What Is A Land Tenure System?

Land tenure is an ancient and complex social institution which covers the relationships among people with regard to the ownership and use of land assets (and sometimes forests and bodies of water). It is likely it began on a customary basis between landowners and people that worked their land and was later enshrined in legal principles.

A land tensure system was used to determine the rights of various people to make money from a piece of land through farming it, improving it with buildings and leasing and selling it to another party. It sets out who does, and does not, have the right of usage of a piece of land. In feudal times, for example, herders had the right to graze cattle on shared land known as commons while large landowners leased their land to peasants for profit.

In the modern context, land tenure systems are most often used by governments to confer mining rights to land that is based on a set of laws and regulations.