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Rack rents, or leasehold rents, in which the tenant pays an economic rent to the landlord, only became common across the country in the later 19th cent. Until then large parts of England, particularly in the north and west, had a variety of arrangements offering more (or less) security to the tenant. These included copyhold, customaryhold, lifeleasehold, three‐life, and 99‐year leases, which gave the tenant virtual rights of ownership. Copyhold literally meant ‘by copy of the court roll’, in other words by an agreement entered into the court rolls of the manor. By the 19th cent. the traditional rents were so out of line with real values that landlords sought to convert them to rack rents.

Subjects: History.

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