Define: A Aver Et Tener

A Aver Et Tener
A Aver Et Tener
Quick Summary of A Aver Et Tener

The term “A Aver Et Tener” is a legal term that signifies “to have and to hold.” It is commonly used in deeds or wills to specify the scope of the interest being granted and any conditions that may impact the grant. In the context of oil and gas leases, it determines the duration of the interest granted to the lessee. The habendum clause, which is a section of the document, contains this information. It is crucial to comprehend the habedum clause in order to understand the terms of the agreement.

What is the dictionary definition of A Aver Et Tener?
Dictionary Definition of A Aver Et Tener

The term “a aver et tener” in French law refers to “to have and to hold” and is commonly used in the habendum clause of legal documents like deeds or wills to specify the extent of the interest being granted and any conditions that may affect the grant. For instance, a deed may include a habedum clause that reads, “To John Smith, his heirs and assigns, to have and to hold the property described herein, subject to any easements or restrictions of record.” This example demonstrates how “a aver et tener” is utilised in legal instruments to define the scope of the interest being granted and any associated conditions. Similarly, in an oil-and-gas lease, the habendum clause may outline the duration of the lease granted to the lessee. For example, it may establish a primary term of 5 years, during which the lessee is not obligated to develop the premises, and a secondary term of “so long thereafter as oil and gas are produced” once development takes place. This example illustrates how “a aver et tener” is employed in the context of an oil-and-gas lease to specify the length of the lease and any conditions that may impact the grant.

Full Definition Of A Aver Et Tener

“A aver et tener,” a phrase derived from medieval Latin “habere et tenere,” translates to “to have and to hold” in English. This legal term is historically significant and deeply rooted in the English legal tradition, primarily within the realms of property law and feudal tenure systems. This overview aims to explore the historical context, legal implications, and modern applications of “a aver et tener” in British law.

Historical Context

The phrase “a aver et tener” originates in the feudal system, which dominated medieval England following the Norman Conquest of 1066. Under this system, all land was held by the Crown by a hierarchy of lords and tenants. The term “a aver et tener” encapsulated the dual nature of feudal landholding: “to have” (habere) referred to the possession of the land, while “to hold” (tenere) indicated the obligation to provide services or render duties to a superior lord.

Feudal Tenure and Landholding

In the feudal system, land tenure was the central concept around which all landholding and land use revolved. Various forms of tenure existed, each defining the nature of the relationship between the lord and the tenant, including:

  1. Knight Service: Land held in exchange for military service.
  2. Serjeanty: Land held in return for performing a specific duty for the lord, often ceremonial or administrative.
  3. Socage: Land held in return for agricultural or other non-military services.
  4. Frankalmoin: Land held by religious institutions free from secular services, but with spiritual obligations.

The phrase “a aver et tener” was commonly used in charters and legal documents to formalize these arrangements, ensuring that the rights and duties associated with landholding were articulated.

Legal Significance

The legal significance of “a aver et tener” lies in its encapsulation of landholders’ rights and obligations. It served as a legal formula underpinning the conveyancing process, ensuring that the land transfer included both possession and the responsibilities that came with it.


Conveyancing, the legal process of transferring property from one party to another, often included “a aver et tener” to denote the complete transfer of possession and title. Medieval charters and deeds frequently used the term to clarify land transactions. For example, a charter might state that a piece of land is granted “a aver et tener” to a tenant, signifying that the tenant has both the right to possess the land and the duty to perform the associated services.

Rights and Duties

The duality of “a aver et tener” underscores the nature of medieval landholding, where land rights were inseparable from the duties owed to a superior lord. This concept is crucial in understanding the evolution of property law, where owning land has always been tied to a bundle of rights and obligations.

Evolution of Property Law

As the feudal system evolved and eventually waned, the principles embedded in “a aver et tener” continued to influence English property law. The Statute of Quia Emptores (1290) played a significant role in this evolution by prohibiting subinfeudation and allowing tenants to sell their land without the lord’s consent, shifting the focus from tenure to ownership.

Modern Implications

In contemporary British property law, the direct use of the phrase “a aver et tener” has diminished, yet its underlying principles persist. Modern property law has retained the notion that land ownership involves rights and responsibilities, albeit more nuanced and regulated.

Freehold and Leasehold

The concepts of freehold and leasehold estates in modern property law can be seen as descendants of the medieval tenures encapsulated by “a aver et tener.”

  1. Freehold: This represents absolute property ownership, akin to the possession aspect of “habere.” The freeholder has the right to use the land for an indefinite period.
  2. Leasehold: This involves holding the property for a specified term under certain conditions, reflecting the “tenere” aspect. The leaseholder has rights and duties defined by the lease agreement, similar to the services owed under feudal tenure.

Conveyancing in Modern Law

Modern conveyancing still reflects the dual aspects of “a aver et tener,” ensuring that property transfer includes both the legal title (ownership) and the physical possession. Conveyancing processes involve comprehensive checks and balances, such as land registration, to properly transfer all rights and obligations.

Land Registration

The Land Registration Act 2002 and its predecessors have modernised the process of recording land ownership in England and Wales. While “a aver et tener” is not explicitly used, the principle that ownership involves a combination of rights and duties remains central. The registration of title ensures clarity and security in land transactions, reflecting the medieval concern for clear and enforceable landholding arrangements.

Easements and Covenants

The concept of easements and covenants in property law also echoes the dual nature of “a aver et tener.” Easements grant certain rights over another’s land (similar to “habere”), while covenants impose obligations or restrictions on the use of land (akin to “tenere”). These legal mechanisms ensure that land use remains regulated and that the rights and responsibilities of landholders are maintained.


“A aver et tener” is a phrase steeped in the history of English property law, reflecting the fundamental principles of land tenure and ownership. While its direct usage has faded, the underlying concepts of possession and obligation influence modern property law. From feudal tenures to contemporary freehold and leasehold estates, the dual nature of landholding encapsulated by “a aver et tener” remains a cornerstone of legal understanding in British property law.

This exploration highlights the enduring legacy of “a aver et tener,” demonstrating how historical legal principles adapt and persist in modern contexts, ensuring that land ownership remains a structured and regulated aspect of British law.

A Aver Et Tener FAQ'S

A Aver Et Tener is a legal term that refers to the right of a person to have and hold property.

A Aver Et Tener is a Latin phrase that translates to “to have and to hold.” It signifies the ownership and possession of property.

A Aver Et Tener is a specific type of property right that emphasises both ownership and possession. It highlights complete control and dominion over the property.

Yes, A Aver Et Tener can be transferred to another person through various legal mechanisms such as sale, gift, or inheritance.

A Aver Et Tener grants the owner the right to use, enjoy, and dispose of the property as they see fit, within the boundaries of the law.

Yes, A Aver Et Tener can be limited or restricted by legal agreements, easements, or government regulations. These limitations are typically imposed to protect the interests of the public or the rights of others.

If someone violates the rights of A Aver Et Tener, the owner may seek legal remedies such as filing a lawsuit for trespassing, nuisance, or damages.

A Aver Et Tener can be revoked or terminated under certain circumstances, such as non-payment of property taxes, foreclosure, or eminent domain.

There may be exceptions to A Aver Et Tener in cases where the property is subject to specific legal restrictions, such as historic preservation laws or environmental regulations.

To protect your rights of A Aver Et Tener, it is advisable to consult with a qualified attorney who specialises in property law. They can guide you through the legal process and help you understand your rights and obligations as a property owner.

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This site contains general legal information but does not constitute professional legal advice for your particular situation. Persuing this glossary does not create an attorney-client or legal adviser relationship. If you have specific questions, please consult a qualified attorney licensed in your jurisdiction.

This glossary post was last updated: 11th June 2024.

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