licensed real estate agent in Texas. She holds bachelor's in legal studies and a master's degree in criminal justice.

This lesson will define an estate for years in real estate. Additionally, it will provide examples of estates for years to give the reader a better understanding of this type of estate. Updated: 04/08/2020

Estate for Years

An estate for years is just one type of leasehold estate. Don't let the word ''estate'' fool you, as a person that holds an estate for years doesn't actually own the property in question. He is only leasing it for a particular amount of time.

An estate for years is a type of lease, with the tenant leasing real property for a specific amount of time. There is a beginning date and an ending date for the lease, and the lease usually lasts for many years. The lease specifies the amount of rent the tenant must pay the landlord. Once the lease expires, the tenant is expected to move out. Neither the tenant nor the landlord must give notice, as the lease states the date the tenant must vacate the property.

One interesting thing about an estate for years is that a tenant can build on the property he leases. The lease can be for such a long period of time that the tenant may be able to make an income from buildings that he erects on the property. This is one thing that makes such a long-term lease attractive.

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Examples of Estate for Years

Let's look at some examples of estate for years.

Bill and Judy loved spending their weekends at the lake. As they got older and started to work less, they spent more time at the lake. The fees they paid to park their camper at the lake started to overwhelm them, and they began to look into other options. They found a great lot to park their camper with all of the utilities in place. The lot was available to lease for 20 years. Bill and Judy were ready to retire and happily signed the lease, locking them into that lot for the next 20 years.

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