ATTORNMENT (from Fr. tourner, to turn), in English real
property law, the acknowledgment of a new lord by the tenant
on the alienation of land. Under the feudal system, the relations
of landlord and tenant were to a certain extent reciprocal.
So it was considered unreasonable to the tenant to subject him
to a new lord without his own approval, and it thus came about
that alienation could not take place without the consent of the
tenant. Attornment was also extended to all cases of lessees
for life or for years. The necessity for attornment was abolished
by an act of 1705. The term is now used to indicate an acknowledgment
of the existence of the relationship of landlord
and tenant. An attornment-clause, in mortgages, is a clause
whereby the mortgagor attorns tenant to the mortgagee, thus
giving the mortgagee the right to distrain, as an additional
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