1 Any alteration of tenanted property that is caused by the tenant's action or neglect. It includes damage, deterioration, and improvement (see ameliorating waste; equitable waste; permissive waste; voluntary waste). Landlords can take action against tenants who cause waste (see impeachable waste). The extent of a tenant's liability varies according to the kind of tenancy. Most tenants are liable for equitable and voluntary waste. Fixed-term tenants are also liable for permissive waste, as are yearly periodic tenants (but only to the extent that they must keep the premises wind- and water-tight). A tenant for life under a settlement is prima facie liable for ameliorating waste, rarely liable for permissive waste, and usually liable for voluntary and equitable waste (unless exempted or made “unimpeachable of waste” by the terms of the settlement).
2 See pollution.