Emblements In Real Estate

Definition of "Emblements in real estate"

Patricia Blanchette, P.A. real estate agent

Written by

Patricia Blanchette, P.A.elite badge icon

Veterans Realty

The definition of emblements in real estate is very simple: emblements are the crops grown on a piece of property leased to a tenant. Legally, the crops are the property of the person who worked to raise them, regardless whether they own the property on which the crops were grown or not. Even if the tenant of the landowner no longer lives on the tract of land, the emblements remain the personal property of the tenant who raised them. 

Emblements also concern issues of inheritance in the event of a tenant’s death. If a tenant dies and their contract with the landlord is terminated, any crops the tenant cultivated are the property of the next of kin. While the crops grown on a small plot of land may seem insignificant, emblements can present a significant amount of capital when you take into account larger leases on 1000+ acre plots for industrial farming operations.  

Examples of emblements in real estate

Let’s illustrate the concept of emblements in real estate with a hypothetical scenario where Christie, a single mother of two, lives on a ten-acre tract of land leased from her landlord, Fred. Christie wants to provide a more holistic diet for her kids, so she decides to till a ¼ acre or so of the land she leases from Fred, so she can plant some tomatoes, peas, carrots and radishes. 

With this plan in mind, Christie makes the necessary preparations to begin growing her garden. She buys a used tiller, and spends several hours laboring behind the unwieldy machine until the whole plot is cultivated. She buys tomato, carrot and radish seeds from her local hardware store and plants them with great care, making sure to water them daily, fertilize regularly and keep the beds free of weeds. 

Five or six weeks later, the plants are nearing maturity. Green tomatoes are hanging from the juvenile tomato plants, and the fluffy tufts of carrot and radish stems and leaves are rich and green. Just as things are getting good with the garden, tragedy strikes: Christie falls sick and has to move closer to the city, and terminates her lease agreement with her landlord Fred. So, what happens to the garden? 

This is where emblements and their accompanying legal properties come into play. First, you have to make a couple of important distinctions. First and most importantly, to be emblements and therefore the property of the tenant or former tenant, the crops have to be cultivated, not naturally occurring. For example, the crops in this scenario (tomatoes, carrots, radishes) would be considered emblements, whereas something naturally occurring, such as wild blackberries, would not.


Need help as a:

I'm interested to:


I work in:

Reach out to the local professionals for help
I agree to receive FREE real estate advice.

Agents, get listed in your area. Sign up Now!

Here's what you'll get:

1. Full zipcodes coverage for the city of your choice for 3 months

2. The ability to reach a wider audience

3. No annual contract and no hidden fees

4. Live customer support/No robo calls

$75 - Any City - 3 Months Coverage
loader gif

Please wait ...

I agree to receive FREE real estate advice
I agree with Terms & Conditions and Section 5-5.9.

Emblements can sometimes cause problems when buying or selling a home. Since emblements are passed down to the heir if a tenant dies the crops can continue to belong to someone other than the ower. Emblements are only annual crops or those which require labor so it is advisable to ask your agent to provide you with exact documents clarifying the status of the land and crops.

image of a real estate dictionary page

Have a question or comment?

We're here to help.

*** Your email address will remain confidential.


Popular Real Estate Terms

Reward for investing. The real estate investor must compare the anticipated return for an investment with the associated risk. The return includes: Appreciation (or depreciation) in ...

Changing property ownership. An example is the sale of a home to another. ...

General decrease in prices. It is the opposite of inflation and different from disinflation, which is a decrease in the rate of price increases. Deflation results form a reduction in the ...

A notice, usually in writing, in which notice of termination is given by one individual or business to another. It is pursuant to a cancellation provision in a contract to forestall ...

Ownership of a real estate in which at least two or more individuals have equal ownership. If a member of the group dies, the property is transferred to the survivor (s), for example, a ...

Looking for an amortization definition? Amortization is an accounting term that basically means something like “reducing the gap between what is owed”. Here’s the play by ...

Demolition and removal of all existing structures on a building site and the subsequent construction of a totally new building structure. For example, in a downtown redevelopment project, ...

Third party to a bankruptcy proceeding. The trustee's responsibility is to value and recapitalize the real estate firm if it is to be reorganized. ...

The term effective interest rate is the actual return from a savings account or any investment where you pay interest when considering the effects of compounding costs over time. Through an ...

Popular Real Estate Questions